The papers of Henry Hammond

Scope and Content

The archive consists of

  • Personal documents, including diaries 1955-1988
  • Personal correspondence
  • Professional correspondence, including letters from William Staite Murray, Michael Cardew and Katharine Pleydell-Bouverie
  • Scrap books, artwork and technical material
  • Material relating to exhibitions of Henry Hammond's work
  • Accounts 1951-1989
  • Personal and family photographs and slides
  • Photographs and slides relating to the work of Henry Hammond and others
  • Miscellaneous photographs and slides
  • Written works by Henry Hammond
  • Miscellaneous papers and documents

Administrative / Biographical History

Henry Hammond was a potter and a teacher of potters at the art school in Farnham (later part of the West Surrey College of Art and Design), where he worked from 1946 until 1979.
Hammond was born in Surrey on 19th July 1914 and trained at Croydon School of Art (1929-1934) and the Royal College of Art (1934-1937). At the RCA he was taught design and mural painting by Eric Ravilious and Edward Bawden, going on to join the pottery classes taught by William Staite Murray. Not from a wealthy background (he attended the RCA on a Royal Exhibition Scholarship), he took up part-time teaching posts at the art schools at Richmond and Farnham, and was offered a permanent post at Farnham in 1939, which then had to be deferred until his return from military service - he served through the whole of the Second World War, including in North Africa and Italy.
Hammond seems to have responded positively to the challenges and dislocations of wartime. He was entranced by the new horizons of his soldier's life and made many watercolour sketches and lyrical journal entries capturing foreign landscapes. He seems to have acquired a taste for travel, and made many visits to Europe and sometimes further afield throughout the rest of his life.
In 1946, after two weeks at the Leach Pottery, St Ives, he took up the post at Farnham, rising to become Head of the Ceramics Department. During 1946-1951 he worked in slipware only. He set up his studio at Runwick House, Hampshire in 1947, later moving to Bentley, Hampshire, in 1948, at the pottery known as the Oast Pottery, where in 1954 he was joined in the workshop by Paul Barron. Hammond and Barron attended the International Conference of Craftsmen at Dartington Hall in 1952.
Hammond built up a well- respected ceramics course, weathering the continuous changes in tertiary education through the 1950s, '60s, and '70s. He fostered a diverse group of staff whose permanent and visiting tutors included potters of all persuasions from Gwyn Hanssen to Jacqueline Poncelet. His other commitments gave him little time for his own pottery and his perfectionism limited the number of finished and exhibited works. He had a two-man show with David Leach at the Casson Gallery, London in 1977. He retired from his post at Farnham in 1979.
Throughout his working life Hammond was an active participant in many organisations promoting the crafts, from the Craft Potters' Association to the Society for Education through Art. He was deeply religious, a dedicated member of the Anglican congregation in Farnham and interested in other faiths. In 1979 Hammond was awarded the MBE, and in 1980 the OBE. He died on 10 August 1989 in France, en route to a Buddhist retreat.
Hammond was one of the founder Trustees of the Crafts Study Centre, which has many examples of his work. A retrospective exhibition of his work A Fine Line was organised by the Craft Study Centre in 1992.


Individual items have been grouped by type and then arranged chronologically.

Access Information

Archive material may be viewed by appointment only.


This entry was compiled by Becky Lyle, Submissions Officer for the project and by Jean Vacher, Collections Manager at the Crafts Study Centre, c.2004. The biography was written by Frances Lord.

Other Finding Aids

A catalogue is available onsite.

Conditions Governing Use

Written permission must be sought before any archival material is published.

Appraisal Information

None timetabled.


None expected.

Related Material

The Crafts Study Centre also holds:


Selected Bibliography

A fine line, Henry Hammond 1914-89 Potter and Educationist , Crafts Study Centre, Bath, 1992

Watson, Oliver, Studio Pottery , Phaidon, 1933