Having been a pottery student, who then found a niche in the pottery world, De Waal has chosen to write a bitter attack on the man who was solely responsible for the renaissance of the pottery movement in Britain at the early years of the century! There have been few books that so arbitrarily set out to mock the artistic talent of Bernard Leach, a clear-sighted Edwardian man, born in the Victorian era, and who was to live through further reigns of another three monarchs. The pottery of De Waal has little connection to that of what Leach was trying to achieve, and yet De Waal has managed to make a name for himself, with virtually no nod of head towards the man who he chose to follow initially.
His book lacks any sympathy, courage, or honesty. It bears no relation to the pottery world that Leach was promoting, instead his book seems to be nothing more than a catalogue of the latest fashions in the present domestic ceramic world. He has no taste, and his trite, simplistic pieces of moulded clay insult the great artistic legacy that Leach had initiated. But for Bernard Leach and Shoji Hamada, for instance, the method of "feathering" designs on slipware pottery would have been lost for another hundred plus years..
Do not waste your money on the De Waal book, instead, buy the book [by Sara Hogben] on The Art of Bernard Leach, which can be found via the net. A far superior book.