Learning Index >> Pioneers and their practice: a reference guide

Ceramics >> Katherine Pleydell-Bouverie (1895-1985) and Norah Braden (1901-2001)
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Norah Braden

Katharine Pleydell-Bouverie was born into an aristorcratic family at Coleshill, Berkshire. She was known as 'Beano' to her friends. After working for the French Red Cross during the First World War, she studied pottery at the Central School of Art and Crafts (1921-3) under Dora Billington, firstly at evening classes, then full time. In 1924 she became an apprentice-pupil to Bernard Leach* at the St Ives Pottery. At the end of her one-year apprenticeship, aged 30, she set up the Cole Pottery at Mill Cottage on the family estate, assisted by Ada (Peter) Mason. They experimented with numerous wood and vegetable ash glazes on individual stoneware pots and vases for flowers.

After the departure of Mason in 1928, Norah Braden* joined Katharine Pleydell-Bouverie to continue this work. They potted under their own names, exhibiting often in London and Manchester, until Braden left to teach in Brighton in 1936. For ten years Pleydell-Bouverie worked alone at Coleshill until it was sold. She moved to Kilmington Manor, Wiltshire in 1946 and there built an oil-fired kiln, replaced by an electric one in 1960. She continued to exhibit in the sixties and seventies and in 1980 a retrospective exhibition of her pots was organised by the Crafts Study Centre at the Holburne Museum, Bath.

*Denotes included in the Crafts Study Centre Collection



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