Brian Cook Shand - Wee Man

Brian Cook Shand

Brian Cook Shand CV

Who is Brian Cook Shand - continued....

Brian Cook Shand

I mainly work in stoneware clay - red earthenware is too sticky for the way I like to make.  Working clay to its vitrification point ensures that it has the same tactile quality as the glazes that I use - through the whole piece being on the same “wavelength” it maintains the philosophy of being true to the material.



What makes a ‘BCS’ piece....?  It’s a technical thing - my work shows freedom but tightness - it’s the mechanics which are important to me.  Most of my customers won’t analyse the pieces that they buy, but it is the things that they don’t see that make a ‘BCS’ piece - the footring of a bowl, where the curve of the piece springs from - the unseen parts have to be right to make the whole piece what it is.


I make my own glazes and don’t use artificially produced colours.  By using natural materials (copper, iron, cobalt, tin oxide, zirconium...) my range is limited - but I don’t believe that I need that many colours to make an impact... And by decorating onto a porous glaze soft surface the marks that I make have to be spontaneous!



One of my favourite things to make are teapots - it’s a mechanical equation putting all the pieces together - a good teapot will make people smile, even if they don’t realise why - it’s the balance of all the pieces fitting together that makes it work as a single piece.



Like a little black dress, the simpler something is, then the more difficult it is to put your signature on as an artist - hopefully you’ll enjoy my style....

Brian Cook Shand

I have often seen students make a nice pot and then be scared to decorate it in case it ruins all their hard work - this reluctance often means that the decoration ends up being too restrained and the pot loses something in the process.  My decoration comes from hard learnt confidence - the wrong brushwork can spoil a piece, but the confidence of one big brushstroke can keep a piece alive by carrying through the spontaneity from when it was thrown.