Beatrice Wood , (1893-1998), Four Column Vessel, 1995. Lustered earthenware. 9x7x7 inches.


Born in 1893 in San Francisco, California.

Four Column Vessel
is an example of the original ceramic design and glaze Beatrice Wood developed during her lifetime. After World War II, she began making ceramic plates and vessels in order to support herself. Her experiments with lusterware glazes provided the unique green, gold, and pink metallic colors that were unavailable as commercial glazes. They were also extremely difficult to master. She writes, "I keep records of every piece made, and though effects cannot be duplicated the records are stepping stones to new experiments. Rarely am I pleased with the results, but I keep on trying and that is important."

Born to wealthy parents, Wood was raised to be a debutante. She rejected this future in favor of the "simpler" life of an artist. She patronized artists who produced some of the most innovative artistic advances of this century, as well as art collectors. Marcel Duchamp included her drawings in Dada manifestos and taught her to appreciate modern artists such as Matisse and Picasso.

Wood died at age 105 after leading a long and engaged life committed to her art. She did not drink or smoke, nor did she ever stop working in her studio. She believed in staying active. She wrote, "Only in action do we discover what is wrong or right...In the end, it is only hard work that counts."

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