Harlequin Gallery




Robert Ayton 


Below are examples of work currently available.

Height (to top of the handle): 17.25cm (
6.8 inches)
Price: £75


Hand built bottle vase.
Height: 19.8cm (
7.8 inches)
Price: £75

Hand built vase.
23.6 cm (9.3 inches)
Price: £85



Robert Ayton was introduced to studio ceramics in the 1980's by the late Albert Shelley, who ran a pottery in Norfolk. It was Shelley's enthusiasm and knowledge that inspired Robert to begin potting himself. He is largely self taught but did attend courses run by Phil Rogers and John Maltby, with the latter still being a significant influence on his method of making. Although Robert hasn't worked in Japan he did spend three weeks there in 1993 when he visited the ancient Japanese kiln sites of Bizen, Iga and Shigaraki. He also went to Mashiko, where he had arranged a visit to see Tatsuzo Shimaoka, the Living National Treasure and former pupil of Shoji Hamada. This proved memorable and at the end of the visit Shimaoka gave Robert two teabowls as a gift. (I know I'm envious too)

Certainly the idiosyncratic pottery produced in the ancient kilns of 16th century Japan has lead to Robert producing the hand-built functional pottery he does today. In their production he uses craft crank clay and simple glazes produced using wood ash, clay and feldspar. These are applied by pouring, splashing and painting but perhaps the secret is that they are usually fired in a reduction atmosphere two or even three times.

Robert was one of the two potters who took part in the East meets West exhibition at the Harlequin Gallery during October 2002 and supplied 12 teabowls/yunomis for “Teabowls 2006” exhibition.