Title ID 9484Collection ID1367
Title[Bernard Leach short films]
Date[ca. 1920s]; 1966
KeywordsHandicrafts Travel
NationalEngland United Kingdom Colombia Japan
ParticipantsBernard Leach, Francine Del Pierre
Format16mm Black & White Silent
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


Four short films on a compilation reel showing Bernard Leach at various locations including:

  1. St. Erth in the 1930s, 2. A house and pottery in the 1920s, 3. A trip to Colombia in 1966 and 4. Matsui in the 1920s


  1. The first film shows the River Hale near St. Erth flowing fast through the countryside on a rainy day. A woman with a dog and houses appear in the background.

  2. The second film shows the front of a house with a window displaying Bernard Leach pots and a swift view of a sign reading 'The Leach Pottery'. The camera swings around catching views of a young woman and man with a dog, then Bernard Leach coming out of the house carrying pots which he displays outside. A man mixes clay slip in a barrel. Other activity takes place outside with the camera only catching the feet and legs of those involved. People leave a house but the camera angle misses their heads. Inside, clay is prepared but again largely out of view. Clay balls are lined up for throwing and the wheel head can be seen turning. A thrown jug is briefly seen being taken off the wheel.

  3. The third film shows of a group of people walking along an airport(?) corridor, including Bernard Leach and Francine Del Pierre. The group attend a black-tie drinks party with various dignitaries.

  4. The fourth film shows Matsue in Japan, beginning with dark scenes of a wooded area followed by views of a man fishing with a large net from a boat on the lake. A Noborigama style climbing kiln is briefly shown before views of the countryside and trees. Various men in overcoats and hats chat with each other. A cliff with a road tunnel ends the film.

Contextual information

From the Leach Pottery website

Film 1: In 1921 "They found earthen ware clay near St. Erth"

Film 3: In 1966 "Leach went on lecture tours to Venezuela and Colombia, Honduras, USA and Japan. In Japan he was awarded Order of the Sacred Treasure 2nd Class. This was the highest honour given to a non national."

Film 4: In his book 'Beyond East and West: Memoirs, Portraits and Essays' Bernard Leach wrote "I did enjoy this quiet, almost silent, drinking of Tea, as I looked out over the long expanses of that lake watching the fishermen. On wet days with my shoji (paper door) open I could see the lonely fishermen, each with a peculiar net hinged on the stern of his anchored boat, which he raised and emptied again at intervals'.