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Michael Cardew


Alias: Michael Ambrose Cardew

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Michael Ambrose Cardew CBE (1901–1983), was an English studio potter who worked in West Africa for twenty years. Cardew was born in Wimbledon, London, the fourth child of Arthur Cardew, a civil servant, and Alexandra Kitchin, the eldest daughter of G.W.Kitchin, the first Chancellor of Durham University. His family had a holiday home in North Devon, where Arthur Cardew collected Devon country pottery. Cardew first saw this pottery being made in the workshop of Edwin Beer Fishley at Fremington and learned to make pottery on the wheel from Fishley's grandson, William Fishley Holland.

He gained a scholarship to read Classics at Exeter College, Oxford. Already preoccupied with pottery, he graduated with a third class degree in 1923.

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