Art Exhibition: Richard Batterham stoneware

Photo of stoneware from exhibition
Date 30/09/2023 at 10.00 - 08/10/2023 at 17.00 Where Combination Room, Wolfson College

A display of works from the Bradshaw-Bubier studio pottery collection.

Photo of stoneware from exhibition

Richard Batterham (1936 - 2021) was one of Britain’s most revered makers of hand-thrown stoneware in the tradition of the pioneer studio potters, Bernard Leach and Michael Cardew. Over sixty years he evolved an inimitable style of his own through the repetition of unostentatious functional forms with muted glazes which are quietly beautiful. Wolfson College is lucky to own sixty-one examples of Batterham’s work which form part of a collection of pottery in the ‘Leach tradition’ donated by Dr Harry Bradshaw and his wife, Dr Norma Bubier, to celebrate the College’s fiftieth anniversary in 2015.

Batterham attended Bryanston School in Dorset, where he learned potting techniques under the guidance of an inspirational art master, Donald Potter, and was already a competent thrower when he left in 1954. After National Service, he worked as an apprentice at the Leach Pottery in St Ives during 1957 and 1958. There he met his future wife, Dinah Dunn, and Atsuya Hamada (d. 1986), son of the great Japanese potter, Shogi Hamada. In 1959 he married Dinah and set up his own workshop at Durweston, Dorset, where he installed a Japanese-style kick wheel and built a climbing kiln. Unusually, he undertook all the manufacturing processes himself, from preparation of the clay stored in his garden, to stacking, and unloading the kiln. A more spacious workshop was built for him in 1966, and he constructed a larger climbing kiln, rebuilt in 1996. His first major exhibition at the British Crafts Centre in London in 1972 was greeted with critical acclaim.

In the Seventies art school-trained potters were turning against wheel-thrown pottery in favour of slab-building and slip-casting one-off objects, but Batterham was unaffected by fashion. He continued to live quietly in the country, throwing  functional pottery which he hoped would ‘communicate warmth and life’ to its users.

Most of Batterham’s pots are high-fired stoneware with integral decoration, such as faceting, fluting, incising and chattering, executed before the first firing. This was followed by the application of wood ash glazes which appear greyish- or bluish-green, amber or cream after a second firing. Other pots have rich brown glazes containing iron or manganese. He also made porcelain, and from 1978 salt-glazed stoneware, but these did not form a large part of his output and are not represented in Wolfson’s collection.

This exhibition was curated by Dr Julia Poole.


Viewing the exhibition

The exhibition will be open to the public from Sunday 17 September.

Opening Times: Saturdays and Sundays 10.00-17.00, until Sunday 8 October.

Please note that the exhibition is occasionally unavailable, for instance during graduations.

It is advisable to contact the Porters' Lodge in advance of your visit (01223 335900).



This event will take place in the Combination Room on the first floor of our main building. It has step-free access with a lift and there is an accessible toilet located on the first floor of the building.

For more details please view our AccessAble guide.


About Wolfson exhibitions

Wolfson has an established programme of exhibitions and artistic events which take place throughout the year and are framed by its modernist architecture, beautiful landscaped gardens and embedded into academic life.  

The art on show is enjoyed by both the academic and wider community. Exhibitions are open to the general public, for students and Fellowship and visited by scholars, guests and visitors from around the world.

Wolfson has an established art exhibitions programme which has showcased the work of both renowned international artists and innovative emerging artists with the aim of stimulating reflection, discussion and debate. 

You can find out more about exhibitions at Wolfson on the Arts page

What's on

Photo of stoneware from exhibition

Art Exhibition: Richard Batterham stoneware

30/09/2023 at 10.00

A display of works from the Bradshaw-Bubier studio pottery collection.

Photo of artist Gurpran Rau holding a piece of her artwork

Art Exhibition: 'Patterns of Renewal'

30/09/2023 at 10.00

We're delighted to be the first to exhibit new paintings by Gurpran Rau in 'Patterns of Renewal' - including a series of works inspired by nature and the woods of Cambridgeshire.