Leach St Ives Pottery L mark dots - Jeffrey Larkin

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Post by Potty August 31st 2022, 1:24 am

studio-pots wrote:
The real importance is that they are salt-glazed, which ties them down to a certain period in the 1970s.

This I why I wonder if they are later, do we know when they started doing it again?

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Post by philpot August 31st 2022, 8:57 am

The Emmanuel Cooper book says that Janet Leach's most successful salt glazing was for an exhibition held in Japan in 1982/83, The firing was in collaboration with expert salt glaze potter IAN GREGORY. A whole kiln full apparently. Could this possibly be a mark used by Ian Gregory?
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Post by studio-pots September 2nd 2022, 8:58 pm

philpot wrote:         The Emmanuel Cooper book says that Janet Leach's most successful salt glazing was for an exhibition held in Japan in 1982/83,  The firing was in collaboration with expert salt glaze potter IAN GREGORY. A whole kiln full apparently.  Could this possibly be a mark used by Ian Gregory?

No.

I also think that firing may have done in Ian kiln in Dorset (I might be wrong but I seem to remember Ian mentioning it to me years ago). That was because the one that Janet had used for salt-glazing at the Leach Pottery was small from what it says in the Cooper book.


Last edited by studio-pots on September 2nd 2022, 9:04 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by studio-pots September 2nd 2022, 9:01 pm

Potty wrote:
studio-pots wrote:
The real importance is that they are salt-glazed, which ties them down to a certain period in the 1970s.

This I why I wonder if they are later, do we know when they started doing it again?

After Bernard moved from the pottery in the early 1970s, Janet changed the kilns and had one that she used for salt-glazing now and then. it is this period when the L: pieces are most likely to have been done.

As far as I am aware, no salt-glazing has been done since before I visited the Leach Pottery in around 1993.

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Post by Potty September 2nd 2022, 10:10 pm

studio-pots wrote:After Bernard moved from the pottery in the early 1970s, Janet changed the kilns and had one that she used for salt-glazing now and then. it is this period when the L: pieces are most likely to have been done.

As far as I am aware, no salt-glazing has been done since before I visited the Leach Pottery in around 1993.

They have certainly done a fair bit of soda glaze in more recent years. Thought I had read somewhere about salf glaze too, but I may be mistaken.

Here's a video of the soda glaze in case anyone is interested to watch:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0B6-qBMTOk&t=97s




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Post by NaomiM August 1st 2023, 10:50 pm

Chatting with Mike Dodd last weekend and he was talking about Janet Leach so I asked him about this mark. He didn’t think it was Janet’s but he said David Leach used a stamp that was just an L. Seems a logical explanation

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Post by Potty August 1st 2023, 11:04 pm

NaomiM wrote:Chatting with Mike Dodd last weekend and he was talking about Janet Leach so I asked him about this mark. He didn’t think it was Janet’s but he said David Leach used a stamp that was just an L. Seems a logical explanation

All the pots I have seen this this mark have been very crude compared to David's work, which does not strike me as being by the same hand.

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Post by NaomiM August 1st 2023, 11:46 pm

Yes. I suspect it’s the mark David used as a teenager. Bernard only allowed potters to use a personal stamp after years of training, and these pots are too crude. He wouldn’t have allowed someone who wasn’t family to have used one so like his own. If it wasn’t David then it might have been another son, or his first wife, or all of them, and keep them separate from the commercial pieces

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Post by philpot August 2nd 2023, 1:26 pm

David Leach as a teenager then it would have been made in the 1920's.
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Post by NaomiM August 2nd 2023, 2:07 pm

The Marks book says he was officially potting at St Ives from 1930 before he went to Dartington Hall in 1933-37 and then back to St Ives, so, yes, if the theory holds true then it dates from the 1920s-early '30s

Edited to add this anecdote:

Alexander Peter Tonkinson
I bought a listed jar many years ago with this mark which had solid provenance as being given as a gift by BL to a friend. I would be very surprised if it was Janet and my own personal theory is it was an interim mark post his script seal of the 20s-30s but before his BL: mark we all know. I have seen about 5 or 6 items with this mark and I don't think any have had an ENGLAND seal which make them pre-date 1952 ruling out Janet.


Last edited by NaomiM on October 26th 2023, 2:03 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by studio-pots August 2nd 2023, 2:41 pm

I have never read anything about salt-glazing been carried out back then. Some pots from that period might have shown signs of salt-glazing but not this "all over effect".

The cause of "signs of salt-glazing" was that wood collected from the beach was used in some firings.

In her time, Janet did have a small kiln that she used for salt-glazing, but she used her JL on the pieces that I have seen.

Might it be from the pottery that's there today?

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Post by Potty August 2nd 2023, 9:01 pm

studio-pots wrote:Might it be from the pottery that's there today?

That is what I suggested for the previous examples with this Mark, but everyone else thought they were far older.

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Post by NaomiM November 19th 2023, 10:18 am

IDed by Robert Fishman on Facebook as Jeffrey Larkin, 1976-78

From his website:
JEFF LARKIN
It all began with Jeff. He attended the University of Minnesota where he studied under the renowned potter Warren MacKenzie. Inspired by the work of Bill Marshall and Bernard Leach, he traveled to England to serve in an apprenticeship at the legendary Leach Pottery in St. Ives from 1976-1978.

Upon his return to Minnesota, Jeff and his brother Tom established a studio on the family farm where his mother, Alice Featherstone Larkin, was born

Address:
Featherstone Pottery
31998 210th Ave.
Red Wing, MN


Last edited by NaomiM on November 19th 2023, 11:31 am; edited 1 time in total

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Post by philpot November 19th 2023, 11:25 am

A mystery 9 years in the solving! Dogged persistence indeed. Probably the first thing to do with marks like these should be to closely exam the cohort 1973-79. After Bill Marshall left the majority of the apprentices/Students in those years seem to have had their own marks.
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Post by Neil62 November 19th 2023, 12:13 pm

philpot wrote:A mystery 9 years in the solving! Dogged persistence indeed. Probably the first thing to do with marks like  these should be to closely exam the cohort 1973-79. After Bill Marshall left the majority of the apprentices/Students in those years seem to have had their own marks.

Brill
In August of last year I received this from Jeff Oestrich regarding the L:

“ Hi Neil
I’m never up this early but woke up at 3 thinking of your pot and sent to the USA potters stamp site and went through the L’s. No luck. I am wondering if it may be Jeff Larkins who lives two hours from me. He trained at the Leach from 1976-1978. He works with his brother at his parents farm. I haven’t seen Jeff in 45 years and cannot find his stamp as they go by Featherstone Pottery in Red Wing Minnesota. One idea too is that the potter stamped an L on the pots with a salt firing clay. If only Trevor were alive as he worked there longer than anyone.

I sent 2 e mails to Jeff Larkin but for some reason didn’t get a response.
Maybe it was the wrong e mail address. To be honest it concerned me that he may have passed or was ill so I left it.
Jeff O will be interested so I’ll let him know because he was spot on!!!
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