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Seth Cardew

Born: 1934

Seth Cardew is the eldest son of Michael Cardew, first student of Bernard Leach. His formal education began as a chorister at Canterbury Cathedral Choir School, followd by Midhurst Grammar and later passing through Chelsea School of Art and Camberwell Sculpture School, where he was trained as a sculptor. After a brief period of teaching, he was drawn to his father’s studio. His father, at first not convinced, agreed to train him and in the early 1980’s the pottery at Wenford Bridge, Bodmin, passed from Michael to Seth. He still uses the same wood-fired kiln as his father, whilst developing and nurturing a style of his own.

Technical Information

All the pottery produced at Wenford Bridge begins as a unique stoneware clay body, which is a mixture of three different local clays. The mixture is ball-milled and dried in open air troughs before being pug-milled and hand-kneaded to exacting consistency. The glazes are also mixed and ball-milled on site. They were developed specifically for use with the Wenford clay body by Michael Cardew over half a century ago and his recipes are followed as precisely today as they have been through the years. Each piece of stoneware offered by Seth has been personally thrown and hand decorated. It has been wood-fired in the huge 50 year old circlar down draft kiln to a temperature of 1300 degrees Centigrade. The kiln has been allowed to cool for three days before being opened. Visitors and students are always welcome at Wenford Bridge to view these processes.