10th Anniversary: Celebrating the Leach Pottery’s Restoration: 23 .03.2018. – November 2018
The Leach Pottery is fast approaching its ‘10 Year Anniversary’; it was in March 2008 that the fully restored and rejuvenated Leach Pottery reopened to the public after closing its doors in 2005.
To mark this important milestone in its story, and to thank all the people involved – especially visitors and supporters from the local community to the far reaches of the globe, the Leach Pottery is organising a series of events, exhibitions, talks and creative sessions, which begin in March and continue into November 2018.
On Friday 23 March, the Leach Pottery begins its ‘10 Year Anniversary’ with an Open Day that continues throughout the weekend: the Museum will be free to visit from 1pm onwards on Friday. As part of the opening, visitors will be able to see two new exhibitions, enjoy a new hands-on clay activity in the Museum, and have a chat and some nibbles with staff and volunteers in the Old Pottery.
Also on 23 March:
- from 6pm onwards, the opening of a new selling exhibition ‘Reunion: Potters From The Time Of Bernard Leach’ (24 March – 1 July 2018), showcasing pots from working potters who apprenticed, trained, and worked, during the time of Bernard Leach
- from 6pm onwards, the opening of a new Cube Gallery exhibition ‘10 Year Anniversary’ (24 March 2018 – March 2019), telling the story of the Leach Pottery’s renovation and renewal
- local visitors, from the TR26 and TR27 postcodes, will be able to register for a new free ‘Leach Pottery Locals’ Pass’ which provides entry to the Leach Pottery for a year. This promotion also includes a Leach Pottery give-away: all those registering for a ‘Locals’ Pass’, on the Friday, will be entered into a raffle to win one of 10 Leach Standard Ware Mugs.
Also on March 24:
- Free family Hey Clay activities in the Clore Studio, as part of the Crafts Council’s national event.
On the following Easter Weekend, the Leach Pottery continues its ‘10 Year Anniversary’ celebrations with a series of talks on Good Friday (30 March 2018), at Porthmeor Studios St Ives, followed by a second Open Weekend (free entry) at the Leach Pottery which includes a ‘Spring Seconds Sale’ on the Saturday and Sunday (31 March & 1 April 2018).
Libby Buckley, Director of the Leach Pottery, said: “I have great admiration and gratitude for the people who took the initiative, put in a lot of hard graft, and set about saving this fantastic site for future generations. They started with nothing but an ambition to save the Leach Pottery and managed to successfully fundraise over £1.7 million to secure and develop the site. On behalf of everyone at the Leach Pottery today, I would like to publicly acknowledge their hard work and dedication.
“St Ives and the South West is much richer for preserving this important site, not just for its huge historical significance but for the opportunity that has been created here to inspire new generations of potters and those who have a love for studio ceramics.”
Amanda Brier, potted at the Leach Pottery from 2000-05 and now a Learning & Participation Officer, said: “When I was working at the Leach Pottery in the early 2000s, it was quite different from today: it was a very personal experience working with the last two remaining Leach potters Joanna Wason and Trevor Corser. I heard a lot of great stories about potters like Janet Leach and got lots of practical tips like Trevor demonstrating how the past Standard Ware was made.
“When the Leach Pottery closed in 2005, we were uncertain about what would happen next – there was the real prospect that the Pottery could have been bought by someone who didn’t have its interests at heart. Today, the Leach Pottery is a thriving site: in Education, people come to learn and get the chance to make something. We can teach our skills to young people and adults alike, so everyone can experience clay for themselves which is a really positive thing.”
Roelof Uys, Lead Potter at the Leach Pottery, said: “The Leach Pottery means so much to so many people – wherever you go, you can meet potters with a connection to here. If we were to deny people, today, the experience to come here and train it would be a negation of responsibility to training future generations of craftspeople. We honour our legacy the best by continuing this tradition. I’m looking forward to the next 10 years as we continue to train potters and evolve our aesthetic.”