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, 26 October 2011

Denby Arabesque. A lasting impression of the 1960s

Without doubt, Denby pottery is made to last. And if these items are anything to go by, it certainly does.

This is a range of tableware called Arabesque. Designed by Jill Pemberton for Denby in the 1960s, the items are so well-made in a hard Denby stoneware that they seem to be virtually indestructible. Even after so long, they don't look to have any real signs of wear or use. In a way, the design too has withstood the test of time. Even though the shape and surface painting is very much in the style of the '60s, they somehow retain their appeal and freshness today.

As I have quite a few examples of Arabesque in the Potshots collection now, I have recently passed a few bits on for others to enjoy by way of Ebay.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Louis Hudson lamp base. Another Cornish gem.

Following on from my earlier blogpost on Carn pottery, this rustic, earthy looking ceramic lampbase is another nice example of studio pottery from Cornwall.

Made by Louis Hudson, probably in the 1970s, the bottle shaped lamp base has a wonderfully textured design of raised and impressed motifs. I particularly like the warmth of the clay colour and the restrained use of the glazes.

For more information of the studio potteries of Cornwall there's an excellent digital museum here: Cornish ceramics museum. The site has an excellent maker's marks section for identifying pottery from the region.

Monday, 17 October 2011

Portmeirion storage jars. Simplicity is the key.

Made by Portmeirion Pottery in the late 1960s or early 1970s, these two large storage jars were designed by Susan Williams-Ellis.

The pattern is Greek Key. As regular visitors to Potshots will know, I'm a bit of a sucker for cylinder-shaped pots, like these: Cylinders on Potshots and these: more cylinders, I think I must be attracted by the simplicity of them. Another nice feature of these vintage storage jars is the way that the bands of black printed borders are confined to the very top and bottom of the jars - leaving lots of that bright coloured body showing in between. The nicely turned wooden lids fit snugly and the contrasting bright orange and lime green colours seem to work well when displayed together.

Monday, 10 October 2011

Carn pottery. Growing up fast.

Troika pottery, from Cornwall, has had a spectacular rise to fame over the last decade or so. It's grown to become one of the most collectable, sought-after ranges of UK studio pottery. I must admit, I'm a big fan myself – as you can see here Troika on Potshots and here more Troika.

But Troika has a sort of little brother. Not really a poor relation, and not a poor man's Troika by any means. Carn pottery, also from Cornwall (Penzance), is growing up fast. It's not surprising that Carn pottery is becoming increasingly popular. there are some very nice items in the range.

Subdued colour schemes, textured surfaces and panels of abstract design all combine to give a sense that these attractive studio pots have a real hand-made, hand-crafted quality.

As Carn pottery is still quite reasonably priced, it may be a good time to pick up a couple of carefully chosen pieces. Who knows, one day it may enjoy some of the fame that Troika has had.

The vase shown here probably dates from the early 1970s.

Monday, 3 October 2011

Rorstrand Red Top.

Elegant details, subtle graphics and a simplicity of form. All combined to give this understated range a timeless appeal. I love the way that the black and white colour scheme is punctuated with that bold dash of deep red.

This is Red Top, designed by Marianne Westman for Rorstrand, Sweden. Made in the 1950s, Red Top somehow manages to be typical of the design style of the 1950s, and also still be modern-looking today.

Looking at websites that carry images of Marianne Westman's work, it would seem that Red Top and other ranges by the designer are much admired in Japan. I wonder if it's the purity of style that appeals to collectors there. It's certainly one of my personal favourites.