WELDING in a shipyard, becoming an accomplished sculptor, then fascinated by pottery and going to Japan to learn more, meeting and marrying renowned potter Bernard Leach, Janet Leach is the subject of a new book with lots of photographs of her remarkable pots.

A book published this year tells her story.

“Janet Leach potter” is written by Joanna Wason who worked with Janet in St Ives.

It is a fascinating book, much about the years in Japan working with potters, living among them, learning the Japanese way of life, attitude to work, ways of glazing and firing pots Janet had never come across, Joanna Wason tells Janet’s intriguing life story. 

Growing up on a farm in Texas, Janet had worked and saved to go to New York to study art, first she had become an accomplished sculptor when pottery intrigued her and she began learning as much as she could.  

She discovered Japanese potting, determined to try to go there to learn.   She had met Bernard Leach, enlisted his help to introduce her to potters in Japan, worked and saved to be able to get there she loved it and stayed.

Opportunities she took then do not exist now.  Even for someone who is not a potter it is a book to want to keep reading.  For anyone who pots it could become a bible with descriptions of the working in Japan, including some of Janet’s writing about that. 

Sue Read