Olsen has been a ceramic artist for over 40 years making both thrown
functional pottery forms and sculptural ceramics. He has specialised
in wood firing, using the natural build up of fly ash falling and
melting on the clay and glaze to give rich and vibrant surfaces
- flames and ash leaving their distinctive flashes and colors.
approached Fred Olsen in the early 1960's with the idea of going
to Japan. He had been experimenting with Japanese-style tenmoku
glazes and was already an expert in the art of throwing stoneware
and porcelain. In those days it was not so simple to acquire sponsorship
to live in Japan but a Japanese English professor managed it through
the kyoto City College of Fine Arts. Fred's story of his time in
Japan is a book in itself but suffice it to say that the experience
changed his life. He learned Japanese, worked with two fanous cobalt
calligraphers and ceramic artists in Tomimoto Kenkichi and Kondo
Yuzo and was in general a fine help to Tomimoto-sensei as well as
being his faithful student."
retired professor, ceramic artist and world famous author.
a generation, Olsen has inspired countless aspiring clay artists
with his inherent communication skills, easy charm, playfulness,
laid-back humour and rigorous self discipline. Fred Olsen is truly
a potter of distinction and his lifes journey has been one
of adventure and good fortune.
based potter and freelance writer.
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