It takes about 20 minutes to walk from St Ives township up a road called Higher Stennack to the Leach Pottery.
I paid my entrance fee (the adult rate was £5.50 but I claimed the OAP concession of £4.50) and began my tour. The first section passes through the original building with rooms set up much as they had been in Bernard Leach’s time. There is a clay room, a wheel room, a glazing room and finally the original kiln room with its Japanese climbing kiln. According to the brochure, ‘this kiln was used for over 50 years until the mid 1970s’. There was also a 30 minute film about Bernard Leach playing in the kiln room.
I then passed into the more modern section of the pottery with potters workshop, exhibition and gallery rooms and finally the gallery shop. I had thought of buying a Leach Pottery coffee mug but was put off by small size of the mugs and the £20 price tag, although this price was comparable to other pottery mugs available in the many art shops in St Ives.
Outside in the courtyard there was a shelter with three new gas kilns. One of these was firing and another being unloaded. The pots emerging were a selection of mugs, bowls and plates, all salt glazed.
The pottery is not just a museum and shop but a working pottery. With a lead potter (Jack Doherty) plus apprentice potters and research students.
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