BEATNIK POTTERS

BBC Radio recently broadcast an edition of Hancock’s Half Hour from 1959, The Poetry Society. Hancock has joined a bunch of poets, the East Cheam Cultural Progressive Society. Hancock: “We sit on the old cardboard tombstones round the plastic coffins...and we indulge in philosophical analysis. We formulate our plans for our Brave New World; Gladys … Continue reading BEATNIK POTTERS

SOPHIE CONRAN TABLEWARE

I mentioned Sophie Conran's Pebble range of tableware in my last post and thought I'd say a bit more about it. It has been a popular range over a long period and says a lot about attitudes to handmade and factory-made pottery. It is factory-made, but with its wonky shapes and ridges it looks as … Continue reading SOPHIE CONRAN TABLEWARE

THINGS OF BEAUTY GROWING

I went to see the Fitzwilliam exhibition Things of Beauty Growing: British Studio Pottery for the second time. One of the changes that has taken place in studio pottery in the years since I first became interested in it is that it has become a topic of academic study, a fact regretted by the more … Continue reading THINGS OF BEAUTY GROWING

WEDGWOOD’S CREAMWARE

Much of the history of European ceramics is the attempt to imitate Chinese porcelain. The Ottoman Turks covered buff clay with white slip and a clear glaze. The Moors brought opaque white tin glaze into Spain, from where it spread to Italy, the Netherlands, central Europe and England. Meanwhile, there were experiments in porcelain, adding … Continue reading WEDGWOOD’S CREAMWARE

WEDGWOOD’S VASES

In my post on the Vase Mania that swept the country after the discovery of Pompeii and Herculaneum, I mentioned that, as the craze faded away, Wedgwood decided to go down market and to sell his vases more cheaply to the middle classes. "The Great People have had these Vases in their Palaces long enough … Continue reading WEDGWOOD’S VASES