TREVOR CORSER: 40 YEARS A LEACH POTTER

19 March 2016 to 8th January 2017, Cube Gallery

Trevor Corser was the longest serving member of the Leach Pottery. Born in Oldham in 1938, he arrived in St Ives as a fisherman with no thoughts of becoming a potter and could not have imagined his future involvement in an artistic legacy so important to 20th century ceramics. 

Trevor Corser at work in the Leach Pottery. Photograph: Marie Yates

Trevor Corser at work in the Leach Pottery. Photograph: Marie Yates

Corser began work for Bernard Leach in 1966, packing pots for transit and mixing clay. Over the years he went on to learn the skilled craft of a production potter, making the Pottery’s iconic standard ware and becoming one of the last to remain here until the Pottery’s closure in 2005. Having studied under Bernard Leach, he worked for many years alongside William Marshall and himself became mentor to subsequent Leach apprentice potters. Known for his uncomplicated, functional pots and distinctive glazes, Corser grew to be an acclaimed studio potter in his own right and spent his life making pots firmly within the Leach tradition, many of which are now found in collections all over the world.

Trevor Corser sadly died on 30th November 2015, aged 77, whilst working on his 2016 retrospective at the Leach Pottery. We were looking forward to seeing Trevor return here so that we could acknowledge his great contribution to the Leach Pottery, but in his absence we continue our plans to celebrate his long association with us, and in March present 'Trevor Corser: 40 Years a Leach Potter', our first major exhibition of his work. 

The exhibition includes works which trace the timeline of his professional life at the Leach, as well as pots and artefacts from his personal collection which give a fascinating insight into the man, his life and interests. Also on show are a group of pots made for exhibition in Tokyo in 2008, later exhibited at the Mashiko Museum, including tiles and unomi depicting harbour and boat scenes in the naive style of Alfred Wallace, with vases, bowls, lidded pots, teapots, platters and chargers glazed and decorated in the standard Tenmoku and Celadon glazes of the Leach pottery. Others are glazed with the copper greens and blues of Trevor’s personally developed glazes, alongside examples of his iron and cobalt brushwork, glaze and slip trailed designs and sgraffito inlaid with white slip.

To honour Trevor's memory and ensure his place in the Leach Pottery story, the exhibition is accompanied by a specially commissioned, limited edition, Leach Pottery publication, Trevor Corser: His Life & Work, with contributions from Professor Simon Olding of the Crafts Study Centre and fellow potters John Bedding, Clary Illion and Jeff Oestreich.