The Leach Pottery is presenting a joint opening event during the St Ives September Festival for its two new autumn exhibitions.

Roelof Uys
Roelof Uys pictured during his Mashiko Museum residency

Clive Bowen at 80 features Clive’s much-loved functional slipware pots, and Roelof Uys: From Mashiko to St Ives presents work created by Roelof during and in response to his 2022 Mashiko residency. The preview and meet the artists event takes place on Wednesday, 20th September, from 6pm to 8pm, and all are welcome.

Clive Bowen at 80

Running in the Entrance Gallery, from 21st September to 30th December, this is Clive’s first Leach Pottery exhibition. This year marks his 80th birthday, and the exhibition is a celebration of his slip-decorated earthenware pots.

Clive’s traditional country-style pots are decorated with a sparse but fluid and vigorous trailing of the slip, in free-flowing abstract or stylised patterns incorporating combing and sgraffito. They are designed for use and to bring joy and life to meals shared with loved ones.

The exhibition features a range of domestic ware, including large serving platters and dishes, storage jars, jugs, teapots, tea caddies, mugs, plates, and bowls. The palette of slips used features honey yellows, rich browns, and soft creams, with occasional flashes of vivid green.

Clive Bowen lipware bowl
A lipware bowl by Clive Bowen

Initially studying painting at Cardiff College of Art, Clive went on to train as an apprentice with Michael Leach at the Yelland Pottery in 1965, and also worked alongside Michael Cardew at Wenford Bridge, before setting up his own pottery, Shebbear, in North Devon in 1971, where he continues to work today.

Clive has a strong connection with Japan, having had a solo exhibition at the Mashiko Museum of Ceramic Art in 2009. He was one of the first potters invited onto the Mashiko Museum Residency Programme in 2015. Clive is highly regarded as one of Britain’s finest studio potters and his work is widely exhibited both in the UK and abroad.

Roelof Uys: From Mashiko to St Ives

Lead potter at the Leach Pottery, Roelof has his work on show in the shop from 21st September to 8th October.

Roelof was a guest artist on the Mashiko Museum Residency Programme in 2022, the prestigious Mashiko Pottery being the home of Leach Pottery co-founder Shoji Hamada. Alongside work created in Japan as part of this residency is a collection of pots made in St Ives in 2023 as his creative response to this experience.

A few seasons on, Roelof has distilled his learning of the traditions he was introduced to in Japan, and has incorporated elements of those techniques into this new work. The two bodies of work are complementary, but feature interesting contrasts, which indicate shifts in Roelof’s creative practice as a result of the residency.

The exhibition features a range of functional pots, including yunomis, teaware, teapots, lidded jars, vases, plates, bowls, and mugs. Using an array of decorative techniques, including pressing, embossing, incising, and stamping, Roelof’s pots have brilliant depth and uniquely textural finishes. Characterful forms in combination with glazes in a traditional Japanese style make for highly individual and striking pots.

Roelof studied fine art at East London Technical College, South Africa, and founded his first ceramics studio in Limpopo Province in 1992, before moving to St Ives in autumn 1999. He worked as a studio potter at the Gaolyard Studios, founded by Leach apprentice John Bedding.

Roelof took up his role as lead potter at the Leach Pottery in 2013. He oversees the design and production of the Leach Standard Ware, and supervises the training of apprentices and volunteers in the workshop, as well continuing to make and develop his own work.

Find out more on the Leach Pottery website.

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