with his wife Lizzie, who manages the pottery kitchenware shop and the adjacent purpose-built John Leach Gallery. Two Assistant Potters, Nick Rees and Mark Melbourne help with the production of a hand-thrown range of
stoneware cooking and serving pots based on the simple strength of
English country pottery.
His original signed designs, including his 'Black mood' pots, are in museums, galleries and private collections world-wide. They are in the permanent collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London and the Tate Gallery, St.Ives, Cornwall.
Work generally available from:
David Mellor Kitchen Shops ( London & Sheffield)
The Craft Potters' Shop ( Marshall Street, London)
Contemporary Applied Arts ( Percy Street, off Tottenham Court Road, London)
Devon Guild Shop (Bovey Tracey, Devon)
The Cider Press ( Dartington, Devon)
The Bristol Guild of Applied Arts ( Park Street, Bristol).
Round House Gallery, Foston, Derbyshire
Torquil, The Gallery Upstairs & Pottery Shop
The Nook, Swansea
Salt Gallery, Burford, Oxfordshire
Gallery Nine, Bath, Avon, UK
In addition, a wide range of
Muchelney kitchen pots is always available in the pottery shop while
orginal signed pots are on display and for sale in The John Leach
John has travelled widely in Europe and North America, lecturing and conducting pottery workshops. An enthusiastic conservationist, he has created a one-acre wildlife pond sanctuary and a new woodland ( which has involved planting 4,000 young hardwood trees) near the pottery, to which visitors are invited. The project has attracted conservationists and wild-life enthusiasts from all over the UK and has twice been featured on BBC Television.
The pond is now an official County Wildlife Site.
Twice a year, on a Saturday around Easter and in mid-September, John holds a Kiln Opening Event when visitors are invited to choose new pots from the cooling kiln, watch demonstatrions and enjoy free tasters of local produce (more information at www.johnleachpottery.co.uk)”
The pots are hand-thrown using West Country clays and wood-fired at 1320deg.C. in a newly built three chambered climbing kiln designed by John in the Oriental tradition. The kitchen pots' distinctive 'toasted' finish is the result of the firing process. The individual black pots are saggar-fired; their signature white markings are a spontaneous effect of the saggars' undulating sawdust packing.
1939 Born at Pottery Cottage, St Ives, Cornwall.
1957-63 Apprenticed to grandfather, Bernard and father, David Leach. Also trained with Colin Pearson and Ray Finch
1963 Taught in USA and set up pottery with Harold Guilland in Mendocino, California
1964-65 Established Muchelney Pottery in Somerset, making oil-fired functional stoneware
1976 Started wood-firing
1983 Began making individual, signed work
1984 Study tour of Nigeria
1990 Appointed Trustee, Bath Study Craft Centre. Appointed Trustee of Parnham Trust, Beaminster
1992-99 Open workshop events at Muchelney
1993 Appointed Trustee of Green Wood Trust, Ironbridge
1997-98 Building new 3-chambered wood-fired kiln
1998-99 Kiln shed rebuilt after fire
Lectures and Demonstrations:
1985-86 Workshops and lectures in Alaska, Yukon and Denmark
1989-98 One-man exhibitions and lecture/ workshops in Sweden
1990 Workshops and lectures in Jamaica
1986-97 Workshop and lecture tours in Canada and USA
1991 Ruskin Gallery, Sheffield
1992 Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Bluecoat Display Centre, Liverpool
1994 Gallery Nykvarn, Enkoping, Sweden. Bettles Gallery, Ringwood
1994-2000 Muchelney Abbey
1995 Hesketh Gallery, Lewes
1997 Prime Gallery, Toronto. Potters' Guild Gallery, Vancouver, B.C.
1999 Tate Gallery, St.Ives
2000 Leach Pottery, St Ives
2002 Torquil Gallery, Henley in Arden
2004 Church House Designs, Congresbury
2006 Stour Gallery, Shipston
Tack Room, Great Atlantic Gallery, Monmouth
2007 Zimmer Stewart, Arundel