This striking and now very collectable design is by John Clappison 1964-1965 for Hornsea.
It’s fresh, vibrant, cheerful design I think captures the optimism of the era, and is so much of its time. It has become hard to get hold of these days, and hence relatively expensive if you do come across it.
It was a tableware range decorated with either dark green or orange flowers with pale blue leaves, impressed into a white ground.
The range consisted of canisters, cruets, preserve pots, butter dishes, jugs and coffee mugs as well as other items of tableware.
Some of the items had plastic lids, like the canister in the first image, and others were all ceramic. The lids were either aqua blue or yellow.
I was reminded of this fantastic retro design recently when I found some interesting variations of the design on Etsy.
The full name of the design is Hornsea Lancaster Vitramic, “Muramic” .
It was made at the Hornsea Lancaster site 1977-1980, where the the award wining “Contrast” design amongst others was also made.
There are a number of different designs within the “Muramic” series, but the most commonly seen items are variations of the round shallow dish.
Other products included some fantastic wall plaques like the one pictured below, and even jewellery (very hard to find now)
Hornsea Lancaster Vitramic “Muramic” Design variation.
Hornsea Lancaster Vitramic “Muramic” Design Variation via VintageGirlUK on Etsy
Bing & Grondahl “Tivoli”
This very smart design from Bing & Grondahl is called “Tivoli”, and was designed by Martin Hunt c1970s.
Martin Hunt, Co-Designer of the award winning Hornsea Lancaster Vitramic and a huge number of other Hornsea designs – also designed several dinnerware series for Bing and Grondahl and Rosenthal. The Bing & Grondahl designs include Tivoli, Korinth and Cumulus (decoration by Carl Harry-Stalhane) .
The same forms Martin Hunt designed for Tivoli were also used on the series Delphi, Olympia, Sahara, Troja, Corinth, Marrakech and Casablanca. All of these designs are now quite hard to get hold of.
If you want to see more Martin Hunt designs go to the V&A collections online here for Martin. They have a very large collection of his designs from the 1970s until current day, including some of the B&G designs mentioned above.
Hornsea Pottery, Lancaster Vitramic “Contrast” has become a British design icon. It won the British Design Council awards for design in the 1970s. It features a stunning chocolate velvety matt brown glaze with a black gloss band and bright white interior. The forms are simple, elegant and beautiful – they remind me of the purity of the forms of Denby Chevron with its clean, elegant lines and forms.
A brief history of the design:
In 1972, after years of compromise by adapting and adding to their first factory, Hornsea Pottery needed to expand due to its success. A new (second) site was found and the official opening took place in 1976. The first three ranges produced at the Lancaster factory received Design Council Awards and with them Hornsea Pottery enhanced its already worldwide reputation.
Hornsea Pottery had marked its silver jubilee in 1974 by launching a celebration range of products and this led to a collaboration with Lord David Queensberry and Martin Hunt. Together, in 1974, they produced a very successful range of “Lancaster Vitramic” tableware designs, starting with Contrast. Read more