September 12th Janet Darnell Leach (Death)

Texas – born Janet Darnell Leach (1918 – 1997) was a studio potter who spent her later working life at the Leach Pottery. After studying sculpture in New York and a brief marriage, in the Second World  War, she worked on Staten Island as a welder. 

Increasingly interested in pottery, she studied under Shoji Hamada in North Carolina after the War and then studied with him in Japan for two years; the first foreign woman to study pottery in Japan and also only the second westerner.  After marrying Bernard Leach (May 6th), who she met when he too was working with Hamada, they moved to St. Ives and worked at the eponymous Leach Pottery.

With her abilities under-estimated due to her husband’s fame, much of her work remained undiscovered for years. Examples of her works include ‘Vase’ (below left) and ‘Three Vases ’ (below right).

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