Hello. We like to collect well-designed vintage pottery (and lots of other stuff) from the 1950s,
'60s and '70s. Here are some pictures and info of a selection of the things we've found.

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

And not only the pottery was well designed at Hornsea

As is probably obvious by now, I'm a big fan of Hornsea pottery. Some of the ceramics they produced in the 1960s and 1970s is, in my view, superbly designed.

It's always exciting when I manage to find an item of such well designed pottery - especially if it's within my budget. Finding Hornsea pottery in its original packaging is doubly exciting. For one, you can expect the contents to be in perfect condition - and it usually is. But secondly, because the packaging itself is so well designed.

The examples shown here are from the mid 1960s. The red boxes 1966, the white box 1964 to 1965. The designs are clean and restrained. With a modern sanserif typeface and graphic elements derived from the 'spiral' Hornsea logo used at that time.

I'm affraid I don't know who was responsible for the design of the packaging during this period. If anyone has any idea, I'd love to know.

And what's in the boxes? Well, I'm saving that for a future post.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Robert Welch Design in a Cotswold Workshop

Not a pot this time, a book. A very nice book.

I was lucky enough to find this fantastic reference book on the life and work of Robert Welch. Published by Lund Humphries, London in 1973, Robert Welch Design in a Cotswold Workshop is a beautiful book. Designed by the Pentagram Partnership, the page layouts and graphics are clean and simple, and the photography is superb.

The book is full of detailed descriptions and images of Robert Welch's elegant designs. It features some incredible silver, as well as lighting and ceramics. The stainless steel and cast iron objects are particularly interesting, not least because they can still be found out there at quite reasonable prices.

I would recommend anyone with an interest in the great designer's early work to beg, steal or borrow a copy of this book.

More on Robert Welch

More on Pentagram

Monday, 28 March 2011

Muramic retro style from the 1970s. Pin dishes for pin money

There's a Catherine wheel of colour on these pin dishes from the 1970s. Each one decorated with a touch of individual style. And best of all, you don't have to spend a fortune to pick one up for yourself.

As of writing this post, Hornsea Muramic pin dishes like these sell on Ebay for between £3.00 and £6.00, plus shipping.

That seems good value to me. Especially when you consider how they were made. The dishes were decorated by hand-applying concentric rings of different coloured liquid slip to the dishes on a turntable, then a stiff bristle was trailed across the rings to create the spiky effects.

The dishes were made from 1977 to 1980. There are smart dark brown bodied dishes. And, my favourites, these cream matt bodied dishes. They come in three diameter sizes, 3 and a half inch (approximately 9cm), 5 inch (approximately 12.5cm), and 6 inch (approximately 15cm). There are three or four colour schemes in each size.

Put two or three dishes together and they can look really good.

Friday, 25 March 2011

It's Springtime Hornsea style


At last. It's nearly Spring.

And this is Springtime by Hornsea Pottery. From 1964 to 1965, this cheerful design is by John Clappison. Today, I think it looks wonderfully retro and so typical of the style of the mid 1960s. Simple flower illustrations are coloured with dark-green, orange and light-blue inlay. The square shaped bodies look smart and well proportioned. This kitchen range had storage jars, cruets, preserve pots as well as various items of tableware.

Springtime items do occasionally crop up on eBay. The storage jars and preserve pots seem to be more common but I suspect the mug or beaker is getting quite rare now.

Forty-odd  years old - and would still brighten up any kitchen shelf.

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Soholm ceramic wall plaques

Some more Soholm Danish pottery. This time with vibrant colours and bold designs. I would say these wall plaques or tiles date back to the 1960s or 1970s. I like the simple, stylised illustrations that stand out in relief, and the way the coloured glaze pools in the spaces between the lines.

The square tiles are approximately 7 inches (18cm) square. The tall tile is signed Noomi, for Noomi Backhausen. I think the square ones may be by the same designer too.

Colourful and textural they look great hanging together or individually.

Soholm Danish vases

From Denmark, these vintage vases are a great combination of textures. The main body etched with finely incised lines, the necks smooth and glossy. There seems to be a couple of variations in the glaze colour. Where the glaze pools at the shoulder of the neck, some have a green tinge, some are a blue colour. Soholm produced some good pieces around the 1960s and '70s and prices still seem to be quite reasonable - especially compared with other Danish makers from the same era.

The maker is Soholm. Unfortunately, I don't know who the designer of the range is. What I do know is they look really good.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Impressed by Hornsea Imprest

Here we go, then. Potshot number one.

Let's start with some John Clappison lovlieness. To me, it's got the lot. Great colour combination, contrasting surface texture, clean bold shapes, and simple but beautiful decoration.

This is Hornsea Pottery. The range is Imprest, designed by John Clappison (who's work will feature quite frequently on Potshots) and produced 1964-1965. There are four different patterns in the range: Square and Circle (shown in the large picture), Fish-Eye (the two vases), Eye, and Bamboo.

To me, these bold vintage ceramics have a strong mid-century feel. And, as you'll gather, I'm impressed.


Recently, I've been photographing some of my vintage pots (and other stuff). I'm doing the photographs to help me take stock of some of the bits and pieces that I've picked up over the years. I'm having a clear out and thinning-out the collection.

I thought I'd share a few of the pictures with you. I've not had a blog before so I decided to give it a go.

I really like nicely designed vintage pottery. Much of what I've collected is from the 1950s, '60s and '70s. I like glass, and wood, and metalware too - perhaps we'll have chance to look at those later.

I'm not an expert on pottery or design but can let you know what I've managed to find out about one or two of the pots in the pictures.

Anyway, here are some pots to look at.

I like them, I hope you do too.