A Pottery Plea

Posted on by Fay Curtis.

by Helen Brown, curator of applied art

Fellow Bristolians! Did you attend school in Bristol during the 60s or 70s?
If so, did you study art?


A piece of pottery by Hans Coper

Hans Coper

Here at Bristol Museum & Art Gallery, we’re planning a special exhibition based around the pottery collection that was lent out to local schools during the 60s and 70s.

The collection featured ground breaking pieces from some of the leading potters of the period, including curious shapes by Hans Coper and Lucy Rie, and enormous thrown vases and jars by Janet Leach.

The collection was rich in texture and animal decoration and underpinned by a passion for personal, handmade and anti-mass-produced pieces.


A piece of pottery by Lucie Rie

Lucie Rie


Used in primary and secondary schools, particularly by those studying ‘O’ and ‘A’ level pottery, it was provided by the Schools Art Service, based at Bower Ashton.

The collection was built with the aim of inspiring children’s creativity through access to the very best art and craft.

We’d love to hear from anyone who has memories of the pots and of making pottery in Bristol schools during this time. Or perhaps you remember teaching using the pottery loan service.

Your memories of the collection could end up in the exhibition interpretation, through quotes or short recorded interviews.


A piece of pottery by Janet Leach

Janet Leach

Have any information? 

Please contact [email protected] if you think you could help us with this exciting new project!

Main image: Ewart Uncles



3 comments on “A Pottery Plea

  1. Teresa St Claire

    I don’t think I have any pottery that was part of the pottery loan service, but I am the niece of the potter Ewart Uncles. I have a few of his pieces – not many – but wondered if you would be interested in having them for your collection. Please let me know as soon as possible if that is the case, as I am now selling the house and will shortly be moving abroad.


    1. Oliver Kent

      Ewart Uncles taught art at Redland Teacher Training College in Bristol and was first chairman of the Craft Study Centre in Bath. He is remembered fondly by many ex-students. We have one piece – a tall thrown bottle in the Ken Stradling Collection at the Design Study Centre in Bristol. We would be very interested to see your pots and gear more about Ewart. We have a parallel exhibition to the museum one at our gallery nearby in Park Row, A Life in Clay, open on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Our website is http://www.stradlingcollection.org where there are contact details.


    2. John Forde

      Hello Teresa,

      We recently (2013) bought a house in Le Treuil, South West France – I was told by neighbours, that Ewart Uncles, your uncle, had at some date previously lived in the house next door and had a studio a few metres away, in a small detached building . When I was clearing out one of the cellars, in our house, prior to the builders arriving, I discovered a sign, advertising pottery for sale, which Ewart must have had outside of his studio.
      I have a photograph of the sign, which I could send you but there is no way of attaching it to this email.
      Some of the neighbours have quite a few pieces of his work and he is fondly remembered
      Best wishes,



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