A – Z

Michael OBRIEN

Lidded casserole C1839 Michael OBRIEN
Lidded casserole
C1839
Deep bowl C1840 Michael OBRIEN
Deep bowl
C1840
Souffle dish C1841 Michael OBRIEN
Souffle dish
C1841
Souffle dish C1842 Michael OBRIEN
Souffle dish
C1842
Plate C1859 Michael OBRIEN
Plate
C1859
Plate C1843 Michael OBRIEN
Plate
C1843
Plate C1844 Michael OBRIEN
Plate
C1844
Plate C1845 Michael OBRIEN
Plate
C1845
Plate C1846 Michael OBRIEN
Plate
C1846
Plate C1847 Michael OBRIEN
Plate
C1847
Plate C1848 Michael OBRIEN
Plate
C1848
Plate C1849 Michael OBRIEN
Plate
C1849
Plate C1850 Michael OBRIEN
Plate
C1850
Plate C1851 Michael OBRIEN
Plate
C1851
Plate C1852 Michael OBRIEN
Plate
C1852
Plate C1853 Michael OBRIEN
Plate
C1853
Plate C1854 Michael OBRIEN
Plate
C1854
Plate C1855 Michael OBRIEN
Plate
C1855
 C1856 Michael OBRIEN

C1856
 C1857 Michael OBRIEN

C1857
Plate C1858 Michael OBRIEN
Plate
C1858

Dates: b. 1930

Born in Uganda, the family returned to the UK when he was four but he always felt he had an affinity for Africa.  He attended Westminster School , Camberwell Art College and the undertook teacher training at London Institute.  For six years he taught in Leicestershire but took the opportunity of a ‘sabbatical’ to learn pottery. First at Farnham Art College with Henry Hammond and Gwyn Hanssen Pigott and then he persuaded Michael Cardew to take him on at Abuja in Nigeria. As Cardew by then was deemed to be about to retire the Nigerian authorities saw OBrien as an appropriate person to take on the running of Abuja Pottery which he did 1966-72 creating a more streamlined production, building a more efficient kiln and eventually redesigning the buildings.  The pottery was popular with expatriates but sold relatively little to Nigerians.  OBrien divided his time between Nigeria and the UK and for periods in the 1970s worked at Cardew’s Wenford Bridge Pottery where he was always known as Seamus.  In 1979 he returned to teach pottery at a Nigerian university hoping to train young potters to work without the need to rely on imported materials. In the 1990s OBrien set up a pottery with Danlami Aliyu at Minna but was for a time expelled after a disagreement with one of the Nigerian backers.  Although he has a family home near Epsom he spent much of his time in Nigeria and has been involved in a number of pottery enterprises in that country.  OBrien was close to Michael Cardew’s values and ways of working but brought to pottery production more rigorous control of working systems and technical aspects.

Menu
×
Menu