Become a Friend of the Swindon Museumand Art Gallery

For only £15 a year, you can become a Friend and receive links to our Zoom talks. To become a Friend or find out more about us, go to the website

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

The Cricklade Pottery

This beautiful small book contains three chapters by Mike Yates, and one by Ivan Martin extracted from the article he wrote for Pottery Quarterly in the summer of 1957. It's a fascinating account of potters, and takes us back to what is now a bygone age many would like to revive, when objects are valued and enjoyed for their own sake, not jettisoned with the other household accessories as fashions change. It mainly chronicles the Cricklade pottery which was in production from 1957-75.
 The book starts with this wonderful perspective on pottery and potters:
'It should not be thought that the potter's work is primitive and crude because his materials are rough and unrefined. Pottery has been the representative art of the most sensitive and intellectual races'.
The illustrations show examples of pottery from the Cricklade pottery, and I find myself wondering, after Sophie's talk last Friday if they were made from throwing clay onto a potter's wheel, coiled clay, pinched or cut slabs. Ivan Martin explains in the book that his pots were thrown on a wheel, he used a kick-wheel, the same as Bernard Leach and Michael Cardew
 This is the front cover:
 Back cover:
 And the two central pages

 In the final chapter, Mike brings us up to date with potteries in the area, and ends with another Ivan Martin quote seeing 'a gradual improvement in the aesthetic tastes of the masses'.
These lovely booklets are on sale in the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery shop, I would encourage you to buy one.


  1. Can I buy a copy of this book to post please? I grew up in Cricklade, but now live in Devon.

    1. Jane, try contacting the author Mike Yates at;
      I will see him on Thursday and will tell him of your enquiry.