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Beatrice Wood
Beatrice Wood
April 26-Jul 17, 2021
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The Frank Lloyd Gallery is pleased to present an online exhibit of selected pottery by Beatrice Wood. This small group of shimmering pots by the legendary Wood, a sample of her most well-known work, is the fifth time we have shown her ceramics.

By the time of her death at the age of 105, Beatrice  Wood (1893--1998) had become a well-recognized figure in the world of ceramic art, renowned as much for her luster glaze as for her longevity, vitality, and charm. Wood was known for her marvelous pottery, but also for her association with the avant garde of New York in the early 20th century. An early participant in the spiritual movement of the West Coast, Wood went to see renowned Theosophy leader Krishnamurti, who was holding gatherings in Ojai, a small community outside of Los Angeles. She became legendary during her later decades at her beloved Ojai studio and home.

Wood was 40 years old by the time she began experimenting with ceramics and found her true vocation. It was during a trip to Holland when she walked into an antique shop and saw six luster plates, and was charmed by them. She brought them back to Los Angeles, and she set about learning ceramics, attempting to make a teapot to match the six plates. The teapot was long in coming, but Wood discovered her affinity for clay immediately.

Thus began her love for clay. She worked throughout her later years, almost every day. Her statement to an interviewer at age 89 reveals one of her secrets: "Before I fall asleep at night, I form a general picture of what I'm going to do the next day...I make a list of what I'm going to do the next day in pottery, the letters I am going to write, the people I'm going to telephone. Then the next day I go into my studio and do it. I don't lose time going in a circle thinking about things."

As a potter, Wood was fascinated by the glazing process from the beginning, and dedicated much energy to the study of luster glazing techniques. At her studio in Ojai, Wood began perfecting her own version of the luster glaze. At first this glaze adorned the more conventional dinner sets and figurines, but by the early 1970's, Wood had established a reputation as a fine artist. She turned her focus to more complex, decorative vessels, and her work was increasingly sought after by galleries and museums.