Midwinter Berkeley is a design by Jessie Tait for Midwinter, produced 1969-1974. It is quite a rare design these days. The pattern was produced on the “Fine Shape” Series which Midwinter started in 1962.
The design consists of a band of squares in alternating olive and turquoise, with an alternating centre colour.
The design to me reflects the influence of colour theorist Joseph Albers....who’s work significantly influenced 20th Century Art & Design – including “Op Art” popular in art, design and culture at the time – and especially big in Britain and Germany.
Midwinter “Queensberry” was the first a series of very popular striped patterns introduced by Midwinter (and many other manufacturers) in the early 1960s. It was in production 1962-1978 on the “Fine” Shape.
As suggested by the name, the pattern was designed by the Marquis (David) Queensberry – who also designed the forms of this series along with Roy Midwinter.
The design of Queensberry had smaller rims than other designs in this series, but was otherwise the same. Features of the Fine Shape series included stackable items and dual function pieces on straight sided forms.
The design consists of stripes of varying widths in olive, yellow ochre, grey and black.
The design reminds me of lines drawn with oil pastels or crayon – and works so well on these “Fine Series” forms. Although a transfer printed design, it has the appearance of being hand painted.
Every piece I come across from this series is so beautifully elegant and well proportioned – a fantastic example of 1960s modernism and industrial design at its best.
The pattern for “Sienna” was designed by British design icon Jessie Tait for the Fine Range (1962-1978). It was one of the top selling designs from this series.
The forms for the Fine Range were designed and developed by the Marquis of Queensberry in collaboration with Roy Midwinter. As well as considering the forms, an improved white clay body was developed, along with a new tougher glaze. The shapes were loosely based on a milk churn – and the straight sides were the perfect vehicle for a wide range of patterns – over 60 designs were created for this series.
Every aspect of this design has been carefully considered, from the shapes to elements such as the lid which shaped in quite a complex manner underneath so it will not fall out when being poured. This considered, quality design you rarely come across these days.
Along with Sienna, another of my personal favourites from the Fine series is “Mexicana”, again by Jessie Tait – this was the only hand painted pattern in the series – but this also proved so popular the pattern was later applied as a transfer.
Midwinter Sienna – Jessie Tait
Midwinter Sienna – Jessie Tait
Midwinter Sienna – Jessie Tait
Midwinter Red Domino
“Red Domino” was designed by Jessie Tait for Midwinter c 1956.
It was one of the most popular of the “Stylecraft” shapes by Midwinter (1953 + ).
The design made a feature of the rim on the Stylecraft shapes. It was so popular it was produced in a number of variants and colours over a number of years.
A hand painted design – It is one of those classics that just screams 1950s to me. Its interesting as well that anything with polka dots seems to be really popular – combine that with red – and you have a highly desirable combination.
It was so popular that 20 Paintresses were employed on this pattern alone.
Other colours released in the Domino design were Blue Domino 1956, and a Green (made in less quantities). There is also a Black Domino which is very rare and hard to find.
Red Domino continued to be used as a variation on the “Fashion Shape” and was also adapted for the “Fine Shape”.
Via LeGrenierLondon on Etsy
Midwinter Sienna was designed by Jessie Tait (1928-2010) for Midwinter in 1962 on the “Fine” shape/series.
The forms for the “Fine” series were designed by David Queensbury and Roy Midwinter. The forms of the series were a departure from the flowing organic shapes of the 1950s and featured straight sided, cylindrical, stackable forms. The clay body chosen for the series was also a stronger and whiter clay from previous productions.
Jessie Tait designed a huge number of patterns for this shape – and Sienna became one of the most popular, continuing in production until 1978.
Sienna is a transfer print in fine stripes of subtle khaki green and orange, overlaid with black lines.
Having a look at the images below it is easy to see why this design was so popular in its time, and continues to be popular on the secondary market to this day.
Midwinter Sienna Cup & Saucer
Midwinter Sienna Coffee Pot
Midwinter Sienna Coffee Pot – Lid Detail
Midwinter Sienna Teapot
Midwinter Sienna Sauce Jug
Midwinter Designs by Charles Cobelle
When I first found the Midwinter Pottery items in the first image below at an auction, I was reminded of the work of French artist Leger…….I was on the right track at least (French)
The design turns out to be by painter Charles Cobelle (born Carl Edelman (1902-1994). His early career was in France then continued in the U.S. from the 1920’s.
I found a record of the design in the Midwinter Pottery book by Steven Jenkins. The design is called Desert Scene, and is a transfer print from a painting by Cobelle – It is known as a pattern on a range of dinner ware in the “Fashion Shape” (c 1955-1960)
Midwinter Dinnerware, Charles Cobelle Desert Scene
Here is a fascinating summary of the life and work of Cobelle from Wikipedia: Read more
Midwinter Stonehenge is one of the standout British designs of the 1970s. The series was created by Eve Midwinter c1972 who had previously worked at the Portmeirion factory. The look of Stonehenge was revolutionary and so much of its time.
The Stonehenge shape is typified by its studio like geometric forms, bold curved handles and the very tactile rounded lids and knobs. The designs and colours in Stonehenge typify the “back to nature” design ethos of 1970s in the same way as does Arabia Finland’s Ruska.
“Creation” was the first design of the Stonehenge series – an light cream coloured gloss base glaze, flecked with iron oxide and rustic iron saturated edges. It became popular instantly, and at the height of its popularity 5 tons of glaze was being used each week to keep up with demand. It was exported world wide – and you will sometimes find different names used for the U.S. market.
The Stonehenge designs of “Sun”, “Moon”, and “Earth” soon followed after “Creation” and all became equally as popular. These designs which were all based on “creation” were in production until 1982, and “Sun” even longer. The pieces could be mixed and matched – adding to their appeal. A variation of the design “Wild Oats” by Eve Midwinter also became a very high selling pattern. These 5 patterns from the “Creation” series are the ones you now see most often on the secondary market, and are now being discovered by a whole new generation.
The very last pattern of the Stonehenge series was “Nasturtium” (designed by Jessie Tait) with very vivid colours – but was later withdrawn around 1982 because of legislation on cadmium in blazes. Read more