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Leach Remembered

This exhibition of two St Ives Potters celebrates significant landmarks in the careers of both Trevor Corser and John Bedding. Last year Trevor retired after 50 years of making pottery, included in the exhibition are some of the last pots he made before he retired. John celebrates the 25th anniversary of the opening of St Ives Ceramics, and his return to working in St Ives after moving his workshop from out at Trencrom.

John and Trevor first met 47 years ago in 1968, when John joined the Leach pottery as a student apprentice, Trevor had already been there for two years, and they worked together over a period of 10 years until 1978 when John left to work in Japan. They became firm friends, John the London born town boy, and Trevor the Yorkshire-man with the guile and understanding of the countryside. This mixture of opposites can be seen reflected in their pots - John’s pots are crafted with an urban eye, carefully constructed and thought out, his pots are an exquisite combination sharp forms covered with complicated patterning - Trevor’s pots are no-nonsense, direct, the forms looked to have evolved and grown from the countryside he loves, his approach naive and without artifice. We often look for influences in works of art, this exhibition shows the most important influences can be within the character and upbringing of the artist, work constructed from their DNA.

In 1998 John moved his workshop from St Ives Ceramics a short distance to Dove Street where he had set up a group of nine pottery studios known as “Gaolyard Studios”. In 2005 after the closure of the Leach Pottery and prior to its restoration, Trevor joined John at the Gaolyard, here they were again working together until Trevor’s retirement last year. Left over in his studio and in the stockroom was a large collection of Trevor’s work. The idea came that as part of the St Ives Festival and as a double celebration of their long standing friendship and collaboration, they could exhibit together at John’s gallery. The result is a bold and dynamic exhibition from two experienced potters with understandably different styles and approaches, but with the bond of a common source in the Leach Pottery.

Next year to mark the 50 years since Trevor joined the Leach Pottery, and to acknowledge his achievements and contribution to its history The Leach Pottery will be staging a retrospective exhibition of his life and work in the “Cube Gallery”. John will curate the pots, whilst Professor Simon Olding from the Craft Study Centre will be writing and collating the archival material, thus filling another chapter in the rich and colourful history of the Artist Colony of St Ives.  

Leach Remembered runs from the 12th of September to the 10th of October.

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