Leach, David

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David Andrew Leach was born in Tokyo in 1911, and was first taught to pot not by his father Bernard but by Shoji Hamada. He made his first pot in 1917. In 1920 he and his family moved back to England. He studied at North Staffordshire Technical College and in 1930 joined the St. Ives Pottery (since 1920) where he stayed, on and off, for twenty-five years. In 1937 he joined his father Bernard as a full partner in the St. Ives Pottery. The kiln was converted into oil. Furthermore he helped the family business in artistic, practical, technical and managerial capacities. In 1953 he headed the ceramics department of Loughborough College. By that time he established Aylesford Pottery. Already one year later he handed it over to Colin Pearson. After the handover of Aylesford Pottery he moved to Bovey Tracey in Devon and set up Lowerdown Pottery. At first earthenware was produced, but he later moved on to stoneware and porcelain after building a two chambered oil-fired kiln in 1961. In the late 70's he traveled to the United States as well as many other countries to conduct workshops at universities and art centers. He was awarded the O.B.E in 1987, and is important for his development of porcelain suitable for studio pottery and his services to education. David died February 15th, 2005. His three sons; John, Jeremy and Simon are all potters.

Images: David Leach in his studio; David Leach in 1982 during the English Potters seminar in Heidelberg (DE); portrait, ca. 2000 (source Studio Pottery); portrait with Willow Tree plate, 2002; fluted bowl, h.10,5 cm (source MAAK Auction London); vase with decoration (MAAK Auction London 2013); tall bottle vase, 1985, h. 45,8 cm (MAAK Auction London). 

  • Hatcher, Gary C., David Leach 1911-2005, in: Ceramics Monthly, 2005.
  • Cooper, Emmanuel and Kathy Niblett, David Leach - 20th Century Ceramics, 2003.
  • Thormann, Olaf, Gefäss / Skulptur - Vessel / Sculpture; Keramik / Ceramics seit / since 1946 Grassi Museum für Angewandte Kunst Leipzig, 2013.