John ffrench Vase, Kilkenny Ireland
John ffrench (no typo -- this is how it's spelled!) created this intriguing pot in Kilkenny Ireland in the 1950s or 60s. It is coiled construction, fine and light weight for its size and measures apx. 12 in. tall and 8 in. wide. The rim tapers to a fine thinness, a vulnerability that lead to some damage. As seen in the pics, a couple chips have popped out and been reglued. The bottom is marked J.FF Kilkenny.
John ffrench was born in Dublin in 1919. He spent 4 years in Italy in the early 1950s studying modernist pottery making. In 1956 he returned to Ireland and set up a studio in Kilkenny. In a departure from the "little brown pot" popular in Britain at the time, his pots were brightly colored. The patchwork style of design that he adopted at times derived from Murano glass, and may well be an influence in this piece.
From 1957-1962 ffrench resided in India where lived on an ashram and embraced the handmade craft tradition lifestyle. In 1962 ffrench returned to Ireland and founded the Arklow Studio Pottery. He also was involved with the Government's effort to improve Irish design and was employed as an expert at Kilkenny Studios where colorfully glazed pots as well as many other crafts were produced. In 1969 Mr. ffrench moved to America and founded a studio in Massachusetts. In 2007, Mr. ffrench was honored with a lifetime achievement award by the Arts Council of Ireland.