Richard Batterham pottery

Richard Batterham

Acclaimed as the foremost living maker of domestic stoneware in the world, Richard is very sadly not now able to throw more pots. However, throughout his long career, he has put aside pots in a private collection which he used for his own reference and as a record of his work. Some he chose because they marked a significant development that he wanted to replicate and others because they were ideal versions of a form. With the help of his son, the potter Reuben Batterham, Richard has decided to release a good number of these pots, some from his final firings and some dating back as far as the 1960s.

We are delighted to announce a selling exhibition:

Richard Batterham: pots from the artist’s own private collection

Saturday 7 March until Sunday 26 April 2020 (or as long as stocks last)

The pots will be available to view in person from 12 noon on Saturday 7 March. If you would like an email notification when the pots become available to view online, which will be during the following week, please let us know on

We also have copies of the booklet:

Richard Batterham booklet cover web

Richard Batterham at 80 has been reprinted!

Richard Batterham at 80 by Anna Powell is back in print for the exhibition at £10 plus £1.50 p&p. 36 page, 14.85 x 21 cm full colour paperback booklet.

Written after long interviews and many conversations with Richard Batterham, and approved by him, it tells the story of his working life with advice he would want to pass on to young potters and photographs of his pots, his workshop and of Richard at work.

Born 1936, Richard Batterham became interested in pottery at a very young age at Bryanston School, where an interest in craft and design was greatly encouraged. He learnt under the guidance of Donald Potter, who was a student of Eric Gill and had also worked with Michael Cardew at Winchcombe. After National Service, Batterham worked for two years under Bernard Leach at the Leach Pottery in St Ives, Cornwall.  There he and his future wife, Dinah Dunn, met Atsuya Hamada, a son of Shoji Hamada.  ‘I think we got a lot from him,’ Batterham says, ‘about how to handle clay. We were very lucky.’

In 1959 they left to set up their own pottery at Durweston outside Blandford.  In 1967 Batterham moved into a new pottery workshop in Durweston and built a four-chambered oil and wood-fired kiln.  In 1978 with the help of the French potter Thiébaut Chagué, he also built a small salt glaze kiln.

Still in the same pottery, he has always worked alone doing all the processes himself from digging the clay to labelling the pots.  His pots are often referred to as being in  in the Leach tradition, although he feels more in tune with the attitudes of Michael Cardew. His pots are made to enrich life rather than to adorn it. A superb craftsman, his colours are soft celadon blues and greens through to caramel (Manganese), browns and blacks with the nature of his glazes varying from thin and bright to thicker softer glazes. His forms are functional – simple, satisfying and beautiful. Some pots, he says, ‘call out to me that they are really good ones’ and these are the pots we have always been delighted to show.

Describing his own pots, Richard Batterham refers to some of them as ’soft’ or ‘kind’, emphasising their human quality. ‘Michael Cardew used to say form was everything, and form is very important, but I tend to feel that it’s how the clay is handled that really makes a difference. I like to make something you can hold. If someone really hugs onto a pot, that’s lovely and just how it should be.’ Brushing away his own pre-eminence, he says, ‘You just get into the right frame of mind and get on with it.’

Richard Batterham’s work is in numerous museums, including the Tate and the V&A, as well as in private collections all over the world. Sladers Yard is proud to have held  major annual selling exhibitions of his work since 2009.

The pots shown below are from Richard Batterham’s last full firing (apart from 803 and 811 which were fired earlier in the summer). Richard’s son Reuben fired these pots with him.  Please note that they are all now SOLD.

The pots in the new exhibition will be available to view in person from 12 noon on Saturday 7 March. If you would like an email notification when the pots become available to view online, which will be during the following week, please let us know on


22 Responses to Richard Batterham pottery

  1. Bernadette Gervin says:

    Richard’s pots are wonderful. Sorry you are stopping making them. Your generation of potters
    is the best!! Enjoy your retirement.

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  4. Ian Borrow says:

    Love your pots Richard – keep ’em coming… My new bowl is the centre of attention in our living room. I look forward to drinking my soup from one of your bowls in the near future..!! Well worth travelling half the length of the country to collect.!! Many thanks…

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  7. Brian Elias says:

    Only one word to describe Richard Batterhams pots…..Sublime.

  8. Peter Swanson says:

    Richard is one of a rare breed.. most wonderful pots. Enjoy.

  9. Alan Shrimpton says:

    I have used Richard’s pots as my everyday ware for over 50 years. I have never got tired of them and cannot see that I ever shall. There are other good potters, more decorative perhaps, more ‘unconventional’ perhaps, more ‘modern’ perhaps – whatever that means, but the appeal of those I have owned has often faded over the years. An exception are those thrown by Mike Dodd, also taught by Don Potter when at school.

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  13. Willem Gebben says:

    I bought my first pot from Richard’s pottery when I was a student in 1976. This cut sided bowl and other pots I’m fortunate to own and use have enriched my life and inspired my own work. What I admire most is that they are timeless and seem to have always existed.

  14. Clare says:

    Could you let me know where it’s possible to buy Richard’s pottery? Many thanks

  15. Daryl Townsley says:

    please pass on to Mr. Batterham that we have many of his pots, use them every day and love them. Thank you so much!!

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