HAHG Lecture: Alan Caiger-Smith and the Aldermaston Pottery

On 5 December 2023, the Henley Archaeological and Historical Group enjoyed seasonal treats and an extensively-illustrated presentation by the practising potter Jane White on the work of Alan Caiger-Smith and the studio he established at Aldermaston.

Alan founded his studio in 1955, in a former blacksmith’s shop acquired for only £500. His work revived the then-unfashionable decorated tin-glaze pottery and lustre-ware, and was inspired by pottery from mediaeval Iraq, Spain and Italy. He was soon joined by Geoffrey Eastop – later to become John Piper’s potter – and about 60 other assistants. Alan was very keen for him and his assistants to become involved in all stages of the production process, from preparation of the clay to decoration, glazing and firing, to understand how each stage affected the final outcome.

On leaving Aldermaston Pottery, his assistants were able to set up on their own and practised their skills around the world – India, Australia, Ireland and America. The Pottery itself closed finally in 2006 and Alan died in 2020, but his work lives on in collections.

HAHG’s first talk of 2024 will as usual be given at the Chantry House in Henley at 7.30 for 7.45pm, on Tuesday 3 January, by Miles Clifford, a PhD student at the University of Reading, who will speak about the effect of river maintenance on the archaeological material recovered from the Thames.




Leave a Comment

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *