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Edmund de Waal

(British b.1964)

Edmund de Waal was introduced to ceramics at an early age, first taught at school by Geoffrey Whiting and later as an apprentice. After graduating from Cambridge with a degree in English he dedicated himself to pursuing ceramics. His fascination with Japanese ceramics and culture led him in 1991 to take up a course studying Japanese for a year in England followed by a year in Tokyo. In Tokyo, he studied Japanese while also working on the Leach archive at the Japanese Folk Crafts Museum and continuing his own making.  In 1993 he returned to London and set up his own studio where he produced the distinctive porcelain works with celadon glazes for which he is best known.

From 1996 de Waal began to conceive of his pots in groups, calling these collections ‘cargoes’, and since around 2000 he has focused on making large-scale installations. Major installations have been displayed at Chatsworth House, the V&A, and the Museum of the Home (formerly the Geffrey Museum), amongst other locations around the UK and worldwide.

Alongside his making he is also known for his writing. He published a monograph on Bernard Leach in 1997, and his bestselling family memoir The Hair with Amber Eyes won the Costa Biography Award in 2010. This was followed with The White Road (2015) on the history of porcelain and Letters to Camondo (2021).

De Waal was made an OBE in 2011 and CBE in 2021 for services to the arts.

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Edmund de Waal | Porcelain Group



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