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Posts tagged ‘Denby’

Denby Troubador

Another of my Denby favourites is “Troubador” (sic). Designed in the early 1970s.

It is beautifully simple and delicate pattern of superbly hand painted magnolias with leaves in soft greens and pale browns with the faintest touch of dusty pink, on a simple stone coloured stoneware.

I really like the forms of the 1960s – early 1970’s Denby – especially forms such as the bowls and plates in  this series.

Timeless but contemporary at the same time – and gaining popularity to a new generation currently.

The pattern, form design and quality production of this dinnerware is sadly almost non existent these days – apart from hand made studio pottery – which this most closely resembles.

Denby Troubador

Denby Troubador

Denby Troubador Read more

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Denby Cottage Blue

Denby Cottage Blue was introduced in 1926 and continued to be popular into the 1980’s – a very long running design by any standards.

Cottage Blue is typified by its blue mottled glaze which is partly transparent (I would call it Imperial Blue – it isn’t a bright cobalt blue). Contrasting with the blue is the lovely buttercup yellow interior on most of the forms.

It was introduced on the traditional shapes Denby was using at the time – and it looks like more shapes were added as time went by.

I’ve seen it attributed to Donald Gilbert – but I don’t think that can be correct as he didn’t join the firm until 1931.

Here are some of the charming pieces from Cottage Blue. I particularly like the angled forms of some of the ramekins and serving dishes.

Denby Cottage Blue Teapot

Denby Cottage Blue Teapot

Denby Cottage Blue Group

Denby Cottage Blue Group

Denby Cottage Blue Ramekins

Denby Cottage Blue Ramekins

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Denby Pottery Teak Salt + Peppers

Denby Pottery Teak Salt + Peppers

Something I have only discovered a year or so ago thanks to Maija from Copenhagen.  Maija found some fantastic looking Denby Salt & Pepper shakers with teak bodies. I have seen Denby items before  combined with teak trays or stands but haven’t seen this before – where the teak is used as part of the form or design.

The first use of teak used to compliment Denby Pottery I have seen to date is from Gill Pemberton’s “Arabesque” series, – which matches the time period teak started to become very popular (the early 1960s through to the mid 1970s)

A quick Google search for Denby+Teak resulted in dozens of images of Denby S&P’s with teak bases, mostly from the Potter’s Wheel series – with some fantastic colour variations.

The first 2 images below are from Maija – and it is a bit hard to know if these are from a particular  Denby series, or if they were produced as stand alone pieces to go with a variety of designs. I think they are closest in colour and glaze to Arabesque – but their shapes bear no relationship to the strong angular shapes of the Arabesque pieces.

I have often read these designs were a collaborative Dansk – Jens Quistgaard design which is incorrect, but finally I have been able to identify their designer.

The Danish link was correct, but the wrong assumption of Quistgaard has been made by many people. Gill Pemberton tells me these were designed by freelance Danish designer Kurt Franzen c1974, who also created for Denby the very smart “Gourmet” (second version, not the Kenneth Clark version) dinnerware series. It appears to have been renamed the “Gourmet Vanilla” pattern soon after release.

Denby Potters Wheel Salt & Peppers. Photo Maija, Denmark.

Denby Potters Wheel Salt & Peppers. Photo Maija, Denmark.

Denby Potters Wheel Salt & Peppers

Denby Potters Wheel Salt & Peppers. Photo Maija, Denmark.

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Denby Potter’s Wheel

Denby Potters Wheel

Denby “POTTERS WHEEL”  was designed by David Yorath, 1973.

The forms for this dinnerware were actually designed by Gill Pemberton in her Bokhara series, and given a new life with David’s pattern & colours.

Potter’s Wheel was produced between 1974 and 1987. It has a simple otameal and iron oxide brown glaze and  simple pattern of concentric circles.

There are varations in the intensity of the colours much like other Denby stoneware.

The centre area of the plates was glazed in either a rust, yellow, green or blue colour (but finding a plate other than in rust colour is very rare these days)

Denby Potter's Wheel

Denby Potter’s Wheel

Denby Potter's Wheel Plate

Denby Potter’s Wheel Plate

Denby Potter's Wheel

Denby Potter’s Wheel Bowl

Denby Potter's Wheel Plates

Denby Potter’s Wheel Plates

Denby Potter's Wheel

Denby Potter’s Wheel

Denby Potter's Wheel Colours

Denby Potter’s Wheel Colours

There was also a range of giftware designed to match this set which I really like. Each piece is different because they were hand-painted.  The range seems to consist of vases, jardinieres, and small bowls. I really like the texture and finish of these pieces and their design is timeless.  David also made a number of one off pieces in similar colour-ways to these. Read more

Denby Glynbourne

Denby Glynbourne

Glynbourne Ware (not to be confused with Glyndebourne ware which is a different design) was designed by Glyn Colledge in 1960. It was marketed as a prestige product and sold until about the 1970’s when the exotic designs of Gill Pemberton and David Yorath were more favoured.

Glynbourne continues the long Denby tradition of traditional high quality stoneware, hand thrown and hand decorated.

Production Studio Pottery at its best. Each piece was handpainted in natural tones of browns and greens with a simplified decorative pattern of leaves….the glaze is just wonderful to the touch.

It has continued to be a very collectable range to the present day.

Denby Glynbourne

Denby Glynbourne Planter

Denby Glynbourne

Denby Glynbourne

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Denby Burlington

Denby Burlington Design – Albert Colledge 1958

“Burlington” was design by Denby Icon, Albert Colledge in 1958-59 when Albert was 68 years of age and had worked at Denby for 55 years.

It was very contemporary design then, and I think it looks just as contemporary now. (Colledge is the correct spelling for Albert’s  surname, often misspelt)

Originally the design was glazed in a satin matt black and decorated with white, vertical broken lines. Soon after there was the turquoise blue variation. There is also a multi coloured pastel decor as seen in the planters below, and also an all green decor. The forms are made of stoneware and very long lasting – as is all Denby pottery.

The forms in this series have such beautiful lines and proportions – and consisted of a variety of vessels including vases, bowls, planters, lidded jugs, coffee pots, coffee mugs and cruets.

Denby Burlington - Original Design

Denby Burlington – Original Design – Photo by MidCenturyHomeStores on Etsy

This is an unusual form for a coffee pot, and I think it looks better without the lid – which sits quite loosely – and is more appropriate today as a water jug probably.. Read more

Denby Electric Blue

Denby – Danesby Electric Blue 1924, U.K.

In 1924-5 Bourne-Denby as the British company was then known, introduced a decorative line called “Danesby Ware” of which the “Electric Blue” range was one of the outstanding and most popular lines. The Electric Blue glaze captured a new age of optimism and cheerfulness coming out of years of darkness during WW1

Originally inspired by the shapes of an Aladdin’s lamp, the outstanding feature of this range was the beautiful blue streaky and high gloss glaze. It was produced well into the 1930’s, and is still popular amongst collectors today.

Being stoneware it has lasted incredibly well, and the pieces I have photographed here are in superb condition. You can often fine Electric Blue in online stores in the U.K., and in Canada.  The vase forms pictured here are probably the ones you will find most often – but there are some beautiful large jug forms which are much harder (and more expensive) to find.

They are such classical, elegant and beautiful shapes. Read more

Gill Pemberton, Denby, Interview

Gill Pemberton, Denby Interview

An interview with Gill Pemberton and her early years at Denby Pottery. A fascinating glimpse into how the Chevron design developed and life in a pottery works in the 1960s. The interview was originally published on my first website in 2010 (Retro Pottery Net)

 Yes, THE Gill Pemberton! she who designed the renowned and admired Denby Chevron, and Arabesque amongst others. Gill contacted me a while ago when she had discovered my blog – and clarified a few things I wasn’t clear on with the production of Arabesque.

Gill left Denby in 1981 and pursued a whole different career which I hope we have the chance to discuss in another interview, but for now lets hear all about Chevron.

Gill, At Art College what were your major studies and preferences,…. were you planning to become a ceramic designer?

I won a scholarship to study at Birmingham College of Art and Crafts for 4 years, first 2 years general art and crafts (lettering, life drawing, silver, sculpture, embroidery, and pottery etc), for the last 2 I chose to specialise in Pottery.

….Then I got a place at The Royal College of Art in London, to study Industrial Ceramics for 3 years. In my first year, we all had to choose, study, draw, and MAKE some pottery piece in the Victoria and Albert Museum. I chose a small 18th century china teapot, covered with enamel painted flowers. It took a year of hard slog, but I learned SO MUCH about modelling, mould making, glazing, not to mention making the body, and of course that flower painting!

It was such an incredible experience to be able to handle such a fragile ,beautiful piece, almost in touch with the maker…..and modelling the handle and spout….in the shape of a dragon!, It showed me skills I didn’t know I had !

I spent many warm happy hours in the V&A,…..no TV in those days ! And no money to heat my basic bedsit! Looking back I can see the value of all that time looking at and sketching such treasures.

We also had the opportunity each week to do life drawing, taught by Arnold Machin [he of the Queen’s head on stamps and coins], and looking back again I see how much I learned from him about form, volume, shape, not to mention how to draw !

I spent the next 2 years making stacking teapots, cups jugs, and doing the obligatory flower painting. In the fifties England was in very austere times, not much had changed since the thirties, and rationing and restrictions on the pottery industry meant they wanted designers who could do beautiful watercolour flower sprays on existing shapes, but this was NOT for me ! I was quite sure I could produce MUCH better tableware than was in the shops, so YES, I did plan on being a designer, but not the kind Stoke on Trent wanted!

Were you given a specific brief, role or an outline of what Denby wanted when you started as a designer starting with Denby?

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