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Bernard Leach (British, 1887-1979)


BERNARD LEACH: DRAWINGS

Bernard Leach (1887-1979) is the pre-eminent British potter of the twentieth century. Having studied as a potter in Japan he established the Leach Pottery in St Ives in 1920, where he constructed the first Japanese-style kiln in Europe. By introducing traditional Eastern forms and techniques he influenced the direction studio pottery would take in both Europe and America.

Bernard Leach: Drawings at the Cambridge Book and Print Gallery is the first ever selling exhibition of Bernard Leach’s drawings, comprising work from throughout Leach’s life that has never before been seen. The drawings are mostly in pen, ink and wash, many on handmade Japanese papers, and were drawn in Japan, St Ives, and America.

Bernard Leach was always known as a phenomenal draughtsman, and drawing was his first artistic inclination. He studied drawing under Henry Tonks while at the Slade School, and then etching under Frank Brangwyn at the London School of Art. He went to Japan in 1909 with the idea of teaching etching; while there his etchings and drawings evolved to become closer to Japanese calligraphic styles, and he began to use soft ground etching and to pursue ink brush drawing. But it was pottery that became Leach’s calling, and he began to translate his drawings into designs for and on his pots, which would be celebrated as much for their decoration as for their forms. The extent of Leach’s graphic output has been little known, with many of his etchings being printed only posthumously and his drawings remaining unseen. Yet he continued to sketch throughout his life, and he writes in A Potter's Book of his dependency on drawings ‘done at all sorts of odd moments when an idea of shape or pattern leaps to a visual image’.

The drawings here range from studies of Japanese potters to designs for specific kinds of pottery. They display Leach’s mastery of linear style, that can be at once precise and fluid. Here we discover Leach drawing a Japanese pottery on handmade Japanese paper, drawing up designs for his climbing kiln, designing a tea set for production at the Leach Pottery, and sketching the cover design for his book on his friend and Leach Pottery co-founder, the great Japanese potter Hamada Shōji. (Dr Peter Maber, April 2016)


Bernard Leach. Drawing for The Art of Bernard Leach

 

Throwing a pot, with text directions and information on kneading

pen and ink on paper
extensive annotations

28.5 x 20 cm.

SOLD



Bernard Leach. Drawing for The Art of Bernard Leach

Bernard Leach. Drawing for The Art of Bernard Leach


Tea notes

with portrait sketches to reverse
pen and ink on orange paper
extensive annotations

18 x 17.5 cm.

SOLD



Bernard Leach. Drawing for The Art of Bernard Leach


Cup

ink wash painting on paper
19.5 x 18 cm.

SOLD

 

Bernard Leach. Drawing for The Art of Bernard Leach

Bernard Leach. Drawing for The Art of Bernard Leach


Top of pot, with drawing of pot to reverse

pen and ink on paper
17 x 14 cm.

SOLD


Bernard Leach. Drawing for The Art of Bernard Leach

Bernard Leach. Drawing for The Art of Bernard Leach


Communal Korean kiln

with drawing of pot to reverse
pen and ink on paper
6.9 x 11.6 cm

to illustrate A Potter's Book, p. 184

£850
(framed in oak)


Bernard Leach. Drawing for The Art of Bernard Leach


Bench drawing with text

pen and ink on paper
extensive annotation
17.7 x 14cm.

£700
(framed in oak)


Bernard Leach. Drawing for The Art of Bernard Leach


Sakaïde Pottery, Japan, 1935

pen and ink on Japanese paper
20 x 25.5cm
with extensive annotations referencing the Kurashiki people to the reverse


£1,500
(framed in oak)


Bernard leach. Japanese drawing


Japanese drummer

pen and ink with wash on Japanese paper with additional drawing to reverse with text
(showing yunomi and a kiln)
18 x 13cm

£1,650 (framed in oak)




Bernard Leach. Coptic Leopard

recto


Bernard Leach. Lifter

verso


Coptic Leopard

Pen and ink drawing on Black Mountain College paper. There is another drawing of a ‘lifter’ to the reverse.
10.5 x 14 cm.
Bernard Leach taught at Black Mountain College in North Carolina in the 1950s, giving pottery seminars alongside Shoji Hamada.

£950 (framed in oak)


Bernard Leach. Potter's Book Drawing


Band and Single

Pen and ink drawing on paper
titled and annotated
6.5 x 7cm

£680 (framed in oak)

Conceived to illustrate brushwork in A Potter's Book (not used).


Bernard Leach. Potter's Book Drawing


Wave repeat

Pen and ink drawing on paper
titled and annotated
6.5 x 7cm

£680 (framed in oak)

Conceived to illustrate brushwork in A Potter's Book (not used).


Bernard Leach. Potter's Book Drawing


Broken wave repeat

Pen and ink drawing on paper
titled and annotated
6.5 x 7cm

£680 (framed in oak)

Conceived to illustrate brushwork in A Potter's Book (not used).



Bernard Leach. Potter's Book Drawing


Band and Touch

Pen and ink drawing on paper
titled and annotated
6.5 x 7cm

£680 (framed in oak)

Conceived to illustrate brushwork in A Potter's Book (not used).


Bernard Leach. Potter's Book Drawing


Asymmetric naturalistic

Pen and ink drawing on paper
titled and annotated
6.5 x 7cm

£680 (framed in oak)

Conceived to illustrate brushwork in A Potter's Book (not used).



Bernard Leach. Potter's Book Drawing


All over repeat

Pen and ink drawing on paper
titled and annotated
6.5 x 7cm

£680 (framed in oak)

Conceived to illustrate brushwork in A Potter's Book (not used).


Bernard Leach. Potter's Book Drawing


Indian wheel

Pen and ink drawing on paper
annotated in pencil
8 x 10cm

SOLD

To illustrate A Potter's Book, p. 67.

 


Bernard Leach. Potter's Book Drawing


Malayan turn-table

Pen and ink drawing on paper
annotated in pencil
8 x 7cm

£620 (framed in oak)

To illustrate A Potter's Book, p. 66.

 

Bernard Leach. Coiling and smoothing, Japan


Coiling and smoothing, Japan

Pen and ink drawing on paper
8 x 7cm

£620 (framed in oak)

Illustrated in A Potter's Book, p. 66.

 


Bernard Leach. Potter's Book Drawing


Japanese coiling and throwing

annotated
pen and ink drawing on paper
10 x 12cm

£1,250 (framed in oak)

To illustrate A Potter's Book, p. 65.

 


Bernard Leach. Potter's Book Drawing


Boney Pie

pen and ink drawing on paper
annotated
12.6 x 20cm

£950 (framed in oak)


Bernard Leach. Fritillary


Fritillary

pen and ink on handmade Japanese speckled paper
Initialled ‘BL’
9 x 9 cm

The fritillary is a classic Leach motif and features on Bernard Leach’s tiles, bowls and vases.


SOLD

Bernard Leach. Vase


Sketch of a Vase

Pen and ink on paper
Initialled ‘B.L.’
18 x 13.5 cm

£1,100 (framed in oak)

Bernard Leach. Celadon porcelain cup

recto

Bernard Leach. Teacup sketches

verso

Bernard Leach. Celadon porcelain teapot

recto

Bernard Leach. Advertisement



Japanese Teapot and Teacup sketches

2 pen, ink and wash drawings showing designs for a celadon porcelain teapot and teacup, on the reverse of Leach Pottery advertisements, with some additional sketching to the reverse of the teacup
11.5 x 15 cm each

£1,050 (framed as one in oak)


Bernard Leach. The Sea


The Sea

Soft ground etching on wove paper
numbered from the edition of 25 by Janet Leach (the potter's wife)
7 x 10cm (plate); 15 x 17cm (sheet).

SOLD


This etching by the renowned potter Bernard Leach was printed by Janet Leach following her husband's death in an edition of around 25. This was the only edition.


Bernard Leach. Potter's Book Drawing


Coiling and smoothing, Japan

Pen and ink on paper
5.3 x 10.5cm

£650 (framed in oak)

An alternative version to that illustrated in A Potter's Book, p. 66.


Bernard Leach. Potter's Book Drawing

 

Japanese clay-kneading by hand

Pen and ink on paper
annotated
12.4 x 8.5cm
Illustrated in A Potter's Book, p. 52.

SOLD


Bernard Leach. Potter's Book Drawing


Coiled and thrown pot being heated. Japan.

pen and ink on paper
annotated
10.3 x 12.1cm

£850 (framed in oak)


Bernard Leach. Potter's Book Drawing


Coiling, throwing and heating. Japan.

Pen and ink on paper
annotated
9.4 x 12.1cm

£800 (framed in oak)

Bernard Leach. Potter's Book Drawing


Kiln with instructions in pencil dated Apl. 1954

Pen and ink with pencil on paper
27 x 18cm

£1,200 (framed in oak)

Bernard Leach. Potter's Book Drawing

Bernard Leach. Potter's Book Drawing


Kiln with long technical throwing instructions and drawing of kiln to reverse of sheet dated 19.8.34

Pen and ink on green paper
annotated
23 x 16.7cm

£950 (framed to show reverse in oak)

Bernard Leach. Potter's Book Drawing

Bernard Leach. Potter's Book Drawing


Kiln with long explanatory note by Leach to reverse dated 22.IV.54

Pen and ink on paper
annotated
27 x 17.5cm

SOLD


Bernard Leach. Potter's Book Drawing


Sunagama kiln climbing

Pencil and pen and ink on paper
20 x 25.7cm

£950 (framed in oak)


Bernard Leach. Potter's Book Drawing


Fritillary

Pencil drawing on paper
16.5 x 10cm

£400 (framed in oak)


The fritillary is a classic Leach motif and features on Bernard Leach’s tiles, bowls and vases.


Bernard Leach. Potter's Book Drawing


Simple bowl on reverse of Leach pottery card

Pen and ink on paper
annotated
11.5 x 15cm

£450 (framed in oak)


Bernard Leach. Potter's Book Drawing


Kiln technical drawing

Pencil and pen and ink on paper
25.2 x 20cm

£650 (framed in oak)



Bernard Leach. Potter's Book Drawing


Kiln technical drawing

Pencil and pen and ink on paper
20 x 25.2cm

£650 (framed in oak)


Bernard Leach. Potter's Book Drawing


Kiln technical drawing

Pencil and pen and ink on paper
20 x 25.2cm

£650 (framed in oak)



Bernard Leach. Potter's Book Drawing


Flambeau

Pencil on paper
titled
19 x 14cm

£420 (framed in oak)


Bernard Leach. Hamada Book Drawing


Sketch for Hamada, Potter (1975) book cover

Pencil on paper
titled
23 x 16.5cm

£800 (framed in oak)

To illustrate the cover of Hamada, Potter, which was printed with lacquer by silkscreen in Japan.

 


Bernard Leach. Self Scrutiny


Self Scrutiny

Etching on wove paper
initialled, titled and dated 1916 in the plate
numbered from the edition of 25 by Janet Leach (the potter's wife)
15.5 x 9cm. (plate)

SOLD

This etching by the renowned potter Bernard Leach was printed by Janet Leach following her husband's death in an edition of 25.
A similar self-portait etching is in the National Portrait Gallery, London.

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