After serving in WW2 Murray Fieldhouse wrote to Bernard Leach seeking a job at the Leach Pottery but instead Leach found him a place at Harry Davis' nearby Crowan Pottery. Murray enjoyed the work but Davis decided that Murray did not have the endurance to be a full time potter and suggested he teach pottery instead. Murray moved to the Home Counties and worked at Kingwood before establishing a pottery workshop as part of an education centre at Pendley Manor in Tring, Hertfordshire. Here Murray produced a range of standard ware using electric kilns with the help of three assistants, he did make some individual pieces, at least one of which was purchased by the V & A musum. Whilst at Pendley Murray ran many courses and conferences and in 1954 started his Pottery Quarterly magazine which acted as a forum for potters and took him all over the country visiting potters, going to exhibitions and lecturing.
Pottery Quarterly was the first magazine for the studio pottery world and had a world wide circulation, it was all Murray's work, he wrote the articles, typeset the pages and printed the magazine on whatever paper he had at the time. He advised both Podmores and Wengers on their studio pottery products and helped publishers A&C Black launch their studio pottery books which he proof read . He also wrote his first publication, a pottery handbook for Foyles. He attended the International Conference of Craftsmen in Pottery and Textiles at Dartington in 1952 where he presented Hamada with a signed copies of his Pottery handbook.
Murray left Pendley Manor when for financial reasons it evolved into a conference centre, he moved to the neaby Northfield Studio where he lived with his wife Dorley for the rest of his life. Murray was a founder member of the Dacorum and Chiltern Potters Guild, he took on the role of secretary in 1975 and later became President a role he kept until he retired in 2011.
Murray had a very busy life, he was generous with his time and extensive knowledge and had many friends amongst the pottery community.
My thanks go to Murray's wife Dorley and Ros McGuirk
from the Dacorum and Chiltern Potters Guild for information and images.
A young Murray at the wheel
Murray with his wife Dorley
Pottery handbook for Foyles
Pottery Quarterly magazine
Standard ware bowls