About me, my pottery, my kiln

Whilst studying ceramics at Camberwell School of Art and Crafts in 1984 my then tutor, Colin Pearson, suggested I read Bernard Leach’s Potter’s Book. Taking the book with me, I would go down to the River Thames at low tide and search for shards of early Roman, English, European and Oriental pots. The handles, rims, lips, feet and necks of bottles, all described part of the making and firing processes involved. This is what initially drew me to salt glaze and later to wood firing. Finding a potter’s thumb print or finger nail scratch in the fired clay illiustrated to me the humanity of the ceramic process.

After college I took part in the International Workshop of Ceramic Art in Tokoname, Japan, one of the seven ancient kiln sites in Japan. I travelled, worked and exhibited in Japan for six months gaining experience in wood firing kilns and absorbing the rich Mingei or folk traditions of Japanese art and craft. I visited many of the places that Bernard Leach had travelled to, staying with artists, musicians, potters, sculptors, writers and monks.

When I returned I was fortunate enough to be offered a position as apprentice to John Leach, Bernard’s eldest grandson, at Mulchelney Pottery on the Somerset levels in 1988. This two year experience was invaluable and enabled me to move to Bettiscombe in Dorset and build the ‘Anagama’ kiln that I use and from where I have been making for the last 20 years.


1964 Born, Moseley, Birmingham
1982-1983 Foundation Course, Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts
1984-1987 BA Honours Degree in Ceramics, Camberwell School of Arts and Crafts
1987-1988 Built first wood firing kiln, Chiselhurst, Kent
Earth and Vision Exhibition at R.B.S.A. Birmingham
Awarded travel bursary from The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation
Attended The International Workshop of Ceramic Art in Tokoname, Japan
Exhibition at Tokoname Ceramics Festival
1988-1990 Apprentice to John Leach at Mulchelney Pottery in Somerset
1990-1992 Moved to Bettiscombe in Dorset, built Anagama Kiln and established own pottery
1995 Received funding from The David Cantor Memorial Fund for equipment
1996 Selected for professional membership of The Devon Guild of Craftsmen
1997 Selected for professional membership of The Craft Potters Association
2001 Exhibition, Bournemouth University
2002 Woodfired Ceramics Exhibition, Tegelen, Netherlands
Totally Tea Bowls Exhibition, Oakwood Gallery, Nottinghamshire
2005 Casius Clay Exhibition, Bonholm, Denmark
Earth and Fire Exhibition, Bromley Museum, Kent
Featured in Channel 4’s “River Cottage” series making a Chicken Brick for the chef Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
2006 Invited to talk and exhibit at The Habitat Centre, New Dehli, India, by the Dehli Blue Pottery Trust

From 2006 to the present Tim Hurn has regularly exhibited at ceramic fairs such as
Art In Clay, Hatfield House, Berkshire
Earth and Fire, Rufford Abbey, Nottinghamshire
Craft Potters Association Ceramics Fair, St Edward’s School, Oxford
Ceramics in the City, The Geffrye Museum, London