The potter, Waistel Cooper, was born in Ayr, Scotland in 1921. He later moved to Somerset, where he set up a pottery at Porlock in 1952.
Cooper was a potter of some distinction, and his speciality was textured surfaces and wood ash glazes.
In 1983 he moved to Penzance, Cornwall, where he operated from Barbican Pottery.
His mark was the brushed forename 'Waistel' in black, as photographed.
This lovely piece of studio pottery is typical of his work - at first glance it takes the form of a small squat lamp base, but it was originally design as a lamp, and contains a hole (in the making) for the insertion of a lamp cord.
It measures 5 1/2 inches in height; with a diameter of about 6 1/2 inches.
A lovely piece of collectable British studio pottery - in excellent vintage condition.
For more information on this interesting ceramic artist here is his orbituary which appeared in the Independent in 20013.....
Waistel Cooper, potter: born Ayr 19 April 1921; married 1957 Joan D'Arcy Jeancon (died 1982), 1983 Gillian Tedder; died Penzance, Cornwall 15 January 2003.
As a painter turned potter, Waistel Cooper's approach to the craft was that of the artist rather than the craftsman. His monumental vessel and sculptural forms, with their dry, textured, creamy-white surfaces, owe as much to the rocks and austere landscape of Iceland (where he first started working with clay) as they do to the history of the craft; and from the start of his career as a potter over 50 years ago his primary concern was with form and texture rather than function.
Working steadily, and with great respect rather than wide public acclaim, Cooper followed his own ideas, honing and defining his forms rather than making any attempt to pursue fashion or react to the changing whims of galleries or buyers. Stylistically, he responded to continental modernism rather than an aesthetic of the Far East as espoused by Bernard Leach.
Born in Ayr in 1921, he was encouraged to study art, attending Hospitalfield College of Art in Arbroath before winning a scholarship to Edinburgh College of Art, but the outbreak of war interrupted his studies and he was drafted into the Army. When invalided out in 1943 he returned to Edinburgh, where he studied fine art, numbering among his friends leading innovatory artists such as the two Roberts – Colquhoun and MacBryde – though he was also aware and admiring of the sculptures of Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore. Commissioned to paint portraits, Cooper travelled to Reykjavik, where he held his first exhibition, embracing stylised and abstract work as well as representational images.
A dramatic change of direction came when he became friendly with the sculptor Gestur Thorgrimsson, who encouraged him to take up pottery. Together they collaborated on making platters – thrown by Thorgrimsson – which Cooper decorated with painted underglaze in brightly coloured clay slips. The designs included abstracted motives such as faces that, in their easy, fluid forms, recall the work of Matisse, and make full use of the qualities obtainable with the medium. But with no tradition of pottery making in Iceland, and frustrated by having to work in earthenware rather than the tougher stoneware, in 1950 Cooper returned to England, where he set up a small pottery in the village of Porlock in Somerset, firing his pots in a modest-sized electric kiln.
Although the pots and ideology of Leach and his followers were very much the orthodoxy of the day, Cooper was more drawn to the more minimal and European-centred work of Lucie Rie and Hans Coper, liking the simplicity and directness of their approach. For two years he experimented with clays and bodies, particularly concerned with the relationship between dark, silky matt glazes and unglazed clay surface, a concern that informed his pots throughout his life. At the same time he tried out various glazes made from wood ash, which not only provided a particular sort of effect, but also had a conceptual relationship with the landscape.
Because of his concern with form and his use of areas of unglazed surfaces, Cooper did much research into devising a clay body that provided a colour and texture suited to his forms without being too intrusive. The rough-looking stoneware body he came up with included Dorset ball clay with up to 40 per cent grog – fired and ground-up clay – with a high iron content which either produced small dark nodules in the clay body or broke through the glaze to create spots linking body, glaze and surface.
Seven years later, after marrying an American psychologist and spiritual healer, Joan D'Arcy Jeancon, Cooper established a studio on the Culbone estate outside Porlock, in Keeper's Lodge, where he started using a kick-wheel and installed an oil-fired kiln. His potting blossomed, his pots getting simpler and more focused, and his reputation grew.
Following a holiday to Mykonos and the Cyclades in the 1970s Cooper was taken with the directness and archetypal quality of the historical work, and started to produce pure white forms and to try out new shapes. Exhibition success followed, with work shown abroad, and important shows in England, in London and St Ives.
Following his wife's death in 1982, Cooper moved to Penzance, setting up the Barbican Art Gallery and Pottery on the harbourside, living next door with his second wife, Gillian. New forms included narrow-necked bottles, while he also sensitively made use of bright, deep turquoise glazes, and multi-layered coating of slips to yield rich, unglazed surfaces. Ambitiously, he also produced abstract sculptures with figurative references, either by carving or assembling thrown and cut components, which, though still having stark, uncluttered surfaces, have a romantic suggestion of peace and resolution.
A major retrospective at Manchester City Art Gallery and Museum in 1994 consolidated his considerable achievements, introducing his early decorative pieces to many for the first time.
We are happy to take payments via Etsy, Paypal - or if you do not have an electronic finance account - we are delighted with an old-fashioned cheque.
If you have any payment issues or inquiries, then please get in touch with me and will be happy to help you.
At IconicEdinburgh, both Robert and Valerie strive to move your orders forward for you quickly. We try to post out the day after receiving payment from you wherever possible. Any delays with us posting out to you and we will get in touch via email or official Etsy Convos and will keep you fully updated on progress with your order.
WE ARE HAPPY TO POST OUTSIDE OF THE UK - but as prices vary internationally we do not offer a standard charge on all of our listings. Again, we always try to get the best postage cost for you internationally - so please just ask for a postage quote for outside of the UK.
WORLDWIDE POSTAGE. All parcels are fully insured and tracked - but customs would be the responsibility of the buyer outside of the European Union.
All postage prices quoted on our Etsy listings are in the main for UK delivery, and again tracked and insured for item safety.
For smaller items to the UK, we use Royal Mail 2nd Class Recorded services to try and keep your postage costs down. For larger and heavier items we will Parcelforce48 and try to get you the most affordable postage quote - for tracked, insured and signed for service.
The shipping price quoted is for postage costs PLUS a little extra towards Etsy shipping fees, our own packing time and materials. We try to give you the best shipping rates we can - and certainly, do not make profits from posting to you.
Where you have paid significantly too much on shipping fees - ie for combined item shipments - we will be delighted to refund excesses to your account.
Just contact me within: 7 days of delivery
Ship items back to me within: 14 days of delivery
But please contact me if you have any problems with your order.
Because of the nature of these items, unless they arrive damaged or defective, I can't accept returns for:
We have a very fair refund policy on anything sold to you. All our items are sold in excellent vintage condition, any issues with an item are photographed for your inspection and pointed out in the description. If an item is damaged in transit to you - we take full responsibility - and you get both the cost of the item and your postage costs refunded by Iconic.
***GOODS DAMAGED IN TRANSIT*** Please supply us with images of all damages - these shoud be clear and where possible relate to images on the item description. Also it is imperative that you KEEP ALL PACKAGING UNTIL CLAIMS ARE SETTLED. We will request that you also send us images of the packaging - any external damage and the internal packaging etc. Please note that without details of the packaging our courier companies will refuse any claims for damages. Many thanks. I will take up all claims on your behalf when I have been provided with the requested images etc.
Basically - we are not in the business of making anyone unhappy with their purchases and we strive at all times to make everyone 100% delighted with items that they buy from us, and that they arrive with you as described and photographed. Please see our excellent feedback from happy customers.
We pride ourselves on being responsible sellers with over a decade of trading experience behind us in our Edinburgh flagship store (as well as a lifetime of both being collectors!). We always include our address for returns with any order, and we have a good online profile developed over many years in trading in Edinburgh and online.
PARCELS LOST IN THE POST: We send all parcels tracked and signed for. This is for your own safety. If an item gets lost in the post, then we have to follow Royal Mail guidelines as to when a parcel is deemed by them to be lost.
For UK deliveries: we will consider your parcel as lost after 10 WORKING DAYS after proposed date of delivery; at this point, we personally refund you ourselves.
For international deliveries we will consider your parcel lost as follows: for EU parcels this will be after 20 WORKING DAYS, and for the rest of the world this will be 25 WORKING DAYS.
If your parcel is a little late - please try and be patient - sometimes a parcel gets delayed in the post - and although we can sympathize with the nuisance of postal delays - once a parcel is out of our hands we are quite restricted in what we can do to hurry it along for you. We apologize in advance when delays happen - but we always pay for a quality delivery service for you and are certainly unhappy when your parcel gets delayed. We always post out promptly to you.
If it appears that you have simply changed your mind about your purchase after we have posted out - we would have to request that you agree to pay for all postage costs, especially if there are no actual issues with the condition of the item on receipt and it arrives with you just as described and as shown in our photographs etc.
If you would like further photographs for you to fully assess the condition of an item - please ask for more images of specific areas to be sent to you before you commit to the purchase of an item, and will help satisfy that you are happy with the condition of the item to be sent to you.
All our items for sale are quality vintage items - we try to source items which are in excellent condition with no damages. But where something is very rare, we shall occasionally list these - but any major condition issues will be clearly described for these pieces.
PLEASE ALSO CAREFULLY CHECK THE PHOTOGRAPHS POSTED - AS THESE ALSO FORM PART OF MY DESCRIPTION.
As vintage items - you might expect to find minor scratches or blemishes commensurate with age and use of the item, or indeed which have occurred in the manufacture - but any major faults or issues will, of course, be pointed or photographed for you.
IconicEdinburgh ARE HAPPY TO SHIP TO YOU WORLDWIDE - JUST ASK FOR A PERSONAL POSTAGE QUOTE FOR YOUR LOCATION AND ITEM.
As parcels are charged by weight there is often variations in costs for international shipping. We are happy to provide a personalised quote for your items. We use Royal Mail signed and tracked for postage - and make sure all items are fully insured in transit.
Any parcel over 2kg in weight might prove to be expensive to post; especially to the Americas, Australia and the Far East - but happy to search for the best shipping quotes and services for you.
IconicEdinburgh make sure that we pack up your parcels properly and with care and use sturdy boxes and plenty of bubble wrap to keep safe in transit.
We hardly ever have any problems with items getting broken in transit - but we take full responsibility for any damages in the post.
We always use signed and tracked for post. If an item is lost in transit - again, we take full responsibility for your loss. The Royal Mail sets down guidelines on determining when an item is deemed lost in the post - and at such a date we would fully refund you personally the cost of the item you purchased as well as your posting costs.
We only want happy customers - so will work with you to resolve any issues to your satisfaction.
I am very sorry, but I do not have the ability on Etsy to take any part payments or deposits for orders. I regret that I am also unable to do any lay-away or paying by installments agreements either, bascially due to how the Etsy online payment system is set up,
But if you are seriously interested in an item, I am happy to keep items aside on reserve or hold for you for agreed periods of time. Please feel free to enquire about this option.
All our items are priced at fair market values and many of our items are often rarer pieces and quite difficult to source. We also have to pay nearly 15% of our the stated price in selling fees and charges to Etsy for each transaction.
Sadly, we DO NOT OFFER DISCOUNTS on our stated prices, sorry about this - our best price is the one stated on our listing.
We regret that due to often protracted communications and some rather cheeky discounts being requested - any approaches with regard discounting our prices will not be answered. Sorry about this but nearly every second question we get relates to requests for high discounts and low best offers being submitted.
Thank you for your consideration on this delicate matter.
If you are a new shopper with Etsy - you might wish to check out this helpful step-by-step guide to help you through the buying process: https://www.etsy.com/help/article/339
For parcels under 2kg in weight, we use the Royal Mail tracked and signed for service.
For heavier parcels over 2kg, we use Parcelforce48 (always tracked and signed for) and try to find the best shipping deal for you to keep your shipping costs down.
The Royal Mail Parcelforce postal service is perhaps a little more expensive than other courier companies - but offer you the opportunity for a pick up from a Royal Mail depot if an attempted delivery has been made and you have not been in. We often under-quote shipping costs for Parcelforce and top up for you any required postal tariffs.
If an item is damaged when you open your parcel, you must get in touch with us straight away so that we can take your claim forward for you.
To assist us in claiming for damages on your behalf you MUST provide us with a number of images of the damage.
You must also provide images of the packaging we have used - the exterior of the box and all the internal packing that we have used. PLEASE DO NOT DISPOSE OF THE BROKEN ITEM OR ITS PACKAGING UNTIL YOUR CLAIM IS PROCESSED. The courier company may wish to inspect these.
Sadly, if you cannot provide any images of the damage or packaging, it will invalidate any claims or refunds for the damage.
Rest assured that I will do all I can to take claims through for you promptly and without fuss.