Leach Pottery - St. Ives

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Re: Leach Pottery - St. Ives

Post by NaomiM on September 30th 2013, 1:00 am

studio-pots wrote:
NaomiM wrote:There are lots of big named potteries that have changed hands and changed styles over the years but kept the name. Nothing wrong in that. My only bugbear is if they keep churning out copies of Leach's old pots, as that would be akin to counterfeiting.
If you are talking about potteries that used to make their pots in Stoke and the five towns and now make them in the Far East then I agree that they have kept the name but I don't agree that there is nothing wrong with that. I can't think of any studio potteries where this has occurred though.

My problem isn't a change or development of style it's that there is no continuity. I am quite happy for any potter to be making pots on the site of the old Leach Pottery, even if they are raku or lustre decorated, but can't agree that they should be allowed to mark them with the Leach Pottery seal. Why would anyone want to unless it was for commercial reasons? I think it stiffles creativity.

No I wasn't thinking of Staffordshire potteries. If you look through the list of potteries on the Studio Pottery website there are several that gave been in operation for several generations or have been passed from potter to potter. What the Leach pottery is doing is nothing new. But if they are churning out the same stuff then it's like the new Troika and new Carltonware, reusing the same moulds and, in Carltonware's case, putting the old stamp on it. I agree that stifles creativity. They should move with the times; take a tip from the likes of Richard Godfrey and John Pollex and jazz up their stuff.

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Re: Leach Pottery - St. Ives

Post by Oldmagpie on September 30th 2013, 7:31 am

NaomiM wrote:Yes, Leach. A vintage piece as it also has England stamped on the foot rim .
does having England impressed into an item help to be more specific when dating standard Leach ware?
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Re: Leach Pottery - St. Ives

Post by philpot on September 30th 2013, 7:34 am

Isn't one of the main problems with the Leach Pottery now,is that its part of the whole Tourist/Heritage industry now? Visit St Ives itself,and its The Tate,Barbara Hepworth, and the Leach Pottery.
Is it even possible for the Pottery to launch off in an entirely new creative direction? Who would actually buy bright Red or Green pots(a la Godfrey & Pollex) with a St Ives mark. Are they now prisoners of their own history?
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Re: Leach Pottery - St. Ives

Post by NaomiM on September 30th 2013, 7:55 am

studio-pots wrote:Not a jug though - a coffee pot with the lid missing. Hence no glaze around the top.
Looks like it's one of these -

http://www.20thcenturyforum.com/t9954-leach-pottery-st-ives#80667

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Re: Leach Pottery - St. Ives

Post by big ed on October 6th 2013, 7:17 pm

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Re: Leach Pottery - St. Ives

Post by big ed on October 6th 2013, 7:18 pm

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Re: Leach Pottery - St. Ives

Post by slopingsteve on October 21st 2013, 4:26 pm


Speaking of carrying the Leach flame, this little yunomi/beaker was definitely right in the firing line when ...er, fired.One side is toasted, one side reduced. I wonder what the reaction was when it came out of the kiln.
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Re: Leach Pottery - St. Ives

Post by slopingsteve on October 21st 2013, 4:34 pm


This is the mark. I think it is quite early judging by the mark, clay and general amateurishness of the decoration, throwing and finishing.
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Re: Leach Pottery - St. Ives

Post by studio-pots on October 21st 2013, 5:04 pm

I think that it is the shape of beaker that Bernard developed at Dartington in 1932-33 when he was working on a functional ware range for St. Ives, so likely to have been made around 1935 to 1939.

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Re: Leach Pottery - St. Ives

Post by mowen on November 1st 2013, 10:33 am

Hello :) been looking and looking , does anyone know when the leach pottery started to mark their pots with the England stamp? Trying to dates pot With a possible bl stamp. Annoying as was there last week and could have asked!
Thank you!
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Re: Leach Pottery - St. Ives

Post by studio-pots on November 1st 2013, 4:50 pm

I can't give you a definitive answer but I don't recall seeing any Leach pots from pre-1945 with an England stamp on them.

From 1945 and through the late 1940s the Leach Standard Ware range production grew but most was snapped up by Heal's, Liberty and John Lewis. Therefore there would have been little if any available for export for which it would be necessary to stamp the pots with "England".

So I think it is likely to be from the early 1950s that the stamp was introduced and I would imagine it would have continued to be used until Standard Ware production stopped upon Bernard's death.

What do you have that you want to date?


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Re: Leach Pottery - St. Ives

Post by mowen on November 1st 2013, 10:53 pm

I was just wondering, as have not noticed a pot with both the BL stamp and the England stamp on the same pot before, so it led me to wonder if there was an overlap between using the England stamp and BL still potting. I am feeling more confident now that this can be attributed to BL.
I an very happy with my brown jam pot! :) x x
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Re: Leach Pottery - St. Ives

Post by studio-pots on November 1st 2013, 11:05 pm

mowen wrote: I am feeling more confident now that this can be attributed to BL.
I an very happy with my brown jam pot! :) x x
I am not sure that me telling you that ENGLAND was stamped on Leach Pottery wares when Bernard Leach was alive means that you can attribute anything to Bernard Leach.

Things that are important with something the age of your jam pot before making such an attribution are that it was made at the Leach Pottery, it has the Leach Pottery seal and that it has Bernard Leach's personal seal or signature done with a brush.

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Re: Leach Pottery - St. Ives

Post by NaomiM on November 1st 2013, 11:35 pm

Bernard Leach died in 1979 so I wouldn't have thought that the BL and England stamps necessarily mean the item is 'early' St Ives Pottery, just that it was made during his lifetime.

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Re: Leach Pottery - St. Ives

Post by studio-pots on November 2nd 2013, 9:23 am

NaomiM wrote:Bernard Leach died in 1979 so I wouldn't have thought that the BL and England stamps necessarily mean the item is 'early' St Ives Pottery, just that it was made during his lifetime.
As the Leach Pottery started life in 1920 it would be incorrect to describe an item of Leach Pottery with an ENGLAND stamp on it as being "early". The term "vintage", which only really says that an item is not new, would be fine and in the case of the Leach Pottery is perhaps more relevant than with other potteries due to the current pottery on the site using the Leach Pottery name.

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Handled bowls Leach, St. Ives, Standard Ware

Post by vanmann on November 19th 2013, 1:33 pm

I am assuming that these are St Ives and hoping someone could give me a clue as to potter and date. Bowls 5 inches including handles  and saucers 6 inches diameter. Thanks John





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Re: Leach Pottery - St. Ives

Post by vanmann on November 19th 2013, 3:03 pm

Now see that these are standard ware ramekins, would these be 1970s?
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Re: Leach Pottery - St. Ives

Post by NaomiM on November 19th 2013, 3:12 pm

Seems Standard ware was even made back in the 40s

http://www.ceramike.com/LeachPottery/StandardWarePots/LeachStandardWare.asp

I've always assumed that those pieces stamped England indicated an earlier date (1940s), but I have nothing to back that up.

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Re: Leach Pottery - St. Ives

Post by eshearm on November 19th 2013, 5:31 pm

'standard ware' range was not developed until just before the war, when they issued the first mail order catalogue, and it grew into a great undertaking into the 1950s and 1960s, I suspected this is the date for these items. I have items at home with the england mark well into the seventies, so not sure on that one.
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Re: Leach Pottery - St. Ives

Post by eshearm on November 19th 2013, 5:37 pm

for the standard ware they had a team of potters, David leach as manager Bernard leach as chief quality controller and William Marshall as foreman, so it will be impossible to pin point a potter, although Bernard's distinct hand can sometimes be seen on some items
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Re: Leach Pottery - St. Ives

Post by studio-pots on November 19th 2013, 5:48 pm

I met one of the apprentices, who worked at the pottery in the 1960s, and he told me that these ramekins or egg bakers, were the first thing that anyone new at the pottery was asked to make. They were sold separately from the "general purposes dishes" that you have. They continued to be in production into the 1970s and only stopped being made when Bernard died. Bernard insisted that the pottery continued to make the Standard Ware range but once he died Janet stopped production.

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Re: Leach Pottery - St. Ives

Post by slopingsteve on November 26th 2013, 8:30 pm

Has anybody got any pots with the St Ives mark on and David Leach's mark as well?
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Re: Leach Pottery - St. Ives

Post by big ed on December 8th 2013, 6:29 pm

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Re: Leach Pottery - St. Ives

Post by studio-pots on February 17th 2014, 3:45 pm

I have had the small stoneware Leach Pottery vase below for a number of years but have not been able to identify the potter.





As the vase seemed Japanese in style and the personal seal is a stylised A, I did think that it might have been by Atsuya Hamada, Shoji's third son, who was at the Leach Pottery in the 1950s. However, I did show it to Bill Marshall in the past and he didn't recognise the seal so it may well remain a mystery.

The vase is around 10 cm (4 inches) tall so not very large but my investment was only 50p.

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Re: Leach Pottery - St. Ives

Post by slopingsteve on March 23rd 2014, 4:51 pm




Does anyone know what this second mark is? I know what it looks like and I would love to think that the two were meant to be together, as in fact they are. I was reading something on here about fakes made in Chinese prisons.

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Re: Leach Pottery - St. Ives

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