Bernard Leach Pottery In St Ives To Become Centre Of Excellence

By 24 Hour Museum Staff | 10 March 2008
a photo looking through a glass door at a cut out sculpture and white buildings

The view through the glass door entrance of the Bernard Leach Pottery in St Ives. © Leach Pottery

The internationally renowned Leach Pottery, in St Ives, Cornwall, which reopened its doors to the public on March 6 following a £1.7 million transformation, is set to become an international centre of excellence celebrating the life and influence of its creator Bernard Leach.

One of the great figures of 20th Century art, Bernard Leach played a pioneering role in developing ceramics in Britain and around the world. The establishment of the Leach Pottery in 1920 led to the development of his reputation as a key pioneering figure in the ceramics world.

Now a partnership between the pottery and University College Falmouth, will enable students to work alongside established craftspeople to develop their techniques at the newly reopened centre. There will also be mentoring for business start-ups and studio space for emerging talent.

“The Leach Pottery will once again become a place where quality work is made, young potters are inspired and trained, and visitors are introduced to the Leach heritage and the significance of ceramics in the cultural world of today,” said Chairman of the Bernard Leach (St Ives) Trust Limited, Lady Carol Holland.

Black and white photo of Bernard Leach with white hair and moustache working on a ceramic jug

One of the great figures of 20th Century art, Bernard Leach played a pioneering role in developing ceramics in Britain and around the world. © ACE

To help with these aims the Pottery recently scored a significant coup in attracting Jack Doherty, the chairman of the Craft Potters Association of Great Britain and the organising committee of Ceramic Art London, as its new lead potter.

For over 50 years Leach taught, wrote and trained other potters, combining Japanese and European aesthetics through his work. Today, many international links are still in existence between Leach Pottery and Japan in particular. The newly launched centre will now continue this tradition of training and innovation.

The transformation of the centre has been funded by, amongst others, Arts Council England South West, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the European Regional Development Fund, the Rural Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Partnership, Penwith District Council, Cornwall County Council and St. Ives Town Council and trusts and foundations, membership subscriptions and by the local Leach Pottery Support Group.

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