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Richard Baxter created pottery in three studios before moving to Old Leigh Studios in the old town at Leigh on Sea.

Here is some more info about the various studios:

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1981 - 1985
The Old Bakehouse behind Gilbert's The Bakers, London Road, Westcliff on Sea, Essex


This studio was established with help from a Crafts Council Setting Up Grant, which paid for half of the cost of machinery (all of which is still in use!) and an allowance of £40 per week maintenance.

Wally Keeler was chair of the selection committee at that time. It would not have been possible to have set the Bakehouse up without this grant.

British Crafts Trade Fair in Harrogate
During this period Richard Baxter attended the British Crafts Trade Fair in Harrogate twice, as part of a group, with the Crafts Council
The sign outside Richard Baxter's first workshop  At the Bakehouse Richard Baxter developed a range of domestic earthenware.

Most pots were honey glazed inside only, with brushed abstract decorations on the outsides in vitrified slips.

Sales were limited from the studio, so it was a period of doing craft fairs and festivals, and showing in libraries and open exhibitions. Teaching part-time kept him afloat.
This was a very cold and small place to work. However it was an affordable first workshop.

1985 - 1991
The pottery 101 Queens Road, Southend on Sea, Essex

At last Richard had a workshop with a gallery. But though near Southend High Street, it was a quiet road. Richard was still teaching for up to 3 days a week, and going out to exhibit at craft fairs, but it was a move in the right direction.

Richard Baxter shared the workshop with fellow artists; Wendy Gleeson, Marc Garratt, Peri Godbold, instrument maker and fiddle player Nick Pynn, and most importantly Kate Thomas. Kate produced some great paintings, and was also persuaded to hand paint some of Richard's pottery. This remains a great success.

Daily Telegraph article 1989
Richard Baxter's domesticware pots became more colourful - a cream glaze used as a base for sponged stains forming abstract patterns, with hints of influence from the Dartington designs of Janice Tchalenko.
Around 1987, Richard developed an interest in fragmentation and decay which resulted in a long series of deconstructed "relics". These were his first important sculptural pieces and were widely exhibited.
Rumour had it that the shop used to be a Kosher butcher's and that one of the former owners hanged himself on the stairs! This was another cold place to be in winter, when unfinished pots would freeze and fall to bits upon melting.

1991 - present
Old Leigh Studios 61 High Street, The Old Town, Leigh on Sea, Essex -see location

Richard Baxter and Kate Thomas moved to their current building in late 1991, which they share with the painter Sheila Appleton. Richard worked with Sheila's partner Lou (died 1999), for four months to renovate this dilapidated former marine engineering works. They put in a new floor, internal walls, ceilings and roof lights and practically rebuilt the place.Richard and Relic

Old Leigh Studios was opened on 16th November 1991 by Dr. David Dougan (Essex County Arts Development Officer, and former Director of the Crafts Council). Richard Baxter and Kate Thomas got married in 1992.

Preparatory sketches for one off teapots
Preparatory sketches for teapots

1995 Three vase form relics1996 Relic Teapot

Richard stopped teaching in 1993 to concentrate on his ceramics and it has become a successful enterprise.

As a Professional Member of the Craft potters Association, Richard has a full entry in their potters directory and is an occasional exhibitor at their Contemporary Ceramics gallery in central London. He also shows regularly with the East Anglian potters Association.

1930 Whitebaiter removal This is a picture of the building in 1930, showing the removal of a "whitebaiter" which had been built inside. The boat was far too wide so the front wall had to be cut away to get it out. Work was too scarce in the depression to turn away an order like this just because the door wasn't wide enough. You can still see the marks on the shop front where the brickwork was repaired.

Richard Baxter's work has developed into the current ranges of blue and terracotta domesticware, garden pots, one-off wave/ strata pieces and porcelain which sells consistently well from the gallery and though a number of stockists around the country. His work continues to be exhibited widely and is collected by an increasing number of people around the world.

Kate Baxter has painted less over the last few years, concentrating more on her range of decorative white earthenware fishware pots which are highly glazed and much sought after. Much of her work is done to commission, and she welcomes enquiries.

 
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:: Richard Baxter pottery studio and gallery is based in the picturesque fishing village of Leigh on Sea, Essex ::
:: Old Leigh Studios, 61 High Street, The Old Town, Leigh on Sea, Essex SS9 2EP :: Tel : 01702 470 490 ::