Svend Bayer

Born: 1946

Even the most celebrated of artists and makers take credence from their teachers and peers.  Of Svend Bayer, acknowledged as one of the foremost potters of our day, Michael Cardew said  "I speak of him with awe and fear. He is more than just a potter, he is a force of nature. Everything comes to him so easily. Now one could say 'ah, this kind of facility must be dangerous to his talent'. Then you can say the same about the infant Mozart. I'm not saying that Svend is Mozart. What I do say is that he is easily my best pupil and I believe that his extreme facility will be very useful to his talent." *

Bayer is best known for protracted wood firing. The alchemy is unique, derived from locally sourced elements. His large garden pots are impressive and beautiful.  Domestic wares, and smaller pieces beautifully formed and refined through their extended union with heat and ash, typically using a wood-fired, cross-draught, single-chamber 800 cu.ft. kiln, now retired and based Devon, with much of his work held in major collections across the world.

He was born of Swedish parents in Uganda in 1946, and came to England when he was sixteen. He studied at Exeter University from 1965 to 1968 and started working with Michael Cardew at Wenford Bridge in 1969. In 1972 he joined the Brannam Pottery where he worked as a thrower for a year. After travelling in the Far East, Asia and the U.S.A. seeking out large scale wood fired kilns, he set up his workshop in Devon.

His work is sometimes plain, sometimes boldly decorated, always compelling and energising.