Janet Leach

Joanna Wason


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Unicorn Publishing Group
22 April 2024
ISBN: 9781916846005
160 pages

From the publisher

Janet Leach's childhood in Texas through the Roaring Twenties and the Depression imbued her with resilience and numerous practical skills, initially acquired on her grandparents' self-sufficient farmstead. At nineteen she took a Greyhound bus to cosmopolitan New York and soon found work as a sculptor's assistant. During the war she worked on Staten Island, welding the hulls of US-Navy destroyers. After discovering pottery, she met Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada at Black Mountain College in North Carolina, before spending two years potting in Japan, where her love of pottery was sealed. Bernard and Janet planned to marry and build a pottery near Kyoto, but two years absence from St Ives obliged Bernard to return to Cornwall. A year later in 1956, Janet reluctantly left Japan, persuaded to join Bernard in a country completely unknown to her, England. There she stayed, becoming manager of the world-famous Leach Pottery for the next 40 years. This biography uses previously unpublished letters, notebooks and diaries and is a richly-informed portrayal of a pioneering potter.