ROELOF UYS (South Africa)
South African born ceramicist Roelof Uys took up the role of Senior Production Potter at the Leach Pottery in May 2013. Uys studied Art at East London Technical College, South Africa and founded his first ceramics studio in Limpopo Province in 1992, where he collaborated with potter Solomon Matatoko. He went on to work in Kysna as a Resident Potter at Bitou Crafts, founded by Clementina van der Walt, before starting his own production pottery in Cape Town, where he also served on the Committee of the Western Cape Potters Association. As part of the pottery’s senior management team Uys supervises the training of student apprentices and visiting interns, and oversee the production of the new Leach Standard Ware.
KAT WHEELER (USA)
Born in North Carolina, Kat Wheeler studied ceramics at the Appalachian Centre for Crafts at Tennessee Tech University. While studying for her Bachelor of Fine Arts she also worked part-time for Knoxville studio potters Peter Rose and Judy Brater, maintaining the studio and expanding her knowledge of production techniques. As part of her course Kat spent a semester studying abroad at the Australia National University, and on completing her BFA came to St Ives to work at the Leach Pottery as a volunteer apprentice. In January 2012 she joined the studio staff as our first full-time Production Potter, making the new range of Leach Standard Ware. She is also Deputy Studio Manager.
BRITTA WENGELER-JAMES (Germany)
German born potter Britta Wengeler-James trained with Master Clemens Wirth for three years producing a wide range of domestic pottery, before completing a "Journeyman" Crafts Degree. She then followed the old tradition of travelling for "three years and a day" in order to deepen her knowledge of cultural ceramics. Of particular importance was her time with New Zealand potter Petra Meyboden, daughter of painter Hans Meyboden, where Britta discovered the possibilities of wet clay decoration and various firing techniques in Petra's wood kiln. She joined the Leach Pottery in 2010 as an apprentice potter and since February 2012 has been part of the studio team producing the new Leach Standard Ware. Britta also acts as Apprenticeship Coordinator for the studio.
DRAKE BIALECKI (USA)
Born in Lake Arrowhead, California, Drake Bialecki studied ceramics under Gerry Vom Steeg and Jason Stehmeier during his formative high school years. Upon finishing high school in 2009, Drake moved to Santa Cruz, California where he pursued a degree in Agroecology from the University of California, Santa Cruz whilst apprenticing with Joel Magen of Dark Horse Pottery and Santa Cruz Pottery off campus. In 2013, he graduated from the University of California, Santa Cruz and became a full time production potter at Dark Horse Pottery and Santa Cruz Pottery. As of October 2014, Drake joined the Leach Pottery as the 2014/2015 International Volunteer potter, making him the newest member of the Production Team. Feel free to follow his experience at the Leach Pottery through his blog, "The Chop: From the Coast to the Wall."
IAN MORRISON (USA)
Born in Denver, Colorado. Ian began working with clay at the age of 14. He studied for a year under Elaine Henry, at Emporia State University before leaving to be a resident artist at the San Bao Ceramic Art Institute in Jingdezhen, Jiangxi, China. It was there he met Jim Leedy, a ceramic artist from Kansas City, Missouri, who he spent the next two years working for until returning to university to study the art of wood firing under Jason Hess, in Flagstaff, Arizona. He started his own studio In Kansas City in 2009, making pots until relocating his workshop to northern Arkansas where he worked until joining the Leach team as a full time volunteer in April 2014.
LAURA CROSLAND (UK)
Lancashire born potter Laura Crosland trained in ceramics at Wolverhampton University. In 2013 Laura graduated with a BA Hons and a Masters Degree. During her study Laura spent 3 weeks in France gaining work experience with Richard and Julie Goodwin-Jones. Following this she spent 3 months assisting British potter Peter Beard and then 3 months as an apprentice to Penny Simpson. In 2014 Laura was awarded Adopt a Potter funding for her apprenticeship at the Leach Pottery, where she is learning whilst making the Leach Standard Ware.