ROOKE, Bernard

1938 - ?

Bernard Rooke

Bernard G. Rooke was born at Ipswich in 1938, son of Horace Charles Rooke (7 August 1913-1989), a butcher, and his wife Dorothy Florence née Emeny (29 May 1913-13 September 1973), who married at Ipswich in 1935. Bernard studied at the Ipswich School of Art 1955-1959, for his NDD in painting and lithography, before moving on to the Goldsmiths College, London for a year's study in printmaking and ceramics. It was at Goldsmiths' that he decided to take up pottery and in 1960 he set up his workshop in Forest Hill, London, sharing the premises with Alan Wallwork (1931-2019). At that time, progressive designs were readily accepted and Rooke applied his efforts to making pieces of a sculptural nature. To supplement his income during this period he lectured at London University and at Goldsmiths' College. His early pieces were fashioned by hand using coils and blocks and Rooke found that whereas a work might not find a market as a piece of sculpture, if made into a lamp base it was more readily acceptable to the public. His lamp bases were popular and proved a mainstay until the present day. Rooke's philosophy is that he needs to make two types of pottery; that which is easily produced and will find a ready commercial market, and that which exercises his artistic talents to the full. Both are necessary for each other - one providing the independence for the other to survive and one providing designs for the other to continue. In 1963 the pottery moved to larger premises in Greenwich, but ever in need of more space, in 1967 Bernard moved to a huge mill building at Swilland, near Ipswich. He married at Greennwich, London in 1963, Susan Robertson and Bernard's son, Aaron, now manages production at the pottery, leaving Bernard to divide his time between potting, painting, making digital photo-collages, and making music.

Works by This Artist