This film was made partly at Abuja in Nigeria and partly at the Wenford Bridge Pottery in Cornwall.
The Wenford Bridge Pottery was founded by Michael Cardew (1901-1983) in 1939. He produced earthenware and stoneware there, but was not able to earn a living by selling his products. In 1942 he took a post in the Colonial Service in Ghana, first teaching pottery at Achimota school. Later he founded a pottery with the backing of the Colonial Office, which however failed a few years later. He then founded another pottery at Vume on the River Volta. In 1948 he returned to Wenford Bridge.
In 1951 he went to Africa again, this time to Nigeria, to take up the post of Pottery Officer in the Department of Commerce and Industry. He founded a pottery training centre in Abuja and worked there until his retirement in 1965, when he returned to Wenford Bridge.
The first part of the film features Ladi Kwali (c. 1925-1984), a potter from the Gwari region in Northern Nigeria. She joined the pottery training centre in Abuja in 1954, the first female potter to do so. She went on to become Nigeria’s best known potter, and her work was shown in Europe and America. The film shows her making a pot at the pottery training centre. The third section of the film features her again, making a pot at the Wenford Bridge pottery in front of an audience. The middle section of the film shows activities at the pottery training centre.
Accession Number: 2014.8.1