Michael Cardew, the first English student of Bernard Leach, was born in nineteen hundred and one, the third son of Arthur Cardew, respected art and antique dealer and Alexandria Cardew, an accomplished amateur violinist. After the conventional degree in classics at Oxford University, he transcended the influence of Bernard Leach to become a world famous stylist in his own right. He re-opened the Winchcombe Pottery and created beautiful pieces in slipware that are now highly valued, and reside in museums and private collections on every continent.
At the end of the nineteen-thirties Cardew moved to Cornwall and established The Wenford Bridge Pottery. Shortly after, circumstances dictated that he accept the post of Pottery Officer in West Africa where he was profoundly influenced by the people there and their geometric decoration. He returned to England in the mid nineteen sixties and was much called upon to travel and lecture to the world-wide fraternity of potters that had grown up during his life and to a large degree because of his influence. He also inspired many apprentices at Wenford Bridge Pottery right up until his death in nineteen eighty three.
For his great contributions to Twentieth Century Ceramics, Michael Cardew was awarded the OBE and MBE by Queen Elizabeth II and was selected to be granted knighthood which was prevented only by his death.