Born 1923, Cornwall, England.
William Marshall became apprenticed to Bernard Leach at the Leach Pottery in St Ives in August 1938. He was called up for active service in 1942 and then returned to the Leach Pottery in 1947 where he stayed for another 30 years.
This was the period when the Leach Pottery finally achieved some measure of financial security. Its first mail order catalogue of standard ware was published in 1946 and orders flooded in from Heals, Peter Jones, John Lewis and Liberty's. During the 1950s William Marshall acted as foreman, concentrating on the standard ware while Bernard Leach was owner and artistic director and his son David was partner and general manager.
Following the departure of David Leach to set up his own pottery in 1955, William Marshall acted as assistant to Bernard Leach. Individual vases for exhibition became an important area of production and William Marshall threw the pots to designs by Leach, now in his 70s, who would then add the neck, refine the profile and add any necessary decoration.
In 1977 William Marshall set up his own pottery in Lelant, near St Ives and still makes work there.