Robin Welch had a unique and varied background, at least as far as British potters are concerned. His first real introduction to pottery was while he was studying for a Diploma in Art & Design at the Penzance School of Art, where he met Michael Leach, Bernard’s youngest son, who was his tutor there. Originally he had been more interested in sculpture, but began to take up pottery under the tutelage of Michael, and soon started to work at the Leach Pottery at weekends and during holidays.
Robin then spent a year at the Central School of Art in London, before he set up his first pottery, followed by a second in Australia, where he stayed for three years. Upon his return to England in 1965 he set up Stradbroke Pottery, where he was based until his death in 2019. It was there that he developed his distinctive thrown, coiled and slab-
He experimented with materials and glazes and his larger pieces were both thrown and hand-
Examples of Robin Welch’s work are found in many public collections in the UK, such as the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, as well as in Australia and the Netherlands. He exhibited widely, had been craftsman in residence at Monasa University, New York State College of Art and Indiana University, and designed shapes for Denby, Midwinter, Rose of England Bone China and Wedgewood.
A further testament to his importance for British pottery and ceramics is his inclusion in Tony Birks influential book ‘The Art of the Modern Potter’, published in 1967, where he featured alongside the likes of Lucie Rie, Hans Coper, Gordon Baldwin and Ruth Duckworth.