Derek Andrews Obituary | Ceramics

My brother Derek Andrews, who has died aged 89, was a much-loved potter and painter who lived in Cambridgeshire, helped by his spouse Margot, additionally an artist, with whom he ran a profitable pottery. Derek had skilled for six months in 1958 with the distinguished artist Bernard Leach at his pottery in St Ives, Cornwall; he additionally turned a gifted panorama painter.

Recognized with most cancers final yr, Derek opted out of chemotherapy and as a substitute, on the age of 88, turned to a brand new self-discipline – steel sculpture. He exploited a way of well-being which culminated in a profitable exhibition of his work final winter on the Outdated Fireplace Engine Home in Ely.

Born in Croydon, Surrey (now the London Borough of Croydon), Derek was the son of Fanny (née Maybourn), who had labored for a physician in Harley Road, and Arthur Andrews, a railway signalman. He was educated at Archbishop Tenison’s Faculty, Croydon, and on leaving at 16 went to work within the native council workplace. A interval of nationwide service within the military adopted, throughout which Derek realized that council work was not for him. A lot to our dad and mom’ disapproval, he declared that he needed to be a potter. (“This is not work, it is a pastime,” Arthur stated.)

Derek Andrews in his studio with Jive, his newest artistic piece

Undaunted, Derek secured a spot in 1952 at Bretton Corridor instructor coaching school in Yorkshire, the place he met Margot, whose surname additionally occurred to be Andrews, a gifted painter who had skilled on the Slade Faculty of Artwork in London.

In 1955 they married and for the following 20 years each taught at faculties and faculties in Suffolk and the Fen nation. Derek was then invited to show ceramics part-time at Bretton Corridor, which gave him the chance to take a Nationwide Diploma in Design at Leeds Faculty of Artwork and expertise utilizing plaster molds and slip casting.

In 1974, Derek and Margot felt the necessity to make a change. They needed to surrender educating to run their very own pottery and began taking a look at plenty of potential buildings within the Fen space.

Ultimately they discovered a derelict coal depot in a village close to Ely, which over the following 20 years turned not solely their house, but additionally the profitable Prickwillow Pottery. There they produced a gentle line of merchandise on the market, together with mugs, jugs, dolls, home made plates and the very talked-about “Jack Spratt” sauce boat. They retired in 1995 to dwell in Cambridge and extra lately in Ely.

Derek liked music and the humanities and was blessed with tireless creativity. He was additionally a person of kindness and persistence. After having fun with the success of the Ely present, he requested no funeral or commemoration, saying: “This exhibition of my work is my ultimate gesture of a life properly spent, thus creating my very own commemorative event.”

Derek is survived by Margot, myself and his nephews, Jeremy and Dan, and niece, Nicky.

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