For the love of a good bit of pottery

The current issue of Elle Decoration  has an article on Lucille Lewin’s (founder of Whistles) home in London. So far so tasteful. In the accompanying text she tells of her being in the midst of training to be a potter. I have a family background that is heavily ceramic focussed, so my interest is always piqued both by the end products and also by the people who choose to pot. My great grandfather worked in the potteries; namely for Barker Bros a company based in Longton and founded in 1876. His son, my grandfather, also worked in ceramics . . . industrial ceramics at Armitage Shanks; the knowledge and skills he  gleaned through his tenure making sanitary wares were later put to use in semi retirement when he was the person who made blue plaques (between 1982 and 1994) in his garage . . . first for GLC and then for English Heritage. My mother also had a kiln . . . and I have a hankering for one.


Following the success of his memoir, The Hare With Amber Eyes, Phaidon have recently published Edmund de Waal’s The Pot Book  – a huge coffee table book that one reviewer on Amazon suggests might require coffee table strengthening. A catalogue of great bits of potting through the ages it spans the breadth of fine pottery, country potting and craft pottery. A feast.

Rupert Spira bowl in the Sainsbury Centre Collection

Justine Allison – vertical line glazed vessels.

James and Tilla Waters – beakers

Sunderland lustre ware plaque


Brickett Davda – rice bowl

Paul Spence slipware charger

Hans Coper vessel in the Sainsbury Centre collection

Kirsten Coelho ceramics

Lucy Rie bowl – again in the Sainsbury Centre collection

Stuart Houghton – pinch jugs


1 Comment

Filed under Craft, Design

One response to “For the love of a good bit of pottery

  1. Aileen

    What a lovely post: firstly, acknowledging your potting ancestors in print made me proud of our family heritage and secondly, your selection of beautiful pots. Dad’s cousin Wyn (Rawsthorne), who trained with Susie Cooper at some point, held her own registered Studio Potter’s mark.

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