William Marshall (1923-2007), Cornish born and bred, was apprenticed at the Leach Pottery, St Ives as a boy and rose to become its foreman, a steady hand that helped to guide the fortunes of the workshop, both as a business and as a teaching pottery. He was an expert thrower and threw many of Bernard Leach’s own pots with Leach completing the details and decorating. Yet Marshall emerged as an important artist in his own right, making work quite distinct from not only Leach’s but the anglo-oriental school in general. His bottles, bowls and jugs had a strong quality of form, with colours and surfaces that evoked the weather and texture of his native landscape, and also a more direct sense of Japanese ceramic traditions. His grittier clays, broad hakame sponging and poured coppers had a boldness of expression that is now greatly admired. Marshall left the Leach Pottery in 1977 and set up his workshop at nearby Lelant.

David Whiting