Eldest son of David Leach, John was born in St. Ives in 1939 and now continues the family tradition at Muchelney Pottery on the edge of the ancient village of Muchelney in the Somerset Levels. Apprenticed to his grandfather Bernard and father David, John’s range of stoneware kitchen pots have been in constant production for nearly 50 years. John’s pots are hand-thrown using local clays and wood-fired in a traditional Japanese climbing kiln to the high stoneware temperature of 1320⁰C, which creates their distinctive ‘toasted’ finish. John also creates one-off signature designs. Some are fired in sawdust-filled saggers, which produce black pots with unpredictable white markings. Others explore his fascination with antique leather bottles, African, Japanese and early English and American country pottery.
‘In this very immediate, push button, plastic age we live in, it is a very real privilege to be able to make functional and beautiful designs by hand on the potter’s wheel using the humble raw material of clay.’ John Leach
John exhibited at the Tate Gallery, St. Ives in 1999 and more recently at the Leach Pottery in 2008. His work continues to be on show at the John Leach Gallery in Somerset.