THE LEACH WHEEL
The distinctive kick wheel used at the Leach Pottery was originally designed by Dicon Nance (son of Robert Morton Nance) with modifications by David Leach. Dicon was an apprentice at the Pottery during the 1920s. At that time potters’ wheels were quite crude in design. Dicon was concerned by some of the overly laborious methods in use at the Leach Pottery and devised the wheel as an elegant and practical solution. The design was very successful for the following reasons: its 3 legs prevented the wheel from rocking on an uneven floor; the treadle was suspended from a chain which could be adjusted to match the length of the potter’s lower leg so it described the same arc as the foot; the bearing on the crank shaft was made of leather to tolerate this arc; a fly wheel, which had lead inserts to adjust according to the weight of clay being thrown, was mounted within reach of the other foot which could be used to assist with stopping and starting. Leach wheels were originally made by Dicon but when he left the pottery he gave the design to Bernard's son David. David later sold the design to a company in Newton Abbot, Devon UK and they became available world-wide. The Leach kick wheel is now recognized as the archetypal English potters’ wheel.