• 1947 b. Four Marks, Alton, Hampshire
  • 1949-1956 Lived Beagle Cross, St Ives. Next door to the Leach Pottery. My father Michael Leach worked there and taught at the Penzance Art School have early memories of the pottery, Bill Marshall and Scott Marshall, Paul Vibert and Horatio Dunn.
  • 1956 My father moved to North Devon and started Yelland Pottery. I went to Grenville College, Bideford.
  • 1958-1966 Barnstaple Grammar School 8 O Levels. 2 A Levels Art and Zoology.


Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award presented by Jeremy Thorpe MP[during a practice hike on Exmoor we camped out at Easter under a full moon and a severe frost, unable to sleep we left our tents to explore the moor and found an entire horseís skeleton gleaming white in the dark heather, just magnificent] .Silver Award not passed because teacher somehow managed to lose all the pass books. Took part in the Ten Tors on Dartmoor but got lost for 5 hours with no map or compass.
  • 1961 Learnt the rudiments of throwing age 14 with my father for six months. 
  • From A Level onwards have always had sketch book on the go.


  • 1966-69 Attended Newton Park Teacher Training College. Did Art and Design as main study and Rural Science as secondary subject. Helped lay foot paths around the Wookey Hole Nature Reserve Final teaching practice in Bristol Comprehensive School where survival was the name of the game. Got a Teacherís Certificate.
  • 1969 Managed to contract Amoebic Dysentery working in a North London Pub.
  • 1969-70 First teaching job. St Michaelís Cof E Primary School, Paddington, London. £ 12-00 a week. lived in a condemned house in Camden Town
  • 1970 Travelled to Iran age 21 and got a teaching job in the American Community School [ Madaraseh Omreecai Jaaleh]


Iranian Pot

Bridge Sketch

The American Womenís Club somehow tracked me down and wanted to know if I was the real thing. [a grandson of the Bernard Leach]

I stayed in Iran for six years and helped to set up a number of workshops. Got quite hooked on the lovely Persian blue glaze found on the tiles in the mosques.

  • 1976 Returned to the U.K.and worked with my father for 3 months. Clive Bowen my brother-in-law was building his wood fired kiln so I went to help him for two and a half years.
  • 1977 March 18th Married Frannie who was working for my Dad.
  • 1978 December 26th Our daughter Emma was born into a snowy winter.
  • 1979 Springfield Pottery was started
  • 1979 Arrived at in Hartland with Emma aged six months and a red 2C.V. where Frannie and I decided to start a pottery. We built a small kiln straight out of Daniel Rhodes and decided to make Earthenware.


Tile design 1

Tile design 2

  • 1980 September 26th Our son Jesse was born.
  • 1981 We took on Louise Jefferys straight out of school and she stayed with us for 5 years.

The early days were quite a slog with very poor sales so I did a certain amount of supply teaching to supplement the income.

I taught pottery for 8 years at The Small School in Hartland.

We slowly built up the different glazes.

I helped to run the local Youth Club for a number of years of which the highlight had to be a spectacular production of Cinderella.

I was a governor of Hartland Primary School for eight years and chairman for one of those years.

I keep a sketchbook or two on the go and like to make drawings. Sometimes these are an end in themselves but they can also be the basis for paintings, for linocuts and ideas for pots. I sometimes attend a life-drawing class.


Stag Beetle

  • 1996 September. First trip to Japan. I took a small exhibition and gave a talk in five different venues.
  • 1997 I made an instructive pottery video with the help of Stuart at 7th Wave.
  • 1998 September. Major exhibition in Japan . I went with Frannie this time and we both had a really good time. Now we are learning Japanese.
  • 2000 April work commences on the Springfield web site.


Camping Sketch

  • 2001 June-July Tiles project with schools in North Devon and Appledore Arts Festival [YOTA].Tiles fired in the kiln in the Park, Bideford.

  • 2003 July, Possett pot project with local schools. Pots fired in kiln in the Park, Bideford.

  • 2004 Cartooned. North Devon Arts project. Pots made after the caricature pots of Carruthers Gould, Barnstaple. Project done with students from Pilton Community College, Barnstaple

  • 2005 May Trip to Japan, worked with Japanese Master potter Kazutoshi Yamada .Helped to fire his wood kiln. Shared in two joint exhibitions in Toyota and Nagoya.

  • 2005 October Trip to Japan to demonstrate and sell work in Hankyu Department store in Osaka

Philip lets his hair down at this years Hartland pram race!

Pot Making Video

Filmed during the Summer of 1997 this instructive video looks at the whole process of producing a hand thrown pot, stage by stage.  Targetted at anyone learning about pottery from the Secondary School level up. It Starts with the raw clay, with Phillip guiding you through Kneading, throwing, handling, slipping, sgraffito, biscuit firing, decorating, glazing & the final glaze firing.

Video Cover Design. 

Filmed entirely at Springfield Pottery with a running time of 66 minutes, the video is available by mail order for £12.50 (Inc P&P) from:

Springfield Pottery, 88 Springfield, Hartland, Devon, EX39 6BG

 Telephone: 01237 441506


Click here for May 2001 YOTA - recent teaching experience................