What a charming design. This is “Whispering Grass”, by Jessie Tait for Midwinter in 1960.
It is a transfer printed design of the flowering whispering grass, hand coloured in lilac and yellow. As with all of Jessie Tait’s designs – beautifully drafted, detailed, and balanced – as well as sitting so well on the forms.
The hollow ware of all the series is in this very soft but vibrant lilac on the outside – a colour you rarely see on dinnerware. Whispering Grass seems to be quite a rare design, and hard to find now.
For the export market the lilac on the hollow ware was replaced with black instead – but I haven’t been able to locate any images of this variation.
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