Ray Finch, born 1914, died 2012
Ray Finch was one of the most notable British studio potters, admired for his outstanding craftsmanship and for his long career as master potter at the Winchcombe Pottery in Gloucestershire which became a by-word for well-made, domestic stoneware of simple and restrained design.
On leaving school Finch began work in the laboratory of a paper mill but soon felt the need to pursue a more creative occupation; at a friend's house he saw some examples of Winchcombe pottery and was immediately inspired to visit the pottery and ask for a job. Winchcombe was at that time run by Michael Cardew, a pioneer in the revival of studio pottery in England, who advised Finch to first get some experience. He enrolled at the Central School of Art, studying under Dora Billington and after only a year there returned to Winchcombe where Cardew agreed to take him on.
When Cardew left in 1939 to open a new pottery in Cornwall, Finch took over Winchcombe and remained there for the rest of his life; his son Mike Finch took over the day to day running of the business in 1979.
The Winchcombe pottery is still going strong and they have their own website with information about the history of the business and current products etc. Winchcombe Pottery Website