(b Chemnitz, Lower Saxony, 8 April 1920; d Frome, Somerset, 16 June 1981). British potter of German birth. He arrived in England from Germany as a refugee in 1939 and in 1946 joined Lucie Rie as a trainee assistant; together they produced sets of domestic ware (jug and beakers, 1950-55; London, V&A). Coper's first stoneware pots were small, incised or painted with lively designs. In 1959 he moved to Digswell, Herts, where he developed the flattened spade-, thistle- and tulip-shaped cup forms on cylindrical columns or bases for which he is known (1968, 1975; London, V&A). He produced wheel-thrown stoneware containers influenced by ancient Chinese, Egyptian and Mediterranean pottery. His work bridges the territory between vessel and art object, and he revived the old technique of hand-building. Among his early hand-built pieces are pilgrim-bottle vases on short columns with lightly textured or matt glazes in neutral colours or coated with manganese oxide and burnished. In 1983 the Hans Coper Memorial Collection was established at the Sainsbury Centre for the Visual Arts, Norwich.
From The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Decorative Arts, Furniture, and Industrial Design.