22 June - 28 July 2011

Including works by:
Janet Leach, William Marshall, Ben Nicholson, Jason Wason

The St Ives pottery, established by Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada in that Cornish townin 1920, is regarded as one of the most important creative ceramic centres in the world. This exhibition presents the work of three potters who, for a short period in the late 1970’s, worked side by side at the Leach Pottery, but whose careers and styles soon became juxtaposed to one another. However, underpinning the work of each, there remained the essential legacies of Bernard Leach; a hard won technical discipline based on the mastering of classic forms on the wheel, and the use of clay to arrive at a wider aesthetic truth.

Selected works on paper by Ben Nicholson will also be displayed.


Janet Leach (nee Darnell, 1918-1997) a formidable Texan by nature, was the first western woman to work in a Japanese pottery. Following an introduction by Bernard, she studied under Hamada in Mashiko in 1954, before training at a more rural traditional pottery. She married Leach in 1956, settled in St Ives and for the next forty years ran the pottery.

William Marshall (1923-2007) was born in St Ives, and taken on by the pottery as a fourteen year old apprentice in 1938.  In time he became the foreman as well as teacher to many of the students. He has been described as Bernard’s hands, being responsible for throwing many of Leach’s later pots, leaving them for the elderly potter to decorate. Marshall left the pottery in 1977 to set up his own workshop.

Jason Wason (b.1946) taught himself the rudiments of throwing on a home-made wheel at a Scottish commune before moving to Cornwall.  In 1976 he became one of the last apprentices at the Leach Pottery during Bernard’s lifetime. Setting up his own studio in 1981, his ceramics have distinguished him as one of the finest ceramicists of his generation. Wason continues to exhibit internationally. DOWNLOAD CV