1950’S Ceramics – A Brief Snap Shot
The Post War years of the 1950’s produced some of the most innovative and exciting forms of design in the decorative arts.
It was a time of change, and in 1951 The Festival of Britain provided the perfect opportunity to ‘show case’ diversity of design, individual creativity and technology. It was a landmark event and became a ‘shop window’ to promote all the many aspects of design that the UK had to offer. Naturally the ceramists were quick to embrace the opportunity and many manufacturers started producing modern, creative and colourful domestic wares for the mid 20th century home.
Manufacturers and designers worked hand in hand to produce a vast variety of highly decorative pieces such as tea services, cruets, dishes, plates and vases. New techniques such as silk screen and litho printing created modern and vibrant designs which became hugely popular, at a time which demanded change and innovation.
Amongst these were designers such as Susie Cooper, Truda Adams (Poole Pottery), Eric Ravilious, Peter Scott, Terence Conran, Hugh Casson and Jessie Tait. These contemporary trailblazers defined the modern age and in so doing, influenced a host of manufacturing company’s such as Wedgwood, Doulton, Copeland, Midwinter, and TG Green. Inspired by this new movement, other smaller company’s also started promoting, advertising and ‘branding’ their wares, such as ‘Studio Ware’ (J & G Meakin) and ‘Homemaker’ (Ridgway), all of which became affordable for a new brand of consumer.
Today these mid 20th century pieces are much sought after at auction, so I would advise to keep an eye out for these diverse and interesting pieces. Only recently, a dinner service designed by Hugh Casson with ‘Cannes’ pattern sold for £320.
Written by David Greatwood MRICS