Soda firing at the Leach Pottery
The new Leach tableware range is made and fired on site the Leach Pottery by our team of production potters, assisted by interns and students. Making tableware is central to Leach and draws on the principle of ‘learning by doing’ established in the early days, when production of Standard Ware was the mainstay of the pottery’s activities. Today the tableware is made, as it always was, with local clay and is designed for function and beauty; decorated with a limited range of slips before soda-firing in our gas kilns – Soda firing the Leach Pottery. Leach tableware is available to buy through our shop the Leach Pottery and our web shop, plus a limited number of quality outlets.
South African born ceramicist Roelof Uys took up the role of Senior Production Potter at the Leach Pottery in May 2013. Uys studied Art at East London Technical College, South Africa and founded his first ceramics studio in Limpopo Province in 1992, where he collaborated with potter Solomon Matatoko. He went on to work in Kysna as a Resident Potter at Bitou Crafts, founded by Clementina van der Walt, before starting his own production pottery in Cape Town, where he also served on the Committee of the Western Cape Potters Association. As part of the pottery’s senior management team Uys supervises the training of student apprentices and visiting interns, and oversee the production of the new Leach Tableware & Soda firing at the Leach Pottery.
Born in North Carolina, Kat Wheeler studied ceramics at the Appalachian Centre for Crafts at Tennessee Tech University. While studying for her Bachelor of Fine Arts she also worked part-time for Knoxville studio potters Peter Rose and Judy Brater, maintaining the studio and expanding her knowledge of production techniques and Soda firing at the Leach Pottery. As part of her course Kat spent a semester studying abroad at the Australia National University, and on completing her BFA came to St Ives to work at the Leach Pottery as a volunteer apprentice. In January 2012 she joined the studio staff as our first full-time Production Potter, making the new range of Leach Tableware.
The Leach Pottery, St Ives
Founded in 1920 by Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada, the Leach Pottery is among the most respected and influential studio
potteries in the world. Over the last hundred years it has forged the shape of studio pottery production in the UK and beyond.
Scores of potters, students and apprentices from across the world have come to the Leach Pottery to train, creating a uniquely
international environment in the heart of Cornwall, and maintaining the pottery’s creative principle of East/West exchange.
Today the newly restored Leach Pottery studio, museum and gallery are continuing the development of Bernard Leach’s historic legacy.