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Posts from the ‘United Kingdom’ Category

Susie Cooper ‘Cornpoppy’

Susie Cooper (1902-1995) was one of the most prolific and talented ceramic designers of the 20th Century….. if not THE top designer of ceramics in the 20th Century. I have several entries on this website with my favourite Susie Cooper patterns.

Susie Cooper’s career spans over 7 decades from when she founded the Susie Cooper Pottery in 1929 until the late 1980s. I’ve never come across a design by her which I don’t admire. I especially like her Art Deco era pieces, but it is also her 1960s and 1970s designs which stand out from the crowd.

Her patterns are always beautifully balanced, with an exquisite attention to detail which many designers neglect. She also knew the importance of the clay body and form on which the design was put, and stated in the 1950s that “The beauty and translucency of china should speak for itself and not be overburdened by pattern” – I think that this view is demonstrated in one of her stand out 1970s designs – “Cornpoppy” (1971) from her Wedgwood period.

There is a complex depth of colour and texture in the orange and red of the poppy, and the black flowing lines contrasted against the bright white clay body remind me of the beauty of Japanese and Chinese calligraphy.

In the very thoroughly researched and written book “Susie Cooper, A Pioneer of Modern Design” by Andrew Casey & Ann Eatwell, about “Cornpoppy” they write:

“The pattern, almost oriental in the stark contrast between the scarlet poppy and touches of black against the white bone china, demonstrates …her claim that a well designed article of pottery contributes to the interior design of the home. It is impossible not to sense the joy of the artist in this floral motif with its flowing lines and vibrant colour, unrestrained by the rimless coupe shape…..of course Susie Cooper had always been famous for her depiction of flora, but this was quite a departure from the combination of gentle pastel colours and creamy earthenware body of the 1930s. 

Here are a few pieces of Cornpoppy I have had hold of recently:

 

Susie Cooper Cornpoppy

Susie Cooper Cornpoppy – Photo Ray Garrod

Susie Cooper Cornpoppy

Susie Cooper Cornpoppy – Photo Ray Garrod

Susie Cooper Cornpoppy

Susie Cooper Cornpoppy – Photo Ray Garrod

Susie Cooper Cornpoppy

Susie Cooper Cornpoppy – Photo Ray Garrod

Susie Cooper Cornpoppy

Susie Cooper Cornpoppy – Photo Ray Garrod

 

Hornsea Summit

Recently I came across a very smart early Hornsea design in the form of a lidded butter dish. It is from the Hornsea “Summit” series – designed 1960, produced 1962 -1965. It’s designer of course John Clappison.

The summit series was very popular in its day with its modern tapering forms, fluted over the full height of the item with colour inlays of either apricot, turquoise, charcoal or terracotta on a white ground.

The glaze colour in the ridges was applied by hand on bisque fired pieces with a sponge and then wiped off – resulting in glaze colour being left only inside the ridges. The whole piece was then glazed with a transparent glazed and  re-fired to higher temperatures

Pieces in this series will have an impressed stamp on them indicating the form number – this butter dish is 260.

There are 19 forms in the series, consisting of things like cruets, egg cups, sugar bowl, mustard pots, bon bon dishes etc.

One thing that strikes me about these pieces is they are surprisingly fine and delicate for earthenware, which really compliments the fine and beautifully considered design.

Hornsea Summit Butter Dish, Photo Ray Garrod

Hornsea Summit Butter Dish, Photo Ray Garrod

Hornsea Summit Butter Dish, Photo Ray Garrod

Hornsea Summit Butter Dish, Photo Ray Garrod

Hornsea Summit Group

Hornsea Summit Group – Photo via The Sale Room

Hornsea Summit Group

Hornsea Summit Group – Photo via MyPotShots.blogspot

Cinque Ports Pottery

I came across the striking vase in the first images recently, and was immediately attracted to it. From the distance I thought it might have been a piece of Lapid Israel pottery, but on closer inspection it turned out to be British – by Cinque Ports Pottery Ltd, The Monastery. It is a pottery I knew next to nothing about so did a quick bit of research and in the process found some quite lovely pieces of British Mid Century pottery. (Cinque Ports is a historic series of coastal towns in Kent, Sussex and Essex U.K.)

Cinque Port Pottery was founded by David Sharp in 1956 with George Gray…the name was later changed to Cinque Ports Pottery Ltd and changed later again include the name of the operating premises at “The Monastery” when George Gray took over this incarnation of the pottery in 1964, after an amicable split between the two owners.

In the 1980s the pottery was handed over to a Jim Elliot, first trading as Cinque Ports Pottery, without the ‘Limited’, then later as Cinque Ports Ltd, without the “Pottery”

The pottery operated until July 2007 until its final closure.

From what I can see the pottery was a high quality slip cast, and appears to be stoneware fired or at least high earthenware fired. Some of the output reminds me of Briglin Pottery London, and other pieces remind me of the potteries of Cornwall and Rye. As I mentioned earlier it also reminds me of Lapid Pottery, with its use of hand painting, and high quality stoneware fired, slip cast pottery.

If searching for this pottery online the autocorrect of many search engines will change to totally unrelated things – the worst in case is the Etsy search function.  To get any results on the Etsy search function you need to use the words “Cinque Port Pottery” to get any results.

The names and locations of this pottery can be a bit confusing, but you can read a more comprehensive history on the Studiopottery.com site or in the book “The Potteries of Rye: 1793 Onwards, Carol Cashmore” pub 1999 if you can locate a copy. (out of print)

 

Cinque Ports Pottery, The Monastery, Vase 1970s

Cinque Ports Pottery, The Monastery, Vase 1970s, Photo Ray Garrod

Cinque Ports Pottery, The Monastery, Backstamp

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