Great Britain 1887 – 1979
St Ives, Cornwall, England
Materials & Technique: ceramics, vases stoneware, stoneware, glazed over iron pigment brush decoration
Bernard Leach was the most influential British potter of the 20th century, his work and writing contributing to the revival of studio crafts from the 1920s. His work drew upon the forms of traditional English medieval pottery and the folk pottery of Japan. He lived and worked in Japan from 1909 to 1920, working with potters such as Ogata Kenzan, Kenkichi Tomimoto and Shoji Hamada, and developing a life-long friendship with Soetsu Yanagi, the founder of Japan’s Mingei folk craft movement. Leach’s philosophy and techniques in his seminal A Potter’s Book was the source of inspiration for potters worldwide from the 1940s.
Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra 2016
Author: Dr Robert Bell AM - Senior Curator Decorative Arts and Design