Brian Keyte


Master Potter

Like many, I base my work on observations of the natural world because it appeals to my aesthetic senses. Having spent much of my life in the sciences my next natural inclination is, like Prof Sumner Miller, to ask, “Why is it so?” Without knowing why something appeals, how can we possibly hope to make something that does so? Why does anything based on nature seem to appeal to us? Well, many of us. The only hypothesis I can arrive at, so far, is because we have co evolved with it and therefore feel unthreatened or even comforted by it.

My works therefore use the mathematics of nature such as the Fibonacci progression and the golden mean, or Phi, as a basis for form and glaze application. Not rigidly so but as a guide as to what may appeal more to our senses.

Since I have been observing nature in detail, I find more of a fascination with the mundane but little observed natural processes such as shading and countershading, one way that nature has evolved to hide things in plain sight. Other ways too, such as dappling and streaking.

One particular fascination is fluids and their behaviour. As seen in my “splash” and the spheroid or teardrop forms. I was looking at a new leaf on my avocado tree with a view to glaze colour when I noticed several droplets run together, roll to the tip of the leaf, hang there for an instant and then fall into a birdbath. That hanging drop became a bottle, the falling drop a spheroid form, the landing drop an oblate form and finally “splash” was born.