The Artist & Work of Art
Richard Martin Wood was born in Sydney on 15 November 1949 the eldest of the two sons born to Ronald Wood and Irene May née Martin. He was educated at the Sydney Grammar School but left school in 1965 to work in his family’s book and stationery business in Pyrmont. He quit working there in 1969 to travel around Australia with a group of friends. Their car broke down in Mackay and, after repairing the car and completing the trip they returned to Sydney. However, the prospect of living at Mackay appealed to Wood and he settled there in 1972. His involvement with pottery began when he enrolled in hobby classes at the Mackay Education Centre in 1973 while he worked as a crane-driver at the Mackay Sugar Co-operative Association’s Racecourse Mill. He was awarded a master craftsman/trainee grant from the Crafts Board of the Australia Council in 1978 and worked with the Eungella potters, Arthur and Carol Rosser in 1979-80. After completing his traineeship he received a workshop development grant from the Crafts Board and set up his pottery at Black’s Beach Pottery in 1981 and devoted the remainder of his career to the vocation of a potter. He relocated to Ocean Avenue, Slade Point and set up EarthSea Pottery in 1991 and from 1995 worked with his wife, Leonie Snedden. In 1993 he was awarded a Graduate Diploma in Visual Arts from Monash University, Gippsland Campus and in 2001 he completed a Certificate in Science from the James Cook University, Townsville.
His early work demonstrates the interest in salt-glaze firing that followed his training with the Rossers and, subsequently shows in the decorated surfaces of works such as Regions Torridae 1991 (QAG Collection). His work evolved over years and was inspired by bushwalking, windsurfing and scuba-diving and also incorporated the forms of seed pods, bark patterns and island profiles. Wood’s later work exploits glazing techniques from ancient China.
From 1982 he held a number of solo exhibitions including several at the Queensland Potters Association/Fusions Gallery in 1985, 1987 and 1993 (as well a group exhibitions for salt-glazed work). He also shared an exhibition with Leonie at Gallery 10, Townsville in 1996. Wood also exhibited at the Plumridge Gallery, Brisbane in 1986 and 1987. His work has been included in several significant group exhibitions such as 'The Queensland Gift 1988’ (Queensland Potters Association) and 'Decorated clay’ (QAG) 1991 and throughout his career he conducted numerous workshops and received a number of awards for his stonewares throughout North Queensland. His death on 21 June 2007 was caused by melanoma.
This large salt glazed ceramic stoneware storage jar was made by using the coil based technique and is one of Rick's earlier works created in 1986.