He spent a short time at the Leach Pottery before serving in the army during the Second World War. His pottery talents were not wasted in the army; he set up two potteries in East Africa to make utensils for the troops.
After the war he worked with Agnete Hoy at Buller's, returning to Leach Pottery in 1948. In 1955 he left to set up Yelland Pottery at Fremington, Devon, which he worked until his retirement in 1984. He died the following year.
In 1955 when Michael Leach and his brother David decided to part company with the Leach Pottery at St Ives, David set up the Aylesford Pottery in Kent and Michael started the Yelland Manor Pottery, better known as just Yelland Pottery, at Fremington in North Devon.
He continued to work the pottery until shortly before his death in 1985. He was helped, at one time by Frannie, who married Philip, Michael's son. The couple now run the nearby Springfield Pottery.