Obituary: David Lloyd-Jones

David Lloyd-Jones, potter: born Wimbledon 8 January 1928; married 1955 June Prendergast (one son, three daughters); died York 25 January 1994.

DAVID LLOYD-JONES was a thoughtful potter who made pots for use around the home which were functional, skilfully made and attractive to look at.

Like many who took up studio pottery after being involved in another career, Lloyd-Jones brought to his work a deep commitment and a clear and inspiring sense of direction. Pots for him were things to use and enjoy, objects 'firmly rooted in usefulness'. He made pots to serve as containers of some sort, and most were thrown on the potter's wheel. Glazes were rich, deep and lustrous while his decoration subtly enhanced the form of the pot. Level- headed and unassuming, he was a potter who merged common sense with a sharp eye for design and overall effect, making pots which combined the use of traditional high-firing techniques of the Far East with an awareness of what suited modern life.

Lloyd-Jones first became aware of pots and pottery during army service in India after the war, where he saw village potters at work swiftly making pots for a local market. The impression of skill and satisfaction he witnessed remained a vivid memory. In the 1950s he attended Guildford Art School, 'doing some pottery' with Helen Pincombe, a highly respected potter and teacher who had studied under William Staite Murray. Despite his enjoyment of clay, he became involved in his father-in-law's cinema-owning business in Yorkshire for 11 years.

Perhaps aware of a growing interest in pottery, he purchased a second-hand Leach kick-wheel in 1959, although it was another three years before he set up his own studio at Fulford, York, supported by his wife, June. Very much in tune with the times, David Lloyd-Jones was virtually self-taught, learning the craft as he worked, well aware of current trends and moods. A kiln was built which provided the sorts of subtle effects he admired.

Like many of his contemporaries, Lloyd-Jones greatly admired the ideas and philosophy of Bernard Leach, who imbued the work of the potter with an almost mystical sense in which the potter and the pots were seen as one. Sensibly, Lloyd-Jones responded to the breadth of Leach's ideas rather than seeking to emulate his work, and over the next 10 years his own warm, assured style slowly evolved. In many ways Lloyd-Jones stands as a model in that he admired but was not overwhelmed by such a powerful influence as Leach, whose distinctive, orientally inspired aesthetic could be so stultifying. Lloyd-Jones found his own voice, combining a sure sense of what suited him with processes and effects that produced the sorts of results he liked.

Ever alert to new ideas and processes, he learnt how to create large forms using the 'coil and throw' technique. This involved throwing a base on to which coils of clay were added and then smoothed and refined to produce dynamic and lively shapes. He built a small additional kiln for salt glazing, experimenting with surface textures and, for a time, hand-built forms. But the bedrock of his work was high-quality pots, made in stoneware or porcelain, thrown on the potter's wheel. They were confident, clear in aim and definition.

Keen to encourage the growing public awareness in studio pottery, Lloyd-Jones became a member of the Craftsmen Potters Association in the 1970s and was elected as a council member in the 1980s. For three years he served as Chairman, a position to which he brought sound common sense, level judgement and, most importantly, an enthusiasm for pots which was ably communicated to others. At this time he possessed a powerful motorbike and enjoyed driving from York to London in record time, thrilled by the speed and the open road.

Exhibitions in London and elsewhere consolidated his success. Unlike many potters he preferred, rather than produce work specially for exhibitions, to make them a selection of the finest pots made over a period of time. His pots were acquired by notable institutions such as the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Crafts Council and by many other museums, a recognition of skilled making, overall concept and a pleasing warmth; in 1989 York University awarded him an honorary doctorate. Resisting the urge to make ceramics which shocked or provoked, Lloyd-Jones produced pots which were calm and quietly satisfying, their qualities growing with greater acquaintance.

Five years ago Lloyd-Jones was taken ill with heart trouble; regular spells in hospital since Christmas seemed to promise recovery, but plans for new work and a retrospective were brought to an end by his sudden death.

(Photograph omitted)

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Internal Recruiter - Manufacturing

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Internal Recruiter (manufact...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager (CIPD) - Barking / East Ham - £50-55K

£50000 - £55000 per annum + 25 days holidays & benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Man...

Recruitment Genius: Operations / Project Manager

£40000 - £48000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This software company specialis...

Ashdown Group: Human Resources Manager

£28000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: A successful organisation...

Day In a Page

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation: Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places

The Silk Roads that trace civilisation

Long before the West rose to power, Asian pathways were connecting peoples and places
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled

The honours that shame Britain

Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal are ennobled
When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race

'When it comes to street harassment, we need to talk about race'

Why are black men living the stereotypes and why are we letting them get away with it?
International Tap Festival: Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic

International Tap Festival comes to the UK

Forget Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - this dancing is improvised, spontaneous and rhythmic
War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

BBC heads to the Californian coast

The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

Car hacking scandal

Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
10 best placemats

Take your seat: 10 best placemats

Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future