Monday, 29 November 2010

David Winkley
Dartington, 1963

'I have a deep tap root of affection for Dartington, I was very happy there and it changed the course of my life for one of great privilege and satisfaction'.

David Winkley came to Dartington in 1963 to teach drawing and art history, but after watching Bernard Forrester throw a pot he decided to become a potter. He went on to establish the Vellow Pottery near Taunton, Somerset.

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Aller Park
Exhibition venue

A surprising photograph of Aller Park taken in the thirties, not long after it was built.

Image courtesy of the Bosence family

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Mark Sontag
Drawings of Staff

Whitmore the Physics Teacher
Ronald Anderson the piano Teacher
Minns the Biology Teacher

John 'Pop' Wales the History Teacher

A set of witty drawings reminiscent of Mark Boxer's cartoons by Mark Sontag.
I found them in a hoard of Sue Bosence's photographs from the late 30s early 40s, shown to me by her daughter Mary Sarre. Sue taught at Dartington for many years.

Alice Leach
The Dartington Printmakers

'We dined on zebra and leaves'
Collagraph by Alice Leach

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Rachel May (Nee Forrester)

A pot by Bernard Forrester's daughter Rachel.

Image courtesy of Nicholas Beeching-Johnson

Susie Gillespie

Fine Art Weaver

Birdwood House,

Totnes, Devon

On Now until 27th November

Susie uses handspun yarn made from all sorts of interesting things,

in particular a yarn made of nettle from Nepal.

This work needs to be seen in the flesh to fully appreciate the unusual textures and earthy tones.


reads his poetry
including from his new collection
"Where Earwigs Dare"

Saturday 11th December
St Mary's Church
10.30 for 11am performance

Tickets £5 on the door

Friday, 19 November 2010

The Early Years

Bernard Forrester
Dartington, 1932 - 1963
'For me, pottery is calling on memories of experience and then being able to reach into the kiln and hold and see the result of this matching.'

Bernard Forrester first came to Dartington to help build Bernard Leach's kiln in 1932. When Leach departed, Forrester stayed behind at the request of the then headmaster W. B. Curry, and began to teach pottery at Foxhole and, from 1947, at the Adult Eductaion Centre. Apart from Marianne de Trey, he has been the potter most intimately connected with the crafts community there, working at Dartington for nearly fifty years.

Images courtesy of Nic Johnson

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

The Early Years

Willi Soukop
Dartington, 1934-40
"My life was never planned, it just happened,"

Swan Fountain, 1950, Dartington Hall Gardens

The Donkey, Dartington Hall Gardens

Soukop's Studio, Dartington Hall Gardens

"My work is rather catholic,and ranges over a wide variety of subject-matter as well as materials - my art education was traditional but my chief influence was the German sculptor Ernst Barlach (1870-1938) and travelling and meeting the other artists who widened my horizons, in particular through teaching in England."

Viennese sculptor Willi Soukop came to Dartington in 1934. Dartington was a virtual international centre for the arts and this had a tremendous effect on Soukop, and its influence on him lasted decades, with the friendships formed enduring to his death. He wasn't the only European exile to come to Dartington, the entire Jooss Ballet from Germany,Michael Chekhov and his drama school and Hein Heckroth, who went on to win an Oscar for his set designs for 'The Red Shoes' were all there.

Other influences on Soukop came from friendships with the artists Cecil Collins and the potters Bernard and David Leach.

For Soukop, Dartington became an idyllic haven where he was not only free to carve but was also offered a teaching post, at Dartington Hall School. With war approaching, he had no wish to return to Vienna, but in 1940 he, like many others, was classified as an "alien" and first interned at Aintree racecourse, then shipped off to Canada for nine months until he was released to return to Dartington. He went on to set up sculpture departments at Blundell's School, Bryanston School, in Dorset, and then the Downs School in Worcestershire.

In 1945 Soukop came to London and taught at Bromley, Guildford and Chelsea Schools of Art - where he remained until 1972. In 1969 he accepted the additional position of Master of Sculpture at the Royal Academy Schools and became a member of the faculty for the British School in Rome.

Bernard Leach Exhibition

Leach Pottery, St Ives

Current Exhibition

July 10th to end of year


Between 1925 and 1946 the Leach Pottery in St Ives was deeply intertwined, philosophically and financially, with the Dartington Hall community in South Devon. This exhibition looks at the role played by the Elmhirsts of Dartington in the early development of the Leach Pottery and introduces a part of their fine collection of pottery, gathered under the guidance of Bernard Leach and currently held at High Cross House on the Dartington Estate in Totnes, Devon.