John Maltby was born 1936 in Lincolnshire. He studied sculpture at Leicester College of Art and Goldsmiths College in London. After a period of teaching art in a small private boys’ school near London, where he met his late wife, he visited Bernard Leach after reading Leach’s “A Potter’s Book”. On Leach’s advice Maltby joined his son David Leach in 1962 at Lowerdown Pottery in Bovey Tracey, where he was Leach’s apprentice for nearly two years. He set up his own pottery at Stoneshill near Crediton, the home of his wife’s family, in 1964 and made ceramics for more than fifty years.
His work has been exhibited worldwide and is represented in many public collections including Victoria and Albert Museum. He was a Fellow of the Craft Potters Association and is recognised as one of Britain’s finest ceramic artists, having won the Gold Medal at the Faenza International Ceramics Competition in 1975.