Tribute: Jeremy White

Jeremy White: 28 Jul 1947 – 4 Dec 2023

Jeremy White was a man of extraordinarily varied creative talents. Born in Dulwich in 1947, he went to Alleyn’s school where he was involved with drama and musical productions. At a young age he was cast in the title role in Saint Joan.

He trained to be a teacher and after graduating joined a comprehensive school in Camberwell where he taught English and Drama. He developed a passion for ceramics, and began teaching pottery. He had a wicked sense of humour, with his classes being ridiculously entertaining.

Through his love of opera and classical music, he developed a friendship with one of his pottery pupils, Judith Jeffrey, who was a professional opera singer. Together they established a theatrical agency specialising in musical theatre. Jeffrey and White became a leader in this field, and they placed talent into major West End musical productions such as The Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Les Miserables etc.

Moving from Soho to Covent Garden, Jeremy devoted his time to placing actors into productions at The National Theatre, RSC etc. He was well known for signature bow ties, flamboyant waistcoats and hats.

We met in 2002 and on retirement Jeremy joined me in Wendover where we redesigned our home, so he could return to his earlier love of ceramics. We had a pottery, kiln, and display area. He joined Bucks Potters who described him as being an extrovert who was tall, debonair and suave. He was a talented potter and raconteur, being generous and warm to budding potters. A group of members used to exhibit annually at a gallery in St Ives, where his wicked sense of humour and generosity made him a must to be part of the team. His 70th birthday was celebrated in St Ives, everyone being in pink or purple. Jeremy wore his pink apron!

Jeremy was part of the Visual Arts group, as he passionately believed in Open Studios. He would encourage local artists to exhibit their work, where it was produced or in a group. At home he talked about his ideas, demonstrating how he worked with clay on the wheel, slab work, moulding, and sculpturing. Then the glazing and firing processes, with the finished pieces on display. His inspiration came from the colours and rock formations in Cornwall. He made torsos with a variety of organic effects, fissure rock formation pieces, and work of different shapes and forms. He liked the way that by using two glazes that overlapped, he could create at least three different colours and effects. Of course at the wheel he would make mugs, jugs and even dining sets. The photo shows Jeremy demonstrating at Obsidian Gallery, wearing his pink apron.

Godfrey Thorpe