WELCH, Robin

1936 - 2019

Robin Welch

Robin James Welch was born at 103 The Long Shoot, Nuneaton, Warwickshire on 23 July 1936, son of Arthur James Welch (8 March 1906-1 April 1975), who worked for the GPO, and his wife Kathleen Lillian Snow (22 November 1906-1992), fourth daughter of William Snow of Nuneaton, who married at Chilvers Coton Church, Nuneaton on 1 May 1931. Robin studied at Nuneaton School of Art before moving to Cornwall in 1953, studying at Penzance School of Art followed by a post-graduate at Londonís Central School of Art in the late 1950s being awarded National Diploma in Design for Sculpture and Ceramics. Robin worked part-time at the St Ives Pottery of Bernard Leach (1887-1979) between 1953 and 1959, spending 1956-1958 with 2nd Battalion Parachute Regiment during National Service, after which he focused his ideas on abstract art towards ceramics. In London, inspired by an exhibition for the great American abstract expressionist Mark Rothko (1903-1970), in 1960 he set up his first workshop, also did part-time teaching in schools and institutes. Three years later he emigrated to Australia and a further three years on, found him moving to East Anglia with his ceramicist wife Jennifer 'Jenny' Knowland, and the couple were based at High House Farm, Wilby Road, Stradbroke, Eye, Suffolk where he lived for the rest of his life. In 1965 they set up a cottage industry, Stradbroke Pottery in an ancient barn, producing domestic ware with several assistants, winning major export orders to America but, due to wife Jenny's neck and back problems, the enterprise was discontinued, but Robin continued to carve out a singular career with related prints, paintings, and very sculptural pots. In 2012, he launched Wymondham Art Society programme with a bold, bright, and big solo show of forty pots and nearly 30 pictures and has also exhibited at Holtís Bircham Gallery, both in Norfolk. His work has been accepted by the Council of Industrial Design and exhibited through the Design Centre London also in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Munich, Salisbury, Johannesburg, Tokyo, and Melbourne. He donated from Stradbroke to the Westhall Secret Postcard Auction in 2013, an oil small particles 'Conglomerate' which realised £38. Robin James Welch died on 5 December 2019, being survived by his widow and four children.

Works by This Artist