The craftsman, Bruce Murray, was a student of Marguerite Wildenhain, the world renowned Bauhaus potter. Murray works in a 700-year-old European tradition using colored slips and incised decorations. He has been making pots for over 25 years on these beautiful grounds.
He began his career handbuilding in Berkeley in the late sixties. By chance he met a student of Marguerite Wildenhain’s and was so struck by the authenticity of the student’s work that he sought out Wildenhain and became her student.
“The first time I met Marguerite I told her that I wanted to move to Vermont and set up a pottery. She looked me straight in the eye and said: “I can save you ten years”. This proved to be an understatement.”
In 1969, in collaboration with Phyllis Murray (1942-1998) and Steve Daniel, he founded South Road Pottery. There was no interstate and the road was unpaved until 1978. Times changed, roads improved, more people found the pottery and now more than half of the work is sold directly.
A number of other artists have influenced Murray. “I love Modigliani’s economy of line and Matisse’s use of color. Susan Peterson’s rapturous account of Shoji Hamada, the great Japanese potter, gave me the template of a social potter who allows himself the joy and luxury of visitors.”
South Road Pottery is in an eighteenth century timber-frame barn renovated as a studio and showroom and surrounded by the open fields of an old and unusually beautiful dairy farm. Any trip to the Upper Valley will be made even more memorable with a visit to this unforgettable pottery. It is in the rolling hills of West Bradford, about 25 miles north of Hanover, New Hampshire.
All the stoneware is handmade and hand decorated. The work is a celebration of everyday life and its use makes daily events more ceremonious and pleasurable. The pottery ranges from functional to ornamental. Murray’s work has been exhibited in several museum shows and is treasured by collectors from all over the world.
Both the serious collector and the newcomer to pottery will feel at ease with this broad selection of trays, planters, lamps, vases, mugs and decorative plaques. So, whether you are a collector, need a special wedding gift for your niece, or just need some new handmade mugs and bowls, visit South Road Pottery.
Bruce Murray: Potter
3458 South Road
Bradford, VT 05033
Phone: (802) 222-5798
FAX: (802) 222-4725
Photo by W. Keith McManus