Bernard Leach (1887-1979)
Born in Japan in 1887, Leach was able to see the making of Japanese raku and craft pottery at close hand. He brought these ideas and aesthetics to Britain in 1920. He and Japanese potter Shoji Hamada went to St Ives to set up a pottery where the maker would control all the creative processes from clay preparation to final glazing and firing.
In 1932 Leach took a position at Dartington at the invitation of Dorothy and Leonard Elmhirst. They wanted him to set up a pottery as part of their rural regeneration project. In 1934 they funded Leach and the painter Mark Tobey to tour Japan where Leach could study stoneware techniques. They also invested in the Leach Pottery in St Ives. In 1941 Leach returned to St Ives after publishing A Potters Book. Leach continued to influence and train many young visiting and apprentice potters, including his own sons.
Leach was also inspired by the North Devon traditional potters and had particular respect for the earthenware work of Edwin Beer Fishley. This piece shows trailed slip, combed to make the wavy decoration.
This dish is one of a collection of nearly fifty pieces which were donated to RAMM by the Contemporary Arts Society in 1942 and 1943. Ernest Marsh, a founder member of the Society in 1910, had been purchasing studio potters’ work throughout 1920s and 1930s. In 1943 the Society made donations to numerous museums such as RAMM. Many of RAMM’s significant pieces of studio ceramics come from this wartime donation.

Object Summary

Accession Loan No.
Collection Class
Studio ceramics
stoneware | | | |
Common Name
Simple Name
Period Classification
Inter War (1918-1939); World War II (1939-1945)
Production Town
St. Ives
Production County
Production Country
United Kingdom: England
Production Person Initials
Production Person Surname
Production Year Low
Production Year High

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