Monday, October 25, 2010

The Potteries



Bernard Leach

One of my enduring memories of St Ives was visiting the now abandoned potteries where Bernard Leach set up his remarkable 'Art & Crafts' factory. After being involvemed at Dartington and working in Japan to study oriental skills, slips and glazes he returned to St Ives to set up this very special Japanese style kiln.

Anyone interested in a pot or a jug must have seen Leaches work, his exquisite forms are very evident.
The simplicity of life and style of work is still evident in these workshops.
There was no desire for cleverness, innovation or slick creativity, they aimed for a 'rightness' in a pot. An ancient quality that carries an internal authenticity. The work breathes a rare quality over time.

The restored 16mm films running there show the apprentices, assistants and the master working and talking in these very rooms and on these wheels. A beautiful and sympathetically arranged set of rooms that remain with me.