Michael became interested in pottery while he was a child but it was while at Oxford that he announced to his surprised contemporaries his intention of becoming a country potter.
He was taught to throw by William Fishley Holland at Braunton in North Devon where he spent his holidays. Coming to the Leach Pottery in 1923 as its first student, he shared an interest in slipware with Bernard Leach and was greatly influenced by the pots of Hamada. After 3 years here he left to re-found the century-old but derelict pottery at Winchcombe in Gloucestershire. He experimented in industrial design at Stoke and he founded and later enlarged the Wenford Bridge Pottery near Bodmin in Cornwall, producing earthenware and stoneware.
He worked in Ghana in West Africa from 1942 to 1948 as an instructor and from 1951 to 1965 he establish and ran a pottery and training centre at Abuja. He also traveled extensively, touring America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand making pots, demonstrating, writing and teaching. On his return to Wenford he wrote 'Pioneer Potter' about his world travels, published in 1969.( more on Michael Cardew )
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