Review of Jack Doherty Demonstration

Many thanks to Ian for such a glowing review of Jack Doherty’s demonstration last weekend, what a wonderful source of inspiration for those who attended.


I have been to many talks / lectures / workshops / demonstrations on various aspects of ceramics and pottery over the last few years, but rarely, if ever, to one as good as that given by Jack Doherty last Saturday. Rarely have I seen an audience so transfixed by the lecturer’s eloquence and skill. Wonderful!

Jack first described his early years – 4th generation Bernard Leach, meeting Lucie Rie, Ruth Duckworth, and others: what a way to start as a potter! Having then discussed some of his early works, he then talked about his many years as the first Lead Potter and Creative Director of the Leach Pottery, describing the development of and the philosophy behind this enterprise.

He then moved on to his more recent works – many fired at the Leach Pottery. It was fascinating to learn of some of the inspiration behind much of his work: lichens on a rusty pipe (or was it a branch?) or the weathered and rust stained surfaces of old fishing boats. And how many of us would have the idea of using our own homes as a gallery for an exhibition?

But good though Jack’s talk was, it was eclipsed totally by his demonstration. The seemingly effortless throwing; the simplicity of his tool kit (I presume that, by now, Amazon will have run out of cookie cutters); and the subsequent finishing techniques will provide inspiration for all who attended for many years to come.

Ian Chrystie

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