Bernard Leach was born and brought up in the Far East where his father was a colonial judge in Hong Kong and his maternal grandparents were missionaries in Japan. As a young man he studied etching at the London School of Art before settling in Japan where he became fascinated with pottery and studied under the great master Kenzan.
In 1920 he came back to England and started his own pottery in St Ives, which over the next 50 years was a major focal point for the craft pottery movement. In the late 1920’s he helped start the St Ives Society of Artists, and in 1949 he was a founder member of the Penwith Society of Arts together with Barbara Hepworth and Ben Nicholson.
Throughout his life, Bernard travelled extensively, passing on his knowledge to potters around the world. He died in 1979 at the age of 92.