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Artist's statement.

Robert Wagener is a sculptural ceramicist from Johannesburg, South Africa whose work has toured the USA.

Robert is fascinated by all aspects of the ceramic process which seem akin to the volcanic origins of the earth itself, opening the kiln, as with most potters, has become an addiction.

The primary focus of Robert's work are shape, form and texture. Working in clay, he is mainly interested in the combination of ceramics with other materials, different metals, glass and wood, where the possibilities seem enticingly endless.

"My love of art and sculpture started very early on and while growing up I would devour books and magazines on the subject. 

Roughly fifteen years ago I started going to the Anne Rimbault Pottery Studio, in Johannesburg, and suddenly I found a void in my life being filled. Sometime later at a Clay Festival I saw a demonstration by the great Nic Sithole on the wheel. Inspired, I transferred to The Pottery Studio in Bryanston, where Nic was working with the late Colleen Lehmkuhl. There I was privileged to meet Michelle Legg, a master artist and a wonderful teacher. I have had the good fortune to work under John Shirley whose vast knowledge and experience in all aspects of ceramics is legendary.

I was very honoured to have one of my earliest coiled and carved pieces acquired for the Corobrik Collection in 2013. Then a piece made in a press mould from a thrown form called ‘Dark Star’ reached the finals for the Zanesville Prize for Contemporary Ceramics in Ohio, USA in 2015.


Technical difficulties with the grogged clay I was using in the press moulds led me to paperclay.

I now found myself making numerous geometric forms with paperclay.  Most of this work was glazed in powdered copper that leaves a black metallic surface.  These pieces I often combined with slumped glass, the crystalline quality contrasting with the black surfaces. Inspired by the sculptural work of Yukiya Izumita, and it occurred to me that these could be used to create ‘layered’ forms. Nest-like moulded bowls, but also the layered pieces like Sirocco I and II using a process like coiling ensued.  Sirocco I was selected for the Particle & Wave: PaperClay Illuminated series of exhibitions which toured the USA from 2019 to 2021".   

Artist's CV is available here. 

A catalog is available for download here.

Please email, or  contact us at 021 7885584 for a price llist.


Robert Wagener

Bronze  Vessel, Ovoid III

Coiled stoneware& Bronze .

H. 460 x W 360 x 265mm

his vessel was coiled using a coarse (heavily grogged) white clay and fired to bisque, then a mould was made and the vessel cast in bronze. The textured exterior is patinated in mottled shades of green and brown with a polished rim. 


Robert Wagener

Dewfall  II (2021)

H. 655 x Diameter 200mm.

This vessel was coiled in coarse (heavily grogged) white clay and fired to bisque, then a mould was made and the vessel cast in bronze. The textured exterior is patinated in green tones, and the interior is black. The name is derived from its drop - like shape.

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