Phil acted as guide and mentor to many aspiring potters over the years. By his late forties he had gained a global reputation as both a maker and an educator, and he had pieces in the permanent collectors of museums including the V&A Museum, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts and the Museum of Contemporary Ceramics in Mashiko. He worked tirelessly, both on a personal level and through the craft trusts he chaired and served to promote ceramics and craft skills. He exhibited, lectured and mentored from Korea to the USA and was always an impeccable advocate of both his craft and his country.
The last time I spoke with Phil he was calm and philosophical about his terminal illness. Not for him his fellow countryman’s invocation, ‘to rage against the dying of the light’. What I heard was the courage and strength that defined his life.
We will miss Phil, but we won’t forget him. He helped, guided and inspired those who knew him, and his books such as Ash Glazes, Throwing Pots, Salt Glazing, and A Portfolio leave a lasting legacy. But Phil’s greatest gift to all of us are his pots – thousands and thousands of pots spread around the globe – practical objects of beauty and contemplation enhancing our lives. Yes, my friend, you live on.
Goldmark will mount a Phil Rogers memorial exhibition later in 2021 (dates TBC)