The Easel

Wheel of fortune – the life and achievements of Bernard Leach

Leach’s advocacy of Japanese techniques shook up “dowdy” English ceramics and revitalized its studio pottery. However, his mantra of “truth to materials” was unsympathetic to modernist ceramic artists like Lucie Rie. And did it really capture the essence of Japanese ceramics practice? Did Leach himself lack “aesthetic ambition”? Says the author, a legacy that “irritates and inspires in equal measure”.