Dive in with Roger Cockram

By Louise Irvine

One of the stars of our new Dive into WMODA exhibit is the British potter, Roger Cockram. Recently he made two ceramic sculptures especially for Arthur Wiener and sent us a visual story of his creative process. Many years ago, Arthur visited Roger’s studio and gallery in the North Devon village of Chittlehampton in England and he became a huge fan of Roger’s ceramic art inspired by marine life.

The elements of earth, air, fire, and water are harnessed by Roger Cockram for his striking ceramic art. Roger was a marine biologist before becoming a potter and his ideas spring from observations that he makes of the sea. He is particularly interested in the movement and power of water and its influence on the lifeforms in and around it. He mainly works with porcelain and stoneware clays sponged with layers of slips, which he incises, models and paints. His high-temperature reduction firing process is very dramatic with flames leaping around the pots as he attempts to “steer” the forces of nature rather than control them. In his words, “my work is not intended as a piece of natural history – but rather that the observation may be caught, resolved and be used to make a piece of ceramics successful in its own terms.” Roger Cockram has practiced as a potter in Chittlehampton in North Devon, England for over 40 years and his work is exhibited internationally.

Roger Cockram, In His Element