John Bedding Summer Exhibition at The Leach Pottery

26 July to 6 September 2014

Throughout August the Leach Pottery, St Ives presents an exhibition of new work by respected ceramicist and Honorary Lead Potter John Bedding. Bedding’s longstanding relationship with the Leach Pottery began in the 1960s when he was apprenticed to Bernard Leach. Since that time he has made a significant contribution to the field of international ceramics and the pottery scene in St Ives, establishing St Ives Ceramics and the Gaolyard Studios, and in 2004 becoming a founding trustee of the Leach Pottery Restoration Project.

This exhibition of new pots, held thirty six years on from his last solo show at the Leach, defines the individualism, creativeness and traditional craftsmanship of Bedding’s work and his ongoing search for new paths to his perfect pot.

Formed on the wheel or slab built and sculpted into shape, Bedding’s preference is for the silky, tactile quality of burnished surfaces, and the sharp primitive lines of unglazed decoration. Having developed his work far beyond the observed Leach style, Bedding still retains the legacy of his early training whilst employing a variety of 21st Century techniques. His distinctive and richly illustrated pots use computer generated graphics and light sensitive emulsion to saturate his pots in bold, distinctive patterns. His porcelain works are largely decorated with stencils made from open weave fabrics, which are wrapped around the pot before slips and pigments are applied in layers, and surfaces cut back with diamond polishers to give a smooth quality to the raw clay.

“At present the trend in pottery is for either minimalism, or accidental and natural effects in the kiln; to cover my pots in decoration is rather going against the grain, but I try to isolate myself from influences of various trends. Some of my pots have pure abstract designs while others have a narrative. My inspiration comes from no particular source, some from native materials and oriental carpets, from paintings and illustrations, and yet others just abstract ideas and thoughts from my head. I aspire to always move forward in my work and explore new ideas and techniques.” John Bedding

The exhibition will be on show in the Pottery’s Entrance Gallery from 26 July and runs throughout August until 6 September.