Celebrating 'Leach Tradition' of pottery in North Devon
02 August 2021
A new exhibition opens this week at the Museum of Barnstaple and North Devon which celebrates the Leach family of potters and how international design and travel influenced their work.
The "Leach Potters of North Devon" is on display in the Keith Abraham Gallery from Saturday 31 July and runs until Saturday 2 October. Admission is free and measures are in place to keep visitors safe, including limiting visits to two groups of four people every 15 minutes, a one way system, hand sanitisers, social distancing and use of the Track and Trace app.
Born in Japan, Michael Leach, son of celebrated St. Ives potter Bernard Leach, merged Japanese design with North Devon country pottery, to establish Yelland Pottery near Instow. Philip Leach, Michael’s son, initially avoided the potter’s wheel, travelling to teach in Tehran. However, his interest in Persian pottery led him to return home and together with his wife, Frances, set up Springfield Pottery in Hartland.
Museum curator, Alison Mills says: "An eclectic mixture of Japanese technique, Persian influences and North Devon traditional wares are displayed in this colourful and insightful exhibition exploring the father and son’s influence on the pottery world."
To ensure visits are evenly spaced throughout the day, visitors can book to visit the museum through Art Tickets, with no booking fees. Visitors can also book tickets by calling 01271 346747. A small number of daily tickets will be kept aside for groups turning up on the day but visitors are strongly advised to pre-book as they may be asked to wait or return at a later time slot.
Visitors wishing to enjoy Bromley’s tearoom do not have to pre-book and can access the tearoom through the museum’s side door.
Current museum opening hours are Tuesday –Saturday 10:30am – 4:30pm (last admission at 4pm). Scaffolding is currently in place outside the building, this is just for routine maintenance and does not prevent public access.