The Leach Pottery in St Ives was established by Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada in 1920. One of the great figures of 20th century art, Leach played a crucial pioneering role in creating an identity for artist potters in Britain and around the world.
Today, following a restoration and rebuild project which was completed in 2008, the Leach Pottery includes the historic workshop and kilns, a dedicated museum space, contemporary gallery and shop and working production studios where the new range of Leach tableware is made by a small international team of potters and apprentices. A new education and research space is being developed on site with support from Cornwall Council and Heritage Lottery Funding.
Museum, Gallery, Artist studio or collective
March - October
Open every day
10.00 - 17.00, Sundays 11.00 - 16.00
November - February
Open Monday - Saturday
10.00 - 17.00
Last admissions to museum 30 minutes before closing
Closed 24, 25 & 26 December
Concessions: £4.00Under 18s: Free if accompanied by an adult
Production studios on site where tableware is made. This is available for sale through the shop, mail order and through other high quality outlets
Trevor Corser: 40 Years a Leach Potter
- 19 March — 28 August 2016 *on now
Trevor Corser was the longest serving member of the Leach Pottery. Born in Oldham in 1938, he arrived in St Ives as a fisherman with no thoughts of becoming a potter and could not have imagined his future involvement in an artistic legacy so important to 20th century ceramics.
Corser began work for Bernard Leach in 1966, packing pots for transit and mixing clay. Over the years he went on to learn the skilled craft of a production potter, making the Pottery’s iconic standard ware and becoming one of the last to remain here until the Pottery’s closure in 2005. Having studied under Bernard Leach, he worked for many years alongside William Marshall and himself became mentor to subsequent Leach apprentice potters. Known for his uncomplicated, functional pots and distinctive glazes, Corser grew to be an acclaimed studio potter in his own right and spent his life making pots firmly within the Leach tradition, many of which are now found in collections all over the world.
- 19 March — 8 May 2016 *on now
Also on show from 19 March, the companion exhibition Leach Heritage runs alongside Trevor Corser: 40 Years a Leach Potter until 8 May. It includes heritage pots made at the Leach Pottery from the mid 1960s onward, including pots made by Trevor both at the Leach Pottery and Gaolyard Studios, heritage pots from the Walker Collection including work by William Marshall, Shigeyoshi Ichino, and Janet and Bernard Leach, and a selection of the old Leach standard ware. The Walker Collection, acquired during a lifelong passion for ceramics, was kindly donated to the Leach by Geoffrey Walker. Geoffrey felt it timely to now pass on his collection and for the works to find new homes and be appreciated by a wider audience. In this respect he has allowed us to sell off selected pieces in order to initiate an acquisition fund which will enable us to buy important work relevant to the Leach Pottery’s heritage.
This exhibition stands as a testament to the Leach style during a period of high productivity and commercial stability. The workshop was producing work of consistent quality and served as a benchmark, and blueprint, for others to follow, and there was a creative energy within the workshop at that time which encouraged the students and staff potters to express themselves through their individual work. As such, Leach Heritage gives a glimpse of a time when Trevor Corser sat alongside some of the major players in the world of studio pottery.
Leach Heritage will be on show in the Leach Pottery Entrance Gallery from 19 March to 8 May. All works are for sale.
- Any age
Leach Pottery, Higher Stennack