Wason has always retained a strong independence. He is essentially a self-taught artist, rather than a product of the art college system. From a young age he travelled the world and experienced a multitude of cultures – the Balkans, the middle East and Asia. Indeed, it was his skill as a craftsman which supported these travels, and he learnt various local practices whilst also exporting local jewellery.
In 1972 Wason settled in Scotland where he set up a co-operative with a weaver, a saddler and a jeweller. It was here that he started potting. Four years later, he moved to Cornwall and started work at Bernard Leach’s St Ives Pottery as an assistant in the production of domestic pottery and became accomplished at the traditional ‘thrown on the wheel’ technique.
Initially, Wason made functional pieces but by the late eighties he found he was concentrating on increasingly bigger, more ambitious vessels. They were objects inspired by the great ceremonial wares of the past, and by his deep affinity with nature – broad deep bowls, jars, pouring vessels, disk-like containers, lidded jars and big dishes – and fused ancient elements of form with the many types of craft he had seen on his travels whilst also retaining the direct, ever-present light, colour and texture of his Cornish home. Wason’s ceramic pieces are much more than functional ceramics, they are works of art and Pangolin are delighted to be working with Wason in his recent exploration casting these works into bronze and silver.