Bernard Leach

Potter and author

6th May 1979
Buried at:  
Barnoon Cemetery, St Ives

Bernard Leach was born in Hong Kong in 1887, to wealthy British parents: his father was a judge, and his mother died during childbirth. His early life in the east - between Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong - rooted a fascination with eastern practice, and as young man he lived in Japan until 1920 when, prompted by the burning-down of his workplace, he moved with his family and settled in St Ives.

Bernard Leach established the pottery in the Stannack area of St Ives alongside the Japanese potter Hamada, and Bernard worked there until 1934, when he left to work at Dartington for seven years, later returning to St Ives to manage the pottery from 1939-1945, while his son, David, was away on war-duty.

Failing eyesight brought his years of creating ceramics to an end in 1972, though he continued to be prolific as an author almost until his death in 1979.

His legacy is continued by his family - two sons and four grandchildren have followed him in to the profession - and by the links he forged between eastern and western techniques. His pottery celebrated its centenary in 2020. Find out more at:


Would you like to send a token of remembrance to this location?