Maak Contemporary Ceramics, 18 May 2017, lot 37
At the age of 14, William Marshall, or Bill as he was generally known, became Bernard Leach’s first apprentice. He was to stay at the Leach Pottery until 1977 and was very much Leach’s right-hand man. As Leach grew older, Marshall, a natural thrower, would often throw some of Leach’s larger and more challenging pots for the master to finish and decorate. His own work has a very distinct voice and using a relatively small repertoire of forms and glazes, he created pieces which impress by their quiet but strong presence. His pots have the cardinal values of function and form to the fore and are also eminently useable.
This characterful pot has a presence that belies its size. The bold and controlled faceting of the body gives an almost architectural solidity to the piece which is then counterbalanced by fluidity of the lid and delicacy of the handle. The creamy glaze captures light beautifully and allows it to stand out on even the most crowded shelf.