Braden studied at the Central School and moved on to the Royal College of Art in 1921, where she specialized in painting, but recognized the difficulties of making a career as artist and transferred - 'as we were so poor' - to the pottery department (under William Staite Murray).
She was so impressed by a London exhibition of pots by Bernard LEACH that she persuaded him to take her as a student, following a glowing letter of recommendation from Sir William Rothenstein, Rector of RCA ('I am sending you a genius'). She studied under Leach from 1925-28, who described her as "the most sensitive and critical of potters."
Braden struck up a strong friendship with Katherine PLEYDELL-BOUVERIE, and in 1928 joined her at Coleshill, Berkshire, staying there until 1936 when she returned to Sussex to look after her elderly mother. Her ideas were closely allied to Leach's, though her forms were less indebted to oriental shapes and more in tune with modernist ideas of minimalism and moderation. She lectured at Camberwell and Brighton Schools of Art (the latter until the late 1940s), and influenced a number of major potters, eg Henry Hammond, Paul Barron. Crippled by rheumatoid arthritis, which prevented her from using the kick wheels, she did not produce anything after the Second World War, eventually becoming an almost total recluse.
works and access
Review article by Elspeth Moncrieff: Ceramics auction at Bonhams, London c Summer 1994
Access to work: Kettle's Yard, Cambridge; V&A, London
ODNB entry by Emmanuel Cooper
Hardie (2009) Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall;
Vincentelli (2000) Women and Ceramics: gendered vessels;
Whybrow (2006) The Leach Legacy: St Ives Pottery and its influence (pp94-5 photo likeness, illus)