Geometric Pottery Designs

Geometric Pottery Designs

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Pottery Designs

There is no dearth to the patterns that may be created by an artist who is creative and innovative, and who has the ability to use his tools with skill. Every nation that has a pottery tradition, and every region within such a nation, boasts of unique patterns with which its pottery is adorned. But perhaps, it may be possible to categorize these pottery designs into a few broad groups within which indigenous styles have flourished.

Pottery art is the traditional of all art forms. Many of the world&rsquos civilizations have left indelible marks of their art and culture through their art of pottery. The soft and supple lumps of clay were perhaps the simplest modes for transforming human imaginations and visions to tangible shapes and forms. The level of progress, the customs, the religion, the geographical diversities of a particular region can be measured through pottery crafts. In India, pottery making started with the Indus Valley Civilization and continues still today. The ancient potteries with rustic shapes and coarse textures are heritage pieces that make for ethnic decorations. The Terracotta objects, black painted clay artifacts and glazed potteries of Persian patterns are some antique pottery items. The potteries generally come in shapes of jars, bowls, vessels, pitchers and vases. With advancement in technology the clays are being molded into superfine textures resulting into sleek and stylish pottery products.

Craft Articles
Stone Work

Flower vases, ashtrays, paperweights, coasters, trinkets, showpieces, decorative figures and tea sets crafted into a bewildering array of colors and designs are popular pottery decor. The can be offered as gifts to the loved ones and can be used for interior decoration. Exquisite dinner sets are rich endowments of pottery. They may include beautiful bowls, pots, dishes, spoons, coasters, pans and mugs. Dinnerware designs vary from typical floral to modern geometric patterns. Attractive and colorful the pottery dinnerware truly set the mood for dinner by setting a perfect dinner table.

Ceramics are non-metallic substances subjected to high firing. Ceramic pottery is the most sought after decorative element of the modern day. The unique pottery craft was practiced in ancient Greece, Rome, Japan, China, Africa, Mesopotamia, Persia and India. The bon-fired ceramics molded into beautiful Greek figurines and vessels spellbind with their immaculate artistry and aestheticism. Ceramic pottery can be traced in India from the Harappan age. The potteries have undergone several experiments under the hands of the master craftsmen in several periods of history. Worth mentioning is the ceramic tiles and pottery products of the Mughal era. Quartz powder was applied in the ceramic clays to create a stone like base. They were glazed with various metallic and synthetic substances to bring a soft shimmer. A ceramic design can comprise of beautiful folk motifs, scenic illustrations, traditional female figurines and modern graphical patterns. A ceramic tile design may have numerous themes varying from floral, mythological, religious to abstract, geometric and mosaic patterns.

The designs on pottery may be:

  • Linear: These ceramic patterns include stripes, checks, diagonals etc.
  • Geometric: These pottery designs are interesting arrangements of geometric shapes
  • Floral: These are patterns of flowers, leaves, vines, creepers, stems, trees etc.
  • Scenic: These patterns on pottery include landscapes, seascapes etc.
  • Animal and human figures
  • Abstract designs such as interesting color effects with splashes, dabs, blending and merging of colors etc. These pottery designs do not have a coherent shape necessarily.
  • Pottery patterns on mythological themes.
  • Chinese designs in the ceramic and glazed pottery contained neat and subtle patterns of bright natural colors. Figural and floral motifs generally characterize the Chinese pottery designs.

The popular techniques used to decorate pottery items are:

  • Painting
  • Engraving and carving: Using pottery tools, potters can create beautiful patterns ranging from simple cuts in geometric patterns to complex designs.
  • Glazing
  • Metal plating: Pottery may be gold plated, silver-plated or copper plated.
  • Varnishing
  • Pottery decoration using glitter, threads, beads, shells.

Pottery designs are not confined simply to patterns that are created on the terracotta object. They also refer to the object being shaped in a stylish manner that is different and more attractive than the ordinary. Taking into concern the tremendous prospect of pottery crafts many people are showing interests in pottery making as their recreational pastime or as a part of their profession. Various books on pottery are available where the techniques of preparing, molding and throwing of clay are described. The pottery plans are useful guidelines that teach on the basics of pottery making in a simple and understandable way

Acoma Pottery

The pottery of Acoma is strongly recognized for fluted rims, thin walls and geometric design. Potters of the pueblo implement similar techniques found in the local region, from collecting of the clay material from limited sources, forming the vessel for specific use, decorating with patterns and design by hand, to firing the pot at high temperature.

Even though these pots were traditionally hand-coiled, with hand-mixed clay and custom slip, some contemporary potters have chosen to save time and energy while constructing stunning pieces by using molds. It is also not unusual for pots to be kiln fired, rather than the traditional method, but the expression of the individual artist lies in the manner in which they chose to represent their art form. The dfference can often be seen and felt since custom pieces tend to be thinner, lighter, and have a coarse interior.

Regardless of the approach, the hand painted design selection varies. Thraditional designs include rainbow bands, parrots, and deer or a black and brown motif with geometric pattern and impressively accurate fine lines.

Orange and black are traditional colors, however, current artists have incorporated new, bright and vibrant colors as generations have passed. Hatching patterns symbolize rain, while lightning, thunder clouds and mountains are also represented. The influences of the cycle of life, water and sky are frequently used. New designs have become more detailed to catch the eye.

The pottery of Acoma, aside from its prized artistic value, was originally functional. Pottery provided storage, cooking, and eating. Water jugs were used by the men of Acoma for long hunting trips or camping. Other pots were used as seed pots to store seeds for planting in the comng years. Today the pottery of Acoma is not only revered and collecter for its unique artistic characteristics but also because of its immensely rich historical value.

The Haak'u Museum and Sky City Cultural Center provide education and exposure to the Pueblo of Acoma. Experience the culture, meet the artists and learn more while visiting the Market Plaza. The artists display, create, and share living tradition.

Geometric Pottery Designs - History

Protogeometric Pottery (1050-900 BCE)

About 1050 B.C. a new style of pottery started in Athens and rapidly spread throughout Greece. The new style grew out of the Submycenaean and is called Protogeometric (a name that indicates its relation to the succeeding style). Some new shapes appear, and some old shapes (surviving from the Submycenaean), such as the amphora, are now often taller and more slender (perhaps the result of a faster wheel).

  1. clay-ground technique - dark designs painted on a light clay body.
  2. dark-ground technique - vase covered with black glaze paint with painted designs in reserved bands.

Geometric Pottery (900-700 BCE)

The years 900-700 do not really constitute a historical period except that during these centuries the Geometric style is predominant. The dates are chosen more or less for convenience. The Geometric style first appears in Athens at the beginning of the 9th century. It ends the experimentation of the Protogeometric by selecting and following consistently a system of rectilinear ornamentation (e.g. swastikas, meanders).

The style develops with an increasingly frequent use of figures and a shift away from the shoulder of the vase as the place to concentrate the ornament to the neck and the body, to emphasize shape.

Decoration : The decorative motifs of the Geometric style are almost exclusively linear (dots and lines formed into angles, squares, triangles, lozenges, oblique strokes, etc. Also battlements, zigzags, and meanders are common. The meander is used so often that it is almost the symbol of the Geometric style.

After about 800, figures from nature begin to appear regularly, usually as bands of grazing deer or marsh birds repeated endlessly around the vase (see, for example, this Attic Geometric Amphora). Horses are popular from the beginning. Animals and birds are pressed into geometric shapes. Human figures soon appear in the handle zone.

By the middle of the 8th century, a figure style had evolved and between 760 and 700 (Late Geometric) the Geometric style achieves full maturity in the elaborate pictorial style seen on DIPYLON VASES (amphoras and kraters).

The principal scenes on Dipylon Vases include the layed out corpse of the deceased (prothesis), and a procession of mourners or warriors on foot or in chariots or carts following the body to the cemetary (ekphora). These scenes are bordered by bands of geometric ornament, which have begun to lose their former prominence. Figures are crowded by the filling ornament that takes up all available space in the figured panels.

Helladic (Mycenaean) Greece was ruled by kings. With the collapse of the Mycenaean culture began a process which placed less emphasis on kingship. By the 8th century, nobles had superseded the kings and and began to hold power in aristocracies based on families organized in tribes. As kingship weakened, society moved toward the establishment of the polis. Cities such as Sparta and Athens grew larger and slowly gained control over the villages in their immediate vicinity. The polis (imprecisely translated as "city-state") was an autonomous, indivisible political entity that focused on a town but included the surrounding agricultural land. Thus, the polis of Athens included much of Attica. By early 8th century Greek society was developing fast. There was an increase in population, the beginnings of industry, an increase in foreign contacts and in trade. There was also the beginning of a great colonizing movement (primarily to the West - the Greeks had already settled in the East [Ionia - Asia Minor] in the Dark Ages).

    amphora = a two-handled jar for wine, oil, and other liquids varieties include the belly-handled amphora, the neck-handled amphora, and the belly (or one-piece) amphora.

The Hidden Color Code in Mimbres Pottery

Patterned markings on some Southwestern pots in the U.S. may have been used to symbolize color in black-and-white arts.

C lassic Mimbres pottery is famous and admired today for its beautiful, minimalist style. Elegant geometric patterns and figurative drawings grace these pots with a strikingly limited color palette: black and white, and sometimes red and brown. But it turns out that ancient Southwestern potters may have pointed to color in their pieces—in code.

I n the U.S. Southwest, after the year 500 or so, symbols on decorated pottery became one of the main ways in which people conveyed and permanently recorded social and religious messages—including for the Mimbres tradition, centered on the Mimbres Valley in present-day New Mexico around 1000. Some of the symbolism lends itself to easy interpretation by contemporary anthropologists: masked, dancing figures may represent katsinam, deified ancestors who bring rain and social order one pot shows a pregnant woman carrying home a deer from the hunt, likely speaking to gender roles and cooperation. There are many images of animals, which might represent individuals, personality traits, clan associations, spirits—or just animals. Geometric patterns can be harder to decipher.

T he limited color selection on these striking pots may have been partly an aesthetic choice, but it also seems to have been a necessity. These artists simply didn’t have many colored pigments that would survive the firing process used to harden vessels: only black, white, and an earthen tone ranging from brown to red were available. Most Mimbres vessels were “slipped” white first, with black designs painted on afterward.

T he lovely blue-green of turquoise, for example, a stone for which this region is famous, could not be permanently integrated into pottery. Blue-green paint made from pulverized rock could be applied after firing, but it would quickly fade or flake away, making it a disappointing option only rarely used.

S o how could those early potters represent color?

Yellow or red elements in Mimbres polychrome vessels tend to match up with hachured patterns in Mimbres black-and-white vessels. Russell, Klassen, and Salazar/American Antiquity

I nterestingly, a similar problem was encountered by archaeologists of the 19th and early 20th centuries who tried to convey the color of their archaeological finds in the black-and-white medium of academic journals’ printed pages. Their solution? They arbitrarily selected patterns as proxies for colors. Dots might represent red, for example, or cross-hatching might signify brown. Luckily for the reader, these simple codes were spelled out in legends.

I t turns out that ancient Southwestern potters did the same though without a written language to convey a key, researchers have had to use some sleuthing to crack their code.


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I n the 1970s, American art historian Jerry “J.J.” Brody speculated that 11th- and 12th-century potters in the Chaco region of what is today New Mexico used black hachure—closely spaced, parallel lines—on a white background as a proxy for the color blue-green. The Chaco culture was centered on Chaco Canyon , but it spanned the Four Corners area of Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico.

B rody had noticed some striking similarities between black-on-white designs on pottery and more colorful designs in other media, such as stone mosaics and painted boards, where color was easier to apply and longer-lasting. The designs were similar, but where the mosaics had turquoise, the pottery had hachure.

I n 2003, archaeologist Stephen Plog of the University of Virginia tested this idea, comparing the use of hachure on pots to the use of blue-green on more than 50 objects featuring color. His findings supported Brody’s idea: Hachure seemed to represent turquoise.

Regions and cultures of the U.S. Southwest, like the Mimbres and Chaco, gave birth to different styles of ceramic traditions. Matthew Peeples

A s archaeologists who are interested in large-scale social processes, we wondered if this strategy went further than just the Chacoan culture. What about Classic Mimbres society, for example, which flourished during roughly the same time (1000–1130) and just about 600 kilometers to the south?

C hacoan and Mimbres communities—largely contemporaneous and not terribly far apart—had shared ideas and practices that were at once similar, yet different. Both built ceremonial structures called great kivas, for example, although those at Chaco were round and Mimbres ones were generally rectangular. Both built large, apartment-like masonry structures called pueblos, but while Chacoan pueblos reached skyward, Mimbres pueblos expanded sideways.

P erhaps the best-known Mimbres crafts are their stunning black-on-white vessels. Most of their designs are geometric, but some include figurative images of animals, people, and fantastical creatures engaged in all manner of behaviors. Some of them, like the Chacoan pots, had hachure.

O ne of us, Will Russell, has worked with an online collection of more than 9,000 images of Mimbres ceramics called the Mimbres Pottery Images Digital Database, first as a research associate and currently as a board member for the project. We were well-equipped to do some comparisons of our own.

F or our investigation, we began by following Plog’s approach, comparing hachured vessels to other artifacts. Unfortunately, few painted, non-ceramic artifacts have been recovered from the Mimbres region—probably fewer than 50 that can be confidently traced to Mimbres deposits. Such a small sample is not ideal for a research project, but it is enough to do a small analysis.

T ake, for example, a small, mosaicked plaque with a flower-like motif, the petals of which were fashioned from turquoise, found in a cave in the Mimbres area. A few Mimbres pottery bowls have similar flower motifs. But the hachure we found in those black-and-white images on the pottery corresponds not with the plaque’s blue-green, as with Chacoan pottery, but with the color red—the center of the flower, not its petals.

F ish are the most commonly depicted subject matter in Mimbres pottery, and many images of them feature hachure. Again, wooden carvings of similar fish, and other artifacts, have red where the pottery has hachure.

Some of the figures in Mimbres pottery are easier to interpret than others. Sharon Mollerus/Flickr

N ear the end of the Mimbres cultural tradition, another type of pottery was produced: Mimbres polychrome, made by adding a third color—frequently a shade of yellow to red—to vessel designs. The placement of yellow or red elements in Mimbres polychrome vessels was stylistically analogous to the incorporation of hachured elements in Mimbres black-on-white vessels.

A rchaeologists and local communities generally agree that Mimbres populations contributed to today’s Puebloan communities of the Southwest. Interestingly, and uniformly across the pueblos for the past century or so, blue-green has been symbolically linked to maleness. In Mimbres pottery, however, we have found that hachure was divided equally between male and female human depictions, whereas in pronghorn motifs, hachure was overwhelmingly associated with females.

T here is much more work to be done to crack ancient Southwestern color codes. There are other styles of marking on Ancestral Puebloan pottery that could have meaning or correlation to colors. Sikyatki polychrome, for example, crafted a little later than Mimbres polychrome in what is today northeastern Arizona, includes some vessels that feature an innovative pattern of splattered paint achieved by blowing paint through a reed. Playas red, a red-slipped form of Chihuahuan pottery, features incised patterns that range from herringbone to something reminiscent of a basket weave.

Perhaps Chacoan and Mimbres societies also saw themselves in a complementary light.

I nterestingly, the ancient Egyptians used colors like bright blue in their pottery several thousand years earlier than when Ancestral Puebloans were making their pots. Different ancient cultures around the world had access to different minerals and technologies, and had different priorities and subtleties when it came to nonverbal communication. Perhaps other societies in history may also have used patterns or texture to symbolize color in their black-and-white arts. Cracking the symbolism in their art may help reveal something more about those cultures.

O ur finding that the color code in Mimbres pottery seems different from that in Chacoan society may have interesting implications. Throughout the Native American Southwest today, blue-green and yellow are paired in ceremonial and cosmological contexts, both contrasting and complementing each other. The two colors, like the black and white of yin and yang, are used to show stark contrasts—male and female, water and maize, sky and earth, sun and moon, underworld and upper world—that work together to form a successful whole.

P erhaps, we speculate, Chacoan and Mimbres societies also saw themselves in a complementary light.

Neck-handled Amphora

Greek, from Athens
Middle Geometric I, 850-800 BCE
(Before the Common Era replaces BC, Before Christ)
Gilbreath McLorn Museum Fund (91.255)
Height: 53 cm
Additional images may be viewed in Argus

Guiding Questions
How do you think this object might have been used?

How do you see color, pattern, and shapes being used on this vessel? Why do you think the time period this vase comes from might be called the “Geometric Period?”

How might you describe the overall shape of this object?

About the Art
This neck-handled amphora is an example of Middle Geometric pottery style. Archaeologists label the parts of ceramic vessels as if they were body parts, so the neck of the vase is the narrow part between the top and where it begins to widen. The handles arch over the neck of the vessel, so it is called a neck-handled vase. An amphora is a vessel shape that varies greatly, but usually has a narrow neck for pouring, and is wider at the top of the belly and narrows to a small foot or pointed base. When there is more than one amphora, they are called amphorae. For comparison, consider this "belly-handled” amphora:

Belly-handled Amphora
Attributed to the Dipylon Painter
Greek, from Athens, Late Geometric, 760-750 BCE
National Archaeological Museum, Athens

Both of these vessels would most likely have been used as grave markers (For more ancient funerary art, see the Egyptian Tomb Relief).

The body of the Museum’s amphora is mainly dark, with a decorative panel on the neck and around the belly. The bands of three lighter stripes that break up the large areas of dark on the body are a feature often found in a period called the Middle Geometric and help archaeologist date this vase to approximately 850-800 BCE. In the Middle Geometric period, different decorative motifs were also introduced, like the triangular patterns with groups of vertical lines which decorate the belly and lip of this amphora. The two triangles arranged point to point are called double-axes and are similar to other ax shapes found in earlier examples of Greek art. The shape of this amphora also shows a more obvious transition between neck and body than found in earlier vases, which tells archaeologists that the artist was using an improved potter's wheel. This is another clue that helps archaeologists date this pot and other objects that might have been found with it.

About the Material
Fired clay is a virtually indestructible material. It does not decompose or disintegrate. Even if a pot breaks, the sherds will remain for thousands of years, and can be put back together like the pieces of a puzzle by archaeologists. Potsherds are one of the most common sources of evidence for archaeologists. By looking at the material, shape, and decoration of a sherd, archaeologists may be able to determine what time period it came from and thus what time period other artifacts found with that sherd came from.

About the Culture and Period
The Geometric Period in ancient Greece lasted from approximately 900 BCE to 700 BCE. This vase is a good example of why it is called the Geometric Period, because most of the art from this period includes decorative geometric shapes and designs. Also during this time, the epic poems of Homer were being told, Greek poleis (or cities) were being founded, and major temples and sanctuaries were built. This was a revolutionary time in Greek history.

What kind of geometric designs would you use if you were decorating a pot?

Compare and contrast with the Red-figured Nolan Amphora and the vessels found with the Model Shrine.

Gilcrease Museum

The production of pottery in the Southwest has changed little since its appearance around 300 B.C.E. The Pueblo women usually coil pots, always by hand, and do not use the potter’s wheel. Some designs have changed, particularly with the use of different colors, and some potters have innovated to create new effects. Others have reintroduced old methods of firing, particularly Maria Martinez, who created the famous black on black pottery. Other potters, notably Nampeyo, have revived traditional designs and patterns, while also expressing their own.

Pueblo tribes create the best pottery in the Southwest and are known for their skills beyond that region. Many Pueblo people considered pots “as having a conscious existence of their own, capable of feeling and expressing emotion” (Furst and Furst 1982, 38). This belief reveals itself in the production of the pots. Only certain songs and noises could be sung or made during the creation of pottery, the potter would place some food with the pot when put in the kiln, and when the potter finished a piece, “she expressed deep relief that it was now a ‘Made Being,’ with a personal existence” (Furst and Furst 1982, 39).


The 1949 fire at Myott Son & Co&rsquos Alexander Pottery, Staffordshire witnessed the unfortunate destruction of valuable pattern books and records that, not only deleted a veritable bible of information and design, but was one of the contributing factors for Myott's somewhat stunted growth within the realms of Art Deco, antiques and collecting.

Myott&rsquos popular decorative wares of the 1920&rsquos,1930&rsquos and 1940&rsquos are the Myott Collectors Club raison d&rsquoetre. A good piece of Myott can sit beside some of the best Clarice Cliff and justifiably hold its head up high. It appears that Myott&rsquos &lsquoart&rsquo has been shrouded by a lack of knowledge and understanding, and veiled with anonymity. Anonymity caused, not only by the reported destruction of the pattern books, but by the invariably unsigned nature of the pieces. With an autumnal palette (hues popularised by the Art Deco movement of the 1920&rsquos and 1930s) and bold slabs of applied collour and naïve, almost careless washes, Myott pieces are highly distinctive and unique in Twentieth Century ceramics. Once you have seen a few pieces of hand-painted Myott you will become accustomed to spotting the distinctive style of other Myott pieces with ease. This typical design genre being a direct result of the family oriented nature of the Potteries based ceramics businesses of the period, producing highly distinctive looks across the spectrum of largely family owned potteries.

Myott collecting has only recently reached the level it so rightly deserves, with the Internet playing an important role in educating collectors and dealers alike in recognising the variety and importance these wonderful works from the past have to offer. It seems incredible that a majority of books published on Art Deco (whether specifically ceramic orientated or not) do not feature or even mention the works of the Myott family and associate designers, who were by no means insignificant in the Potteries area in Staffordshire during the period between the First and Second World Wars in which the Myott Collectors Club is primarily interested. However, the last five years or so have seen a dramatic increase in the value of Myott 'art wares', especially with respect to Art Deco designs and geometric patterns. It is often heard from dealers (describing such shapes as the Torpedo vase) phrases in the line of "It wasn't that long ago I was picking these pieces up for twenty pounds!". The inflated prices and decreasing availability of Deco wares such as Clarice Cliff are a probable agent. It seems, however, that some of the rarer Myott patterns, of a more conventional or conservative design, have not been merited with proportional value compared to the more common patterns. As understanding and information increase, a comprehensive and accurate price guide can be catalogued which will give collectors and dealers alike the bigger picture of Myott.

Stuart Lonsdale Explains the History and Design of Gouda Pottery

In this interview, Stuart Lonsdale talks about Gouda pottery, focusing especially on the designs and the artists’ markings. Based in England, Stuart can be contacted via his website, Gouda Design, which is a member of our Hall of Fame.

I think it all started with a small pottery vase my mother obtained from the art pottery shop where she worked in the early 1920s and ‘30s. After she died in 1988, I didn’t initially didn’t take much notice of the vase, but then one day I just happened to look underneath and wondered what all the marks meant. I started trying to research it, but it was very difficult because we didn’t have the Internet then. I came across a book by Phyllis Ritvo, The World of Gouda Pottery, and it started from there. Then we got a computer and started to investigate on the Internet.

We started the website, and since then it’s just snowballed. We started getting e-mails from collectors in Holland who were amazed to find that someone in England was writing about Gouda. We’ve made lots of really good Dutch friends who we go visit two or three times a year. And it all started from this very small vase.

I was attracted to the vase because there were so many different colors on such a small piece. The colors weren’t complimentary and it had a black background. I hadn’t seen anything like that before. I wasn’t interested in pottery my only interest was the fact that the vase was in the house. It just went from there. It’s difficult to say why.

Collectors Weekly: Can you tell us a bit about the history of Gouda pottery?

Lonsdale: There isn’t a factory called Gouda pottery the pottery is called that because the main factories were in Gouda. Gouda (pronounced ‘how-da’) is the generic term we use for all the pottery factories in Holland – all Dutch pottery other than Delftware, that is.

The area around Gouda had clay to make pots, which is why most of the factories settled there. A lot of the clay also came from England. The Dutch started producing clay pipes about 1740, and some of the factories that produced clay pipes turned to making pottery because there was demand. They didn’t do it for love they did it for profit. People wanted pottery for their home.

This style of pottery was pioneered in about 1898 by a company called Plateelbakkerij Zuid-Holland, or PZH, but they didn’t produce the type of pottery that you see on our website. That wasn’t made until about 1910 when they discovered a new process to produce matte glazed pottery. It was known as the Rhodian process, which is actually the name of one of the most popular decors. It was known as matte glazed pottery.

Collectors Weekly: What characterizes the Gouda pottery that you have showcased on your website?

Lonsdale: The flowery and curvaceous designs. Whereas Holland started with Art Nouveau. Mainly you concentrate on the matte glaze, which for us is the mixture of abstract and floral designs. You can mix the two together and it makes a lot of bright colors. The use of bright colors and the mixture of floral, abstract, and geometric designs all on the same piece is a lot more attractive to us.

Collectors Weekly: Was there a strong differentiation between the Art Nouveau movement and Art Deco in terms of Gouda designs?

Lonsdale: Not necessarily between the periods… the designs, shapes, forms, and patterns blend together. Holland also produced simple abstract designs which are definitely Art Deco, not Art Nouveau. Whichever design you like, that is the most attractive part of it. They produced abstract floral – not just the Art Nouveau floral, but abstract floral, which sounds a bit silly. It wasn’t floral and it wasn’t abstract it was a mixture of both. Of course, they also produced a lot of geometric designs, which a lot of Art Deco pottery did.

Collectors Weekly: Were there any particularly influential designers or pottery schools?

Lonsdale: I’d have to say just the Amsterdam school. There were quite a lot of designers who worked for other factories and moved to Zuid-Holland when the PZH factories started. A lot of really good designers started working for PZH and carried on the designs from the Art Nouveau period into the Art Deco period. That’s what attracted us to them – the mixture of abstract forms with floral forms, which were highly unusual. No other pottery factory has done that. It’s not just one form it’s a mixture of all different forms. I think what most people find attractive is the mixture of different bright colors.

Gouda pottery was exported by the millions all over the world. You name a country and it was exported to it all over England, America, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand. Millions of pieces were exported – vases, plates, you name it. They’re not hand-thrown, they’re all molded from liquid clay, but every one is hand-painted. That’s why there were so many different artists that worked for all the different factories.

They’re signed on the bottom, mostly by the person that painted them. It’s not really their signature in full but their initials, because when they were making them, they had to know which particular person made which pot. They were paid by the number of pots they produced, so the initial was used by the factories to determine how many pieces were made.

We collect all sorts, all designers, all painters, all years, from 1900 up to the 1950s and the 1960s. We collect everything.

Collectors Weekly: Was Gouda made in sets?

Lonsdale: Yes, there were some sets. There were lots of tea sets. There were smoking sets. There were drinking sets with trays and cups. There were individual pieces with pairs of vases. You can think of anything and it was made. A lot have survived in sets, but mainly you will find individual pieces, because sets tend to get broken up. One piece tends to get broken. You can still find sets, but most pieces you’ll find were part of a set or produced individually.

Collectors Weekly: Was there a certain period of time when people really started to get interested in collecting Gouda pottery?

Lonsdale: I don’t know when people started collecting Gouda pottery. We have some friends in Holland who’ve been collecting it for many years, a lot longer than we have. If I would guess when people first started collecting, it would be mainly after World War II.

You have to remember, pottery wasn’t made for collecting it was made to be used. It would have been found in a lot of homes in Holland, and the people who owned it wouldn’t have thought twice about it. For them, it was everyday household pottery that just happened to be bright and colorful. After World War II when the factories started to close is probably when people started to take an interest in it.

I suppose you could say the heyday of Gouda pottery ended in the mid-1930s with the recession, which was all over the world. After that, a lot of the factories, not just Gouda factories but factories all around the world, just simply didn’t recover. During World War II, when the Germans invaded Holland, they took over the Zuid-Holland factory, and the employees were forced to make pottery for the German market. There were still some pieces made, but mainly they were forced to make pottery for the domestic German market.

Collectors Weekly: Are there certain Gouda pottery items that are particularly sought after?

Lonsdale: We never use the word “rare.” I don’t think there’s such a thing.” Names such as Chris van de Hoef are highly sought after by collectors, and some of their pieces can command very high prices.

Most people start collecting Gouda pottery because they like the look of it. They probably even didn’t know what it was when they started out. Maybe they looked at a piece, thought it was nice, turned it over and saw it said “Gouda” on the underneath.

We get that in e-mails. People say, “We went to an antique shop and we picked up this piece because we liked it. Then we discovered that it was Gouda, and we went on the Internet and typed in the word ‘Gouda,’ and it brought us to your website.” They send us a picture and they want to know more about it. When we tell them information about it, they say “Well, perhaps we should collect some more.” It’s so colorful it’s so bright. It does stand out.

Like I said, pottery wasn’t made for people to collect it was made for people to buy. If the Arts and Crafts movement was what people liked, then that’s what the pottery factories would make. It’s the same reason why the pottery factory declined after the war: people’s tastes changed, so the factories had to start making items that people wanted. The trouble was that there were lots of other countries that started making it a lot cheaper.

Collectors Weekly: You have pages from other collectors on your website. How did you start doing that?

Lonsdale: They just contacted us by email and said, “We have a collection. Would you like to put it on the website?” So we did. I think most people collect like we do, which is a varied selection, not necessarily themed. Mostly what I can see on our website are the very varied collections. We have lots of wall plates, lots of vases, lots of figurines. We also have a lot which will never be on the website because it’s a private collection.

Collectors Weekly: Tell us a little bit about the figurines.

Lonsdale: In Dutch it’s “plastiek,” which means “figurine.” We have quite a lot of figurines in our collection, mainly the plain cream ones or plain white ones. They were not necessarily for use in the home they were more decorative.

Think of a shape and that’s it all types of shapes, not necessarily one particular one. Animals are very popular. Shapes of people are very popular. Naked ladies are very popular. Figurines of all sorts are quite collectible, particularly by the designer Chris van de Hoef. His figurines are very collectible, mainly from the 1920s and 1930s.

I think the figurines were all sold individually, although there may have been a theme. We particularly like bears and elephants. We have quite a few in the collection.

Collectors Weekly: What are the best places to look for Gouda pottery?

Lonsdale: Nowadays, you can find it on eBay, but we don’t tend to buy off eBay anymore. We tend to buy mainly from antique shops and antique fairs or on our travels to Holland. Our friends will often buy pieces for us or tell us of pieces available in Holland that we buy when we visit.

There are no Gouda collectors clubs. A lot of our friends in Holland do get together and travel to collectors’ fairs, but they don’t actually sit down and discuss the pottery. Occasionally the museum in Gouda has an appraisal where people can bring in their pieces of Gouda pottery and the collectors give information on them, but they don’t do that on a regular basis.

(All images in this article courtesy Stuart Lonsdale of Gouda Design)

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183 comments so far

Further to my previous comment, I think the number could be 509 and initials JZ

Thanks for the reference to Hongan Ware on your site. Do you have any other resources I could try for more info. Thanks agin.

Hazel. Arnhemsche Fayancefabriek was founded in Arnhem in 1910 until 1934. The Rooster mark was in use on items between circa 1920 until circa 1933. To give a more precise date I would need to see the style of the marks. The style of the Rooster did vary according to the date. The Rooster and just the word Arnhem with no other words would indicate a date circa 1910 to circa 1920. I would need to see the marks to tell you the painter – if known. Also the decor name – if known. There were a couple of painters who used a Z style in their mark. Without a picture I cannot tell you which one it was. Deciphering painters marks can sometimes be a real nightmare! The number refers to the model/shape.
Please send me a good quality picture to [email protected]
Please ensure the subject line contains the word Gouda.
If not it may be deleted as spam.

Don. Sorry I have no other information to give you. I was once in touch with a collector, David in Ontario, Canada, but lost touch many years ago. Our Dutch friends have no more information. It’s a case of searching the internet and one may be lucky. If you find any information let me know! Stuart.

I have purchased a jardinière with a house mark and the words Zomer Holland.It has a colourful pattern. Could you tell if you are familiar with this mark and if so, the date. Many Thanks Vera

Vera. Your jardinière was made by Plateelbakkerij Zuid-Holland (PZH). The decor name is Zomer. It is a very commonly seen decor and was mass produced between 1917 and circa 1930. If you go to our website Gouda-Design and put Zomer in the search box you will see some examples.
Without a picture I obviously cannot tell you the exact date.
Please send me a good quality picture to [email protected]
Please ensure the subject line contains the word Gouda.
If not it may be deleted as spam.

My husband inherited a Gouda vase from his parents. It was the first gift his grandfather presented to his grandmother. Anyway, I’ve always wondered about this piece because it is beautiful. Its rather tall, with 2 handles. The bottom is a dark, cobalt blue in color and grows to a green and beige color and looks like a sunflower with a leafy vine. I cannot find any information about where it was made or who the designer is. It is inscribed with a Y S Z, Zuid-Holland, Gouda. Can you tell me more about this piece? Thank you!

Lee. Thanks for asking a question. I can tell you that your vase was made in Gouda by Plateelbakkerij Zuid-Holland (PZH). As for more information I really do have to see a picture! There are many decors as you describe with the same colours and floral design, including lots with stylized sunflowers – they were a popular subject.
Please send me an email with good quality pictures of the vase and backstamp to [email protected]
Please ensure the subject line contains the word ‘Gouda’.
If not it may be deleted as spam.

Dear Mr. Lonsdale,
My Husband and I inherited two Zuid.Holland Gouda Vases from his parents, they have been in the house for about 70 years by pure accident, and while we were packing we find out. I made my research and read your interview with Collectors Weekly, and all your information about Gouda. Brief the First Vase is about 102 cm composed of 4 pieces, the upper bowl is removable while the three others are connected with an ax from the bowl’s base to the lower stand. On the reverse side of the bowl written: 121 N.P. after a house then below Zuid.Holland.
while on the underneath: first a House, then Gouda
Then Holland and on the left side 139. N.P. on the same line H

The second Vase composed of three pieces about 100 cm related to each other with an internal ax ,we wouldn’t remove the bowl to avoid broken it. so we cannot tell u what prescription is under the bowl, but on the reverse side of the base : Zuid.Holland then a House then 139 Gouda H.
we will be much grateful to you if you kindly furnish us, if possible, with : production Date and by whom was made, because they really beautiful.
Awaiting your reply to send you photos.
Thank you so much for you precious help.
Best Regards,
Guita Oweida

I have a small shallow octagon shaped piece of pottery with a little teacup style handle. It was made by Goedewaggen and looks to be hand embossed with the number 951. As well it has been hand painted with the number 620 and capital letters IRAK. Inside the cup is a hand painted bird with foliage. I am curious to know how old the item may be and if it carries any follow. Your thoughts and insight would be very much appreciated.

I have this pot which is pottery blue/green in colour, has one purple flower,one yellow flower and what look like berries on a stick. these are on a white back ground with a dark brown rim top and bottom. on the base of the pot is FLORA GOUDA HOLLAND no date no and no other names. I am just trying to find out about it. After looking at photos on google, I can not see another like it, any information would be helpful. Thank you for reading

Hello Sue. Thanks for your question. This was made in Gouda by Plateelbakkerij Flora. Founded in 1945 and taken over by Koninklijke Goedewaagen in 1993. Flora used many decors with purple and yellow flowers. Some had names others did not. From your description it could be decor ‘Sylvia’. Date would be between circa 1959 – 1967. Flora did not use date codes. All were mass produced. If you send a picture I may be able to tell you the decor. Send it to [email protected] and ensure the subject line has the word ‘Gouda’ or it may be deleted as spam. Stuart.

I inherited my gouda vase from my brother inlaw, it’s 81/2 ” tall, has the number 976, Woerden, with a tree and the # 1 under the tree and beside the tree is a house/windmill with initials A.V.W. and last followed by Gouda, Holland. It has a two cracks in the lower portion of the handle that has been repaired. Could you tell me anything about this vase, such as age, value and should I get it repaired by an expert?

Louise. An email has been sent to your email address. Stuart.

I found a vase that has a 701 on the bottom the seven has a line through it ,its about a foot tall part of the top is folded over into like a v.Onthe front is a grape leaf and a bunch of grapes .Its colors are beige and like a darker around the grapes.Around the sides it has like square stamps one of a circle round and round ,a square with a flower in it,.These all around the vaescan you tell me anything about it Thank You

Sharon. An email has been sent to your email address. Stuart.


Donna. An email has been sent to your email address. Stuart.

Please note. As from October 15 we will no longer be able answer questions. Please don’t post them as we will not reply. This is due to personal and business reasons. We want to thank everyone who has submitted comments. You can find lots of information at our website Gouda-Design. Stuart & Kim.

Hello we have a decorative pot I think is duch it has
361/20 corona plazuid holland dated I think
17 37
I was reading u r stuff and thought it would be interesting on this piece of pottery

I just found a beutiful floral ashtray with 2860 Royal zuid holland Gouda on the back that I am trying to find more information on. It has a red flower in the middle with leaves and yellow outline. It looks like it has the word Areo RV with a little house symbol. Any information would be appreciated.

I have inherited 2 identical items ( 21cms tall) bulbous vases. Beautiful! Base marks read from the top the no 800 then below the name RHODIAN then below that a small diamond and alongside that a windmill and then a small shape like the letter f. the bottom line reads HOLLAND. Also on the base is imprinted a large mark – on one vase similar to the letter P, but with a tail, and on the other similar to the letter T. Any information would be appreciated. Thank you.

Dear Stuart, I have 2 candlesticks – green and orange tones. The name on top of inscription is Lairo. Also Royal Zuid-Holland, Gouda. The rest is a bit difficult – could be an ‘s’, a house with 2 lines through it then 10 (maybe). At the bottom it seems to say 54dy. Very vague – I do apologise. Should I put them away in the cabinet or is it fine to have them within reach of the grandkiddies? Many thanks in anticipation of your reply. Good wishes. Heather Purdy

My Dutch wife inherited a small (10cm high) twin handled vase with gently flared neck and deep yellow / gold lava flow border. The body of the vase is decorated with flowers in muted yellow / orange / purple flowers and foliage. The handles and inner surface of the vase are vivid blue in colour. The bottom of the vase is decorated in the same colour as handles in the style of the lava rim but upside down.
The underside is marked VEA KPZ HOLLAND with a central TILTED HOUSE and the numbers 3409 and 2297 at the top and bottom respectively. The initials right centre possibly read WG and the symbol centre left looks similar to an anchor (?).
Any assistance you could provide with age and history of this piece would be greatly appreciated.
Kind regards,
Paul Whyatt

I have a jug 6″ high, cream coloured with flower and bird decoration on crackle glaze.
It has a 3″ base and a backstamp
Made in Holland
I would be grateful if you could give me some idea of its date
Thank you
Mary Taffler

I have a small bowl with a brass top it has the words
It seems like “grety Gouda” there seems to be an ml and the
And the number 176 again not sure if the first
Number is actually a 1 it is also marked made in
Holland. There seems to be an x on the ml too.
Any information re date and how much is it worth
Thanks in advance

I have a small bowl with markings 3172-underneath unique-under that the house symbol and beside it the letters J A B I think.Under that Gouda Holland and the mark for 1949. It is 4 1/2 in. Across top and 3 1/2 I’m on bottom. It has an olive green border around bottom and a lighter green scalloped border around top. Bunches of 2 brown leaves around it. It is a whitish grey color with water droplet marking. It is light green inside. I would appreciate any information about it. Thank you Beth

I have a small bowl that says “Regina” on the first line, then on the second line it says “Gouoda:Holland”, under that it says �” and under that it says “Rosario” so no initials. Just wondering if it’s rare or quite common. It is beautiful regardless.

I have a vase that is typical hand-painted flowery Gouda-style. It has quite a bit of crazing and the bottom is signed IVORA HOLLAND 105 Delft and something that looks like OBO or 180. Also has an etched 105 on the base.

I would think this would be Ivor a gouda, although there is nothing to say Gouda on it. Is this common?

I just inherited a beautiful Gouda vase about 10 1/2 inches tall. It has a brown background with colorful swirls. In teal, burnt orange, colbalt blue and ivory. The marks on the bottom are:
T ‘18
Are you able to tell me a little about it?
Thank you!

I have a pair of vases that I bought because I liked them and particularly the impressionistic cows in a field against a background of a farm building with hay bakes with the back comprising the wild flowers at the edge of the field in close up. Curious about these impressive vases ( approx 32 cms high) I found an Australian website of a Gouda collector with similar bucolic scenes apparently inspired/copied by artists of the 19/20th century. The problem is they have no marks whatsoever to the foot. I have images if you’d care to see but was wondering if Gouda ware of the 1900 period was ever unmarked. They are very skilfully hand painted. Thank you for any consideration you might be able to provide. Clive Tunnicliffe

Hi I have a vase with two handles and sunflowers on it. The vase is 15 inches high. On the base is a number I think 187 with the word ZUM under it. Then Arnhem followed by Holland and bellow that it looks like a WH but the W looks more like a V with a line coming down almost joining the H. Do you know anything about this, is it an earlier style of Gouda or a later one. Many thanks suzie

I have two long necked Gouda vases, both with number 1302 on them. One has initials CW and the other has a number 49. Another vase with a shorter neck is marked 804 with initials JB and an image with a 12 under it. There is also a frog vase with number 124 and initials JB. All of these vases are of the same design. I would like to know more about them.

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Key Figures in Wedgwood History

Sep Famous Potters, Fenton | No comments

It is generally claimed that William Greatbatch was apprenticed to Thomas Whieldon and first met Josiah Wedgwood I at Fenton, but there is no documentary evidence to support this. Greatbatch may have been acting for Wedgwood in London as early as June 1760. It is certainly the case that in 1762 he began a close business association with Josiah I, as well as setting up a pottery in his own right at Lower Lane, Fenton.

Greatbatch began to supply Wedgwood with a wide range of block moulds and biscuit earthenware (for colouring and glazing at Burslem) and probably finished wares also. An arrangement between the two potters seems to have been maintained until the mid-1770s.

Greatbatch continued in business for 20 years but was declared bankrupt in 1782. By 1786 he had gained employment at Etruria, on very favourable terms, and probably became general manager from 1788 until his retirement in about 1807. Josiah I evidently had high regard for his colleague and allocated him a substantial pension.

Brother to Enoch Wood, a celebrated Staffordshire potter and modeller, William Wood was apprenticed to Josiah Wedgwood I in Burslem and later became chief modeller of useful wares. He also worked on the first edition of the Portland Vase.

In 1768 Josiah I helped his nephew, Thomas Byerley, emigrate to America. Byerley was an aspiring writer and actor but he eventually settled in New York as a schoolmaster. He returned to England in 1775 due to the outbreak of the American War of Independence and was employed at Etruria before becoming the London manager on Thomas Bentley’s death. Byerley was succeeded in London by his son, Josiah.

The French spirit of the Barbizon School of naturalistic painters was brought to the Potteries by artists such as Edouard Rischgitz (employed by Minton c1864-70) and Emile Lessore. The latter was born in Paris and studied under Hersent and Ingres.

Lessore first painted on ceramics in Laurin’s factory at Bourg-la-Reine, near Paris, and he later worked at Sèvres for six years from 1852. Following the death of his wife in 1858, he moved to England and was employed by Minton. However, he felt artistically constrained and oversupervised, so in the spring of 1860 he approached Wedgwood for work. His appointment was confirmed in August that year.

At Wedgwood, Lessore enjoyed artistic freedom, and he built up a decorative art studio that boosted the firm’s national and international standing. A large selection of his work received widespread acclaim at the 1862 Paris Exhibition, and the retailers Phillips, of London, subsequently purchased the entire display. Lessore’s only remaining complaint was the English climate, which had an adverse effect on his health, and he negotiated a flexible arrangement with Wedgwood which allowed him to return to Paris with the option of living in London in the summer.

In time, Lessore assumed a somewhat ambassadorial role and concentrated on providing outline sketches and designs suitable for enhancement by Wedgwood’s workforce. By 1867 demand for his style of work had declined, and two years later both parties reluctantly entered into a new agreement whereby he continued to work for Wedgwood in a very limited way only.

Regarded as the leading Staffordshire painter of the 19 th century, Allen trained at the Stoke-on-Trent school of Art and won a National Art Training Scholarship in 1852. After studying at the South Kensington School of Design in London, he was employed by Minton as a figure painter. In 1876 he joined Wedgwood, and the firm thus gained a prestigious replacement for Emile Lessore. He maintained his position as director of the Fine Art Studios (effectively art director) at Etruria for 20 years from 1878 and fully retired in 1904. Allen’s figure work – often depicting romantic, scantily clad females – is predominant on vases and plaques, but he was also responsible for the development of tile and tableware designs at Etruria.

John Goodwin joined the design staff at Etruria in 1892 and was appointed art director in 1904. This was a time of great rationalization for Wedgwood and Goodwin proved a realistic manager. He replaced the Victorian-inspired art wares with more conventional ranges and adopted many of Wedgwood’s original 18 th -century tableware shapes and patterns to suit 20 th century demands. Goodwin particularly targeted the American market, which had traditionally always admired Wedgwood’s wares in the “Federal” (neo-classical) style.

An ideal balance was formed at Wedgwood, with Goodwin overseeing the manufacture of commercial ornamental wares (by designers such as Daisy Makeig-Jones) and Alfred and Louise Powell concentrating on art wares. Before his retirement in 1934, Goodwin’s marketing experience with traditional middle-range tableware helped Wedgwood to survive the disastrous effects of the Depression.

Alfred Hoare Powell (1865 – 1960) – Ada Louise Powell (1882 – 1956)

In 1903 Wedgwood received a series of contemporary designs from Alfred Powell and, conscious of the public interest generated by the Arts and Crafts Movement, immediately realized their potential and put them into production. Powell trained as an architect, but in the 1890s abandoned the traditions of “drawing board” design and became involved with the revival of vernacular styles. In 1906 he married Emile Lessore’s granddaughter, Ada Louise, and the couple began working together as Alfred H and Louise Powell. Early in the following year Wedgwood set up a studio for them at Bloomsbury, London.

Louise Powell trained at the Central School of Art in London, and was for many years closely associated with the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society. She and her husband often worked together on important commissions and it is therefore sometimes difficult to distinguish the individual hand. Their designs tend to fall into two categories: either fairly simple flower and foliage sprig patterns for tableware or rich Islamic-and-Renaissance-inspired pictorial, foliate and armorial designs for ornamental pieces.

The Powells visited Etruria regularly, and on one occasion forwarded the idea of producing some existing printed and painted tableware patterns in a totally free-hand form. This met with approval and a number of such patterns were retailed through the firm of James Powell & Sons, to whose owner Alfred was related. This successful revival of hand-painting at Etruria led to the establishment of the handcraft department, under Millicent Taplin, during the 1920s.

The volume of work that Alfred and Louise Powell executed for Wedgwood declined after Francis Wedgwood’s death in 1930, but the couple continued to purchase blanks from Etruria. Much of their later work comprised armorial chargers for country house owners and depictions of historic buildings.

Millicent Jane Taplin (1902 – 80)

Under the influence of Alfred and Louise Powell, girls from various art schools began to be trained at Etruria in free-hand pottery decoration. Initially, Alfred (“Beaver”) Powell gave them drawing lessons, and only after several months’ training were they allowed to progress to the overglaze painting of earthenware. By the mid-1920s the girls were hard at work on the Powell’s Queen’s ware designs and in 1826 a handcraft painting studio was opened under the supervision of Millicent Taplin.

Taplin began working for Wedgwood in 1917, when she was still a part-time student at the Stoke and Burslem Schools of Art. She became involved in the painting of Persian and Rhodian wares and was selected to train under Powell. In 1928 she started to create her own patterns and by the late 1930s had become one of the Wedgwood’s most productive designers.

During World War II, Taplin took up full-time teaching at the Stoke School of Art, but remained a consultant for Wedgwood and returned to Etruria when peace prevailed. From about 1956 to her retirement in 1962 she ran the newly combined china and earthenware hand-painting departments.

Keith Day Pearce Murray (1892 – 1981)

Born in New Zealand, Keith Murray moved with his family to England in about 1906. He served with distinction in the Royal Flying Corps during World War II, and afterwards trained as an architect, but found it impossible to obtain work in the depressed financial climate. As a result he began to take an interest in contemporary glass design and in 1932 he was engaged at the Stevens and Williams Glassworks in Brierly Hill. In the same year, Wedgwood first used his freelance services and within a matter of months he was secured to work for the company on a regular basis.

Murray rapidly developed a series of simple, functional tableware and vases incorporating Wedgwood’s newly developed matt opaque glazes, as well as traditional bodies such as black basalts and red stoneware. The range was exhibited in London and on the Continent from 1933 to 1937 and was well received. Most of his designs were included in Wedgwood’s Catalogue of Glazes, Bodies and Shapes Current for 1940-1950 and many were still being produced well into the 1950s. His last major ceramic design task for Wedgwood came in 1946 – a completely new table service combining plain utilitarian appeal with the capacity to carry any form of decoration. Not surprisingly, the “Commonwealth” service took two years, and a large production team, to complete.

During 1938 a foundation stone was laid at the site of Keith Murray’s largest physical achievement for Wedgwood. In his capacity as an architect he was selected to design, with his partner Charles S White, the modern factory at Barlaston.

Cecily Stella (“Star”) Wedgwood (1904 – 1995)

Star, the daughter of Francis Hamilton (Major Frank) Wedgwood, was introduced to pottery decoration in the late 1920s by way of Alfred Powell’s painting classes at Etruria. During the early 1930s she became a designer herself and was responsible for a number of patterns on bone china and Queen’s ware. In 1937 she married Frederick Maitland Wright, who later became Wedgwood’s company secretary and joint managing director with Norman Wilson.

Norman Wilson (1902 – 1985)

The son of a china manufacturer, Norman Wilson spent the early 1920s at the North Staffordshire Technical College. When his father’s health began to suffer, Wilson found himself running the family business as well as continuing his studies. Growing tired of the continuous struggle, he emigrated to Canada and began to earn a living breaking ponies.

In 1927 he was contacted by Francis Hamilton Wedgwood and returned home to replace Major Bernard Moore as works manager at Etruria. He supervised the installation of new kilns and developed various bodies and new matt glazes. His design work included new tableware shapes, such as “Barlaston”, “Globe” and “Leigh”.

After serving in World War II he was appointed production director at Barlaston in 1946, and from 1961 until his retirement in 1963 he served as joint managing director with Frederick Maitland Wright. Throughout his career with Wedgwood, Wilson produced a number of “Unique” studio wares, which were not designed to be retailed through the normal channels. A selection of these were shown at the Grafton Galleries in 1936.

Arnold Machin (1911 – 1999 )

Born and educated in the Potteries, Machin joined Minton as an apprentice paintr while also studying modelling at the Stoke School of Art. During the Depression he left to work for Royal Crown Derby and then became a student at the Derby School of Art, later winning a scholarship to the Royal College of Art. In 1940 he was employed as a full-time figure modeller at Barlaston, where he spent the war years producing figures and groups in a manner reminiscent of traditional Staffordshire “flat-backs”.

In the 1950s Machin taught at art schools in both Stoke and London. During the 1960s he designed new coinage and was awarded the honour of an OBE in 1964 for his work in this field.

Walter Robert Minkin (1928 – 2012)

Robert Minkin trained at the Wimbledon College of Art and the Royal College of Art. He joined Wedgwood as chief designer in 1955 and progressed to design director by 1979. As well as producing a number of distinctive tableware patterns, he is renowned for a cylindrical coffee set which was first issued in black basaltes and later in ravenstone matt glaze. Minkin was also responsible for the gilt plaques, adapted from originals in the Tutankhamun treasure, which formed part of the 1978 “Egyptian collection”. He retired in 1989.

Eduardo Luigi Paolozzi (1928 – 2005 )

Paolozzi studied at the College of Art in his home town of Edinburgh before training at the Slade School of Fine Art, Oxford and London. Thereafter he lectured at various art institutions, both national and international, and his work achieved many awards. In 1970 he designed a limited-edition set of six brightly coloured silk-screen printed plates for Wedgwood, entitled “Variations on a Geometric Theme”.



  1. Ogier

    What an interesting thought ..

  2. Ovid

    IMHO the meaning is fully developed, the writer squeezed out everything he could, for which my bow to him!

  3. Dassous

    Should you tell it - a gross blunder.

  4. Philander

    well and yes !!!

  5. Duc

    What words ... super, brilliant phrase

  6. Deverel

    This exception can be said: i) of the rules

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