Known potter #43: LeRoy Culley

Paydirt Pottery. Genie bottle

Paydirt Pottery. Genie bottle. Marks

This vessel shaped like a genie bottle was made by LeRoy Culley at his Paydirt Pottery in York, WA, in 1983.  The light stoneware form is stained with oxide and decorated with bands of chattered tenmoku and white slip around the body and neck. At 36 cm tall, it is a commanding piece, much larger in reality than it had looked in the photos when we bought it on eBay last month.

Originally from the United States, Culley moved to Western Australia in 1980 after practicing for eight years as a wood firer in Oregon. He had first become interested in pottery in 1967 as an art student at Weber State College, Utah.  He moved to California to study with the Austrian potter, Oscar Beouker, then completed a ceramics sculpture course at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In Western Australia, he started using a gas kiln, which he found gave him more control over the creative process.

This information is all sourced from a feature on Western Australia in Pottery in Australia, 21/2, 1982, pp. 34-35.  I don’t know what happened next, and would be interested to learn more.

Postscript: the York potter Frits Schreuder says Culley went back to the U.S. in 1983.


  1. I live in Bend, Oregon and recently acquired a pot by Culley dated 1979. It is number 14 of 15 “Limited Edition” and I believe this to be an example of his wood fired pottery. I will glady share pictures of my special “find”. Al Jesse

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