Mike's Pots

The International Conference of Craftsmen in Pottery and Textiles
Dartington Hall 1952

Dartington Conference 1952




10 Prince Albert Road, London, NW1

Born 1903. Until the war, theatre and costume designer and wood engraver. Learnt weaving and spinning during the war from Hilary Bourne and Miss Peacock. Started own workshop after war in collaboration with Hilary Bourne.

c/o Farnham School of Art, Farnham, Surrey

Born 1917 at Wantage, Berks. Student Brighton School of Art from 1936-1939, where began pottery under Nora Braden 1938. Student Royal College of Art 1940 and 1946-1949. Formerly under Helen Pincombe, latterly under Robert Baker. Now working as co-teacher in Pottery Department, Farnham School of Art, with Henry Hammond, also sharing a pottery studio with him.

Hambutts, Painswick, Stroud, Gloucestershire

Phyllis Barron was trained in drawing and painting at Slade School. Afterwards started experiments in textile printing and block cutting while earning by painting luminous compass dials for aircraft (1914). Showed printed stuffs to Ethel Mairet who gave great encouragement, and then realized that this might be a business as well as a pleasure. Started workshop in Hampstead. 1916 joined by Dorothy Larcher who had returned from making copies of the Ajanta frescoes in India. Continued to work together designing and printing textiles for furnishing and dresses, scarves, etc. at Hampstead and at Painswick until 1939, when the war made it impossible to get materials or to sell them. Dorothy Larcher then returned to painting flowers. Some of these paintings are now in the Manchester and Bristol City Art Galleries and in the collection of the Contemporary Art Society.

Rosemary, Cerney Wick, Cirencester

Born 1889 Blenheim, New Zealand. Is self-taught and her work is entirely the result of the natural treatment by hand only from the raw materials (fleece and flax) to the finished textile.

327 Lordship Lane, London, SE22

Born 1922 in Poland. Studied art in weaving in Poland, Italy and England. At present teacher of weaving in London at Camberwell School of Art.

10 Prince Albert Road, London, NW1

Born 1909. Learnt spinning 1924. Directly influenced by Edward Johnston. Learnt weaving 1932 in friend's workshop in Palestine while on holiday. Took over workshop for Russian refugees and arabs near Jerusalem. On return to England started own workshop. Attended summer schools organised by Guild of Weavers. Learnt dyeing from Mr. Kilbride. 1937 worked in little gallery with Muriel Rose. 1938 visited America and was influenced by Navajo and Mexican work; 1941 while war-working learnt linen spinning from Miss Peacock. 1943 worked for Mrs. Mairet. Started own workshop again after war in collaboration with Barbara Allen. Taught at summer schools and private pupils.

Wenford Bridge Pottery, St. Tudy, Nr. Bodmin, Cornwall

Born 1901 at Wimbledon. Educated at King's College School, Wimbledon, and went up to Exeter College, Oxford, with a classical scholarship. Trained with Bernard Leach, St. Ives, 1923-1927 when Hamada, Nora Braden and Katharine Pleydell-Bouverie were also there. Then took on Winchcombe Pottery, a big kiln with many difficulties, and worked at slipware. 1939 moved to Wenford Bridge, Cornwall, where first of all an updraught kiln for slipware was built which was later converted into the present stoneware kiln of own design. Gold Coast (Achimota) 1942-1945; Vume (his own pottery, small) 1945-1948. England (mainly Wenford Bridge) 1948-1950. 1950 to the present time Nigeria, first for a tour investigating materials and conditions and then building up a Training Centre on a small scale, in Abuja, Niger Province, where he teaches Africans the techniques of wheel throwing, kiln firing and glazing. Spends intermittent leaves at Wenford Bridge.

Tolleshunt D'Arcy Hall, Maldon, Essex

Born 1913. Father J. Paul Cooper, artist and goldsmith; mother May M.Cooper, one of the early hand weavers in this country. Was given a tiny loom at the age of six, and bought a full-size Swedish loom out of her own pocket money at the age of twelve. Studied drawing at the Byam Shaw School of Art under Ernest Jackson for three years and studied textiles in museums and exhibitions in London and abroad. Became very interested in pattern weaving; worked for a short time with Mr. Luther Hooper and with Alice Hindson, but found drawlooms too slow and impractical, so managed to get hold of an old English Jacquard loom. Worked for three months in Messrs. Virgot & Middleton's hand tie weaving factory in Bethnal Green on similar looms to her own; wove fine silk brocades for about two years, ending with her own wedding dress. From 1937-1951 she was entirely occupied with four small children and home affairs, but last year started weaving again. Hoping to get her Jacquard working again this year.

18 Albion Mews, London, W2.
Born April 8th, 1920, in Germany. Came to England in 1939. Had painted and sculpted before starting pottery with Lucie Rie in 1948, where he continues to work making only stoneware.

Crowan Pottery, Praze, Nr. Camborne, Cornwall

Harry Davis was trained at Broadstone Pottery 1927-1932 and worked at the Leach Pottery 1933-1937 where May Davis also worked. They then went to Achimota College, Gold Coast, in the capacity of potters and later to Paraguay where Harry Davis was in charge of an industrial pottery. After the war they started the Crowan Pottery, near Camborne, where they produce domestic stoneware.

Shinner's Bridge Pottery, Dartington, Totnes, Devon

Born 1913, London. Studied 1932-1936 Royal College of Art, specialising in printed textiles. Began potting under influence of husband, T. S. Haile, in 1938. After two years in U.S.A. designing textiles, spent year studying and teaching at New York State College of Ceramics. Taught in University of Michigan and elsewhere in U.S.A. Full-time potting at Bulmer, Suffolk, and in 1948 began production at Dartington, producing tin-glazed earthenware and some slipware.

Robin Hill, 10 Old Road, Billingham
Born 1904. Studied at Cambridge School of Art and Royal College of Art, specialising in pottery under W. Staite Murray 1924-1928. After her marriage in 1928 to Dr. J. S. Dunn migrated to Billingham-on-Tees and taught pottery at the Constantine College in Middlesbrough. Has worked as an individual potter, with interruptions, ever since, in stoneware and porcelaneous stoneware; uses an oil-fired kiln.

The Walton Pottery Co., Ltd., 130 Station Road, Old Whittington, Nr. Chesterfield

Born 1905, St. Petersburg, Russia. Educated private school in Scotland and Exeter College, Oxford. Official art studies, nil. Studied art by constant visiting of Museums and Galleries in London and France from an early age. Did drawings, ironwork, inferior sculpture, before the war. In 1939 persuaded Walton Pottery Company to make white salt glaze and as a result of intensive research developed present ware. Served in the Intelligence Corps. 1942-1946. Restarted pottery in 1946.


Born 1909 in London. Studied at the Royal College of Art 1931-1935 when W. Staite Murray was head of the Pottery Department. Taught part-time until going to United States in 1939, where he taught at the New York State College of Ceramics and at the University of Michigan. After serving in the forces worked part-time for the Rural Industries Bureau as pottery consultant. In 1946, was making slipware at Bulmer in Suffolk and in 1947 moved to Shinner's Bridge Pottery at Dartington. In 1948 he was killed in a motor accident.

Mashiko, Japan

Born in Japan about 1892. Took up pottery partly influenced by Bernard Leach. Became professor at the Imperial Pottery School, Kyoto. Investigated early Chinese glazes. Came to England with Bernard Leach, 1920, as assistant 1920-1923. Established a reputation in England. Influenced from all sources but especially oriental folk art and to some extent English. Settled at Mashiko, 70 miles north of Tokyo. Now works with seven assistants, including two sons. Recognised as one of the foremost potters in Japan.

c/o Farnham School of Art, Farnham, Surrey

Born July 19th, 1914. Studied at Croydon School of Art under R. H. Marlow and then at the Royal College of Art under Staite Murray. Since the war has run the Pottery Department at Farnham School of Art and made pottery in his own studio. Has exhibited widely and made pots for Canterbury Cathedral and the Festival of Britain.

Mourne Textiles, Kilkeel, Co. Down, Northern Ireland

Began studying in Norway at the age of 18 on Norwegian upright looms. To Spain in 1931, where she started a small handweaving studio in Bilbao, with a Norwegian family there. Subsequent experience in London on her own, in Wales for Rural Industries Bureau, in Huddersfield to learn about industry. Dartington Hall textile mill for one and a half years, then Norway until married an Englishman and sailed for Shanghai in 1938. With war transferred to Calcutta. Now running own enterprise in N. Ireland under difficulties.

9 Lincoln Terrace, Felixstowe

Born January 26th, 1905. Trained at Leach Pottery. Teaches History and Pottery at Northgate Grammar School for Girls, Ipswich, Suffolk. Member of the Red Rose Guild.

The Leach Pottery, St. Ives, Cornwall

Draughtsman, potter, author. Born Hong Kong 1887. Eleven years in Japan and China. Pupil of Kenzan VI.Slade School of Art. Helped to form the Japanese craft movement. Started the Leach Pottery, St. Ives, Cornwall, 1920. Influences various, Folk art, Chinese and Korean pottery, English medieval and 18th-century wares. Revisited Japan 1934. Helped to found National Folk Museum. Invited to exhibit and lecture in Scandinavia 1949 and U.S.A. 1950.

The Leach Pottery, St. Ives, Cornwall

Born Japan 1911. Joined the Leach Pottery in 1930. Two years training at Stoke Technical College. At present partner and craftsman manager at St. Ives. Influences from varied sources.

Beagle Cross, St. Ives, Cornwall

Born Japan 1913. Cambridge. Worked at St. Ives for a time. Started two small potteries at Nairobi and Entebbe, Uganda, during the war. Worked again at St. Ives and then took over the teaching of pottery at the Penzance School of Art 1949. Influences again varied between East and West.

c/o The Leach Pottery, St. Ives, Cornwall

Born 1924. Art training, Art Institute, Chicago. Born 1921. Pottery Instructors at the St. Paul School of Art 1948-1950. Worked at the Leach Pottery 1950-1952.

Gospels, Ditchling, Sussex

Born February 17th, 1872. Had no training as there was no one at the beginning of the century to train under, but got her experience by experimenting and travelling. Lived in India which influenced her tremendously. She did not learn technique there but started practical work on returning to England in 1910 or 1912. She learnt to spin before weaving, which she knows now is the right beginning of weaving as it teaches one to know quality and one's 'bricks and mortar'. Mrs. Mairet is still running her workshop at Ditchling, Sussex, and has trained or influenced many leading weavers in this country and abroad.

c/o The Leach Pottery

Born at St. Ives. Local education, trained at the Leach Pottery.

57 Apsleigh House, St. John's Wood, London, NW8

Born London October 20th, 1902. Educated Roedean School, Central School of Arts and Crafts and Royal College of Art. Designing and printing hand- block printed textiles, 1925-1939. Also, wood engraving and autolithography for pattern papers, book jackets, book illustration and decoration, trademarks, etc.; designed moquette for L.T.P.B. Industrial designing for printed and woven furnishing fabrics, wallpapers, ceramics, plastics. Publications (jointly) English Furniture and Traditional Art, 1947; articles and broadcasts on aspects of industrial design in various countries; author and illustrator of books for children.

Spango, Killearn, Stirlingshire

Studied at the Glasgow School of Art and later joined the Staff of this School. 1946-1951 Examiner in Embroidery for the National Diploma in Design. In 1947 on behalf of educational interests in Scotland studied in Denmark and Sweden methods of textile education. 1948 entered the industrial sphere.

25 Earl's Walk, London, W8

Born 1875 in Benares, India, of Scottish parents. Educated in Scotland and at various schools of art, London. Sculptor, until in 1920 became interested in colour and took up rug weaving. Later, influenced by Bushongo work seen in Paris and the Congo Museum, Brussels, and Macedonian embroidery in Belgrade, concentrated on the development of pattern. 1937-1939 organised rug-making industry, Isle of Skye, Scotland. Does own spinning and vegetable dyeing.

Croft Foot, Hawks Head, Ambleside

Design director of Morton Sundour Fabrics Ltd. and Edinburgh Weavers. Industrial designer for woven and printed furnishing and dress fabrics. Took up hand weaving as an experimental method of designing for machine production, but regards the artist craftsman as of value apart from industry. Trained chiefly within the family business. Learned hand weaving from Mrs. Ethel Mairet.

Weavers, Clayton, Hassocks, Sussex

Began to weave in 1917 in the workshop of Mrs. Mairet, where she spent two years. Since then, among a number of people who have helped her she is especially indebted to Miss Murray for knowledge of Shetland tradition. Experience gained in Halifax, and history of a line of Welsh weavers. Born 1895.

Kilmington Manor, Nr. Warminster, Wilts

Trained Central School of Arts and Crafts 1921-1923 and at St. Ives 1924. Worked at Coleshill 1925-1940 and at Kilmington from 1949. Has made all the mistakes possible, passed no exams and taken no degrees. Experience purely practical.

c/o The Camberwell School of Art, Peckham Road, London, SE5

Born October 13th, 1907. Studied pottery and terra cotta at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts 1946-1950. Worked during vacation at St. Ives and Ramsbury. Now works in earthenware, stoneware, porcelain and terra cotta at Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts, London.

c/o The Leach Pottery

Born at St. Ives. Local education. Trained at the Leach Pottery.

Tibor Limited, Clifford Mill, Stratford-on-Avon

Born 1916. Studied at Leeds University and the School of Art, Leeds. Received Textile Diploma and won the Barker Prize. After leaving the University became Designer for leading rayon manufacturer in Lancashire, and then spent two years as a freelance designer in printed fabrics. Established the firm of Tibor Ltd. at Clifford Mill, near Stratford-on-Avon, in 1946 and has been carrying out experimental work since then. In 1951 he originated three-dimensional furnishing fabrics called Deep Tibor Textures. One of the most interesting jobs recently carried out was the complete refurnishing of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre.

18 Albion Mews, London, W2

Born March 16th, 1902, in Vienna. Trained at the Arts and Crafts School in Vienna under Michael Powolny. Own workshop until arrival in London in 1938. Started present workshop in Albion Mews, 1939.

19 Stanley Crescent, London, W11

Born 1919. From 1937 student at Birmingham College of Art. 1943-1945 took post as teacher Hastings School of Art. 1945 teaching hand weaving at Hull College of Art, then studied at Manchester College of Technology, Department of Textiles, and in 1949 became designer in a Cotton Mill in Lancashire. Now teaching weaving at the Camberwell School of Art and hand weaver on own account.

Highland Home Industries Ltd., Morar Pottery, Morar, Inverness-shire

Born 1918. Is a pupil of Bernard Leach and has had fourteen years pottery experience. Now Pottery Officer for Scotland to Scottish Country Industries Development Trust. Instructor at Highland Home Industries' Morar Pottery producing slipware, stoneware and porcelain. Craftsmen Member of Scottish Craft Centre.

Murray House, P.O. Odzi, South Rhodesia

Born 1881, in London. Began to study painting at age of twelve and later travelled extensively in U.S.A., Canada and Europe. 1912-1915 experimented in making pots, and after service with the Machine Gun Corps had kilns at Rotherhithe and Brockley, and from 1929-1939 at Bray. In 1926 was appointed head of the School of Pottery at the Royal College of Art. Exhibited in the West-end with Cedric Morris, Ben Nicholson and Christopher Wood, and for many years had an annual one-man show at the Lefevre Gallery. Now living in Southern Rhodesia.

c/o Warner & Sons Limited, New Mills, Braintree, Essex

Began weaving on a small loom at the age of eleven. Trained for three years at the Kunstgewerbeschule at Zurich. Went to Bradford to study machine production and later worked her way through a small cotton mill in Switzerland, then worked for nine months with Mrs. Mairet. In 1934 she was asked by the Rural Industries Bureau to go to Wales to design for the Welsh woollen mills and remained there for three years. In 1937 took the job of designer for the newly formed firm of Helios Ltd. and spent twelve years with that firm, until its closing down in 1950. Since then she has been designer for con- temporary fabrics at Warner & Sons Ltd., Braintree.

112 High Street, Corsham, Wilts

Born May 13th, 1919. Left home at the age of seventeen and worked his way round the world; lived for a time in the South Seas. He studied at the Slade and Royal Academy Schools, and was a student of Dora Billington. There followed a period of painting and book illustration. Now teaches pottery at the Bath Academy of Art. Held a one-man show at Gimpel Fils, December 1951.

4 Mount Road, Parkstone, Dorset

Born 1910. Trained at Chelsea School of Art and Royal College of Art. Has been Instructor in Pottery at Kingston-on-Thames, Leicester College of Art, Northampton School of Art and Leeds College of Art. Now Head of the Faculty of Pottery Southern College of Art at Poole College.

Reproduced from the conference report with the permission of the Dartington Hall Trust Archive.

Dartington Conference 1952