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Helen Pincombe

Born 1908 in Darjeeling, India

Helen Pincombe was born in India where her father was chief engineer of the Eastern Railways; aged seven she was sent to school in Australia, living with an aunt. In 1925 she came to London to study at the Central School of Art and Design, she then went on to the Royal School of Art where she trained in pottery with William Staite Murray.

She was dedicated to simplicity of form and to hand-building techniques, inspired by her researches into pottery from around the world. In 1936 she moved to St Ives in Cornwall to work at the Bernard Leach pottery. After the Second World War she set up a pottery in Oxshott in Surrey and also taught ceramics at the Guildford School of Art. She was admired for her stoneware domestic items simply but beautifully decorated with elegant brushwork.