Chris Keenan

There are few things that offer Chris Keenan greater satisfaction than being at the wheel, throwing or turning. His work and knowledge of clay occupies a fairly narrow band of the extremely broad ceramic spectrum but that band does go deep. He has only ever used porcelain and for the most part, only two glazes – a mirror black/brown tenmoku and a vivid pale blue celadon – used separately or in combination and as under/overglaze. Work is often made in small batches and for these, repetition is key, but the word “repetition’ belies the reality that each piece represents a separate examination of the form in question and is a nuanced response to a previous incarnation.

In addition, over the past few years, Keenan has made non-functional, interactive installation pieces which have at their core a sense of playfulness, incorporating elements of theatre – a nod to his previous existence as an actor.

Chris Keenan has recently undertaken residencies at Blackwell, the Arts and Crafts House, in Cumbria and at the Mashiko Museum of Ceramic Art in Japan.


  • 1960 Gillingham, Kent


  • 1995-97 Apprentice to Edmund de Waal
  • 1982 Post-Graduate Certificate, Webber-Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art
  • 1981 BA (Hons) Drama, University of Hull


  • 2006 Best in Show, Grand Designs Magazine - awarded at Origin, The London Craft Fair
  • 2005 Best Domestic Product, Evening Standard Homes and Property – awarded at Chelsea Craft Fair
  • 1999 Setting Up Grant, Crafts Council

Selected Exhibitions

  • 2017 Functional Beauty, Jointure Studios, Ditchling
  • 2017 Protégés, Bluecoat Display Centre, Liverpool
  • 2016 Solo Show, Beaux Arts, Bath
  • 2016 Solo Ceramics, New Craftsman Gallery, St Ives
  • 2016 Houseplace, Blackwell, The Arts and Crafts House, Bowness-on-Windermere
  • 2016 Life, Still, Candida Stevens Fine Art, Chichester
  • 2015 Made With Love, Studio 11, Hull
  • 2015 Crafted Alumni, Fortnum & Mason, London
  • 2015 Celadon & Tenmoku, Schaller Gallery, St. Joseph, Missouri, USA
  • 2015 Residency Exhibition, Mashiko Museum of Ceramic Art, Mashiko, Japan
  • 2014 Vessels, Mashiko Museum of Ceramic Art, Mashiko, Japan
  • 2014 Solo Show, The Scottish Gallery, Edinburgh
  • 2014 Out of Sight, Contemporary Applied Arts, London
  • 2014 Craft Into Industry, Contemporary Applied Arts, London
  • 2013 Solo Show, Oxford Ceramics Gallery, Oxford
  • 2013 Make It Slow - part of Art Unpacked, a Chrysalis Arts project, a UK touring exhibition
  • 2013 British Ceramics Biennial, Spode Factory Site, Stoke- on-Trent
  • 2013 Cheongju Ceramic Biennale, Cheongju, Korea
  • 2010 Starting Point Series, Siobhan Davies Dance Studios, London

Selected Publications

  • 2016 The Shape Of Things To Come, Chris Keenan, Ceramic Review, Sept/Oct
  • 2016 The House Guest, Teleri Lloyd-Jones, Crafts Magazine, July/Aug
  • 2014 The Journey Thus Far, Chris Keenan, Ceramic Review, July/Aug
  • 2014 Welcome to British Pottery, Koichiro Isaka, Seikaibunka Publishing, Japan
  • 2012 Making & Drawing, Kyra Cane, Bloomsbury
  • 2012 Throwing, Richard Phethean, A&C Black
  • 2011 Ceramics, Louisa Taylor, Jacqui Small
  • 2009 Contemporary Ceramics, Emmanuel Cooper, Thames & Hudson
  • 2009 Complete Ceramics, Chris Keenan, Collins & Brown
  • 2007 Ceramic Design Course, Anthony Quinn, Quarto Inc.


  • Blackwell, The Arts & Crafts House, Bowness-on-Windermere
  • Contemporary Art Society, London
  • Ashmolean Museum, Oxford
  • Gallery Oldham, Oldham
  • Mashiko Museum of Ceramic Art, Mashiko, Japan
  • mima, Middlesbrough
  • Victoria & Albert Museum, London
  • Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
  • CoCA, York Art Gallery, York

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