Richard Batterham, born 1936, became interested in pottery when he was at Bryanston School and learnt under the guidance of Donald Potter, himself a student of Eric Gill. When his conventional education was finished he spent a year (1957/1958) studying as a potter at the Leach Pottery in St Ives, Cornwall. It was here that he met his future wife, Dinah Dunn, and struck up a friendship with Atsuya, son of Shoji Hamada. In 1959 Richard and Dinah set up their own pottery at Durweston near Blandford in his native Dorset. Dinah was to give up ceramics to look after their large family. Richard built a double-chamber climbing kiln and started developing his range of stoneware vessels. In the first few years after establishing the pottery he was producing a range of pots that satisfied the needs of table and kitchen. In 1966 he built a larger four-chambered kiln in nearby premises. From here he extended his range, making some very large pieces. His range of shapes and glazes are kept to a minimum - a legacy of his experience of the Leach Pottery. He is regarded by many as the potter following most closely within the Leach tradition. Although he does not mark his work a few of his early works bear his initials - RB.
Batterham's work has strengh and rightness of purpose. Simply beautiful pots (source text: www.oakwoodceramics.co.uk).
His domestic stoneware, with its subtle wood ash glazes, shows both English traditional and Oriental influence.
Pictures: early portrait in Céramque et Verre, 1985 ( (picture Don Honeyman); Portrait (source: David Mellor); portrait (source: Pottery studio); three pictures with objects from the J.W.N. van Achterbergh collection (source: Gaveler's Amsterdam, auction 2010).
• Thormann, Olaf, Gefäss / Skulptur - Vessel / Sculpture; Keramik / Ceramics seit / since 1946 Grassi Museum für Angewandte Kunst Leipzig, 2013.
* Birks, Tony, Richard Batterham, in: La revue de la Céramique et du Verre, Juillet/Aout 1985.