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Alan Crawford

Informal movement in architecture and the decorative arts that championed the unity of the arts, the experience of the individual craftsman, and the qualities of materials and construction in the work itself.

The Arts and Crafts Movement developed in the second half of the 19th century and lasted well into the 20th, drawing its support from progressive artists, architects and designers, philanthropists, amateurs, and middle-class women seeking work in the home. They set up small workshops apart from the world of industry, revived old techniques, and revered the humble household objects of pre-industrial times. The movement was strongest in the industrializing countries of northern Europe and in the USA, and it can best be understood as an unfocused reaction against industrialization. Although quixotic in its anti-industrialism, it was not unique; indeed it was only one among several late 19th-century reform movements, such as the Garden City movement, vegetarianism, and folksong revivals, that set the Romantic values of nature and folk culture against the artificiality of modern life....

Article

(b Leiden, Oct 19, 1877; d Zoeterwoude, Oct 23, 1933).

Dutch potter and sculptor. He trained as a drawing teacher but took a particular interest in bookbinding, decorative woodcuts and household pottery. From the example of the Arts and Crafts Movement he learnt the value of traditional techniques and craftsmanship. In 1898 he settled in Gouda in order to perfect his technical knowledge of pottery-making. Three years later he started his own ceramics firm in Leiderdorp. His ceramics are characterized by their intentionally plain shapes, combined with mostly geometric linear ornament and frequently with sculptural decoration applied in low relief. His work attracted international attention and gained awards at several exhibitions, including the Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte Decorativa in Turin (1902) and the Exposition Universelle et Internationale in Brussels (1910). Around 1907 Brouwer began to experiment with large-scale ceramic decoration. His terracotta ornaments and façade sculptures were greatly admired by contemporary architects, who secured him important commissions in this field, for example the ...

Article

Kathy Niblett

(b Wimbledon, London, May 26, 1901; d Truro, Cornwall, Feb 11, 1983).

English potter. As a young boy he watched Edwin Beer Fishley (1832–1911) potting at Fremington, Devon. He won a scholarship to Oxford University but almost failed to graduate because he made pots rather than study in the holidays. In 1923 he joined Bernard Leach as a student in the Leach Pottery at St Ives, Cornwall. They shared an interest in English slipware, and in 1926 Cardew left St Ives to set up his own workshop where he planned to revive the tradition. He leased the pottery at Greet, near Winchcombe, Glos, where, from 1926 until 1939, he worked with earthenware clay (e.g. earthenware pie dish, c. 1938; Bristol, Mus. & A.G.), assisted by Elijah Comfort (d 1945), Sidney Tustin (b 1914), Charles Tustin (b 1921) and Raymond Finch (b 1914), his partner and ultimate owner of Winchcombe Pottery. In 1939...

Article

Christopher Newall

(b Liverpool, Aug 15, 1845; d Horsham, W. Sussex, March 14, 1915).

English painter, illustrator, designer, writer and teacher. He showed artistic inclinations as a boy and was encouraged to draw by his father, the portrait painter and miniaturist Thomas Crane (1808–59). A series of illustrations to Tennyson’s The Lady of Shalott (Cambridge, MA, Harvard U., Houghton Lib.) was shown first to Ruskin, who praised the use of colour, and then to the engraver William James Linton, to whom Crane was apprenticed in 1859. From 1859 to 1862 Crane learnt a technique of exact and economical draughtsmanship on woodblocks. His early illustrative works included vignette wood-engravings for John R. Capel Wise’s The New Forest: Its History and its Scenery (1862).

During the mid-1860s Crane evolved his own style of children’s book illustration. These so-called ‘toy books’, printed in colour by Edmund Evans, included The History of Jenny Wren and The Fairy Ship. Crane introduced new levels of artistic sophistication to the art of illustration: after ...

Article

(b 1867; d 1925).

American potter and ceramic manufacturer. He was apprenticed in 1882 to the J. and J. G. Low Art Tile Works, Chelsea, MA, where he remained for ten years. At the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, he was very impressed with the high-temperature flambé glazes of the French art pottery created by Auguste Delaherche and Ernest Chaplet, which encouraged Grueby’s own experiments with matt, monochromatic glazes. In 1895 he set up his own factory, the Grueby Faience Co., in Boston, which produced tiles and architectural faience in Greek, medieval and Hispano-Moresque styles, popularized by the Arts and Crafts Movement. From 1897–8 he manufactured a range of vases finished in soft, matt glazes in greens, yellows, ochres and browns, with the ‘Grueby Green’ predominating. Until 1902 the potter George Prentiss Kendrick was largely responsible for the designs, executed in heavily potted stoneware based on Delaherche’s Art Nouveau shapes. Young women were employed to carry out the hand-moulded and incised surface decoration, which consisted mainly of vertical leaf-forms in shallow relief (e.g. stoneware vase, late 19th century; London, V&A). The work was enthusiastically received by the public, and such designers as ...

Article

Kathy Niblett

(Howell)

(b Hong Kong, Jan 5, 1887; d St Ives, Cornwall, May 6, 1979).

English potter and writer. Until he was ten years old he lived in the Far East, which had a most powerful influence on his life and work. In 1903–4 he studied drawing with Henry Tonks at the Slade School of Art, London. He kept a death-bed promise to his father to train to work in the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, but left after nine months and in 1908 he attended the London School of Art to learn etching with Frank Brangwyn. In 1909 he returned to Japan to teach etching and in 1911 was ‘seized with the desire’ to work in clay after attending a ‘raku yaki’ tea party, where he shared the instantaneous joy of Raku family pottery. He found a pottery teacher, Shigekichi Urano (1881–1923), who had become Kenzan VI c. 1900 (see Ogata family §(2)). After teaching him to pot, Kenzan built a kiln for Leach in ...

Article

John Mawer

English family of potters. The first Martinware, a hard, salt-glazed stoneware, was produced in 1873 at the Fulham Pottery, London. From 1877 to 1914 it was made at Southall, London. The four brothers—Robert Wallace Martin (b London, 4 May 1843; d London, 10 July 1923), Charles Douglas Martin (b London, Sept 1846; d London, June 1910), Walter Fraser Martin (b London, Oct 1857; d London, 8 March 1912) and Edwin Bruce Martin (b London, 25 Dec 1860; d London, 2 April 1915)—worked as a team, from the initial throwing to the eventual selling of the products from their shop at 16 Brownlow Street, High Holborn, London, which opened in 1878 but closed after a fire in 1903. Wallace modelled and threw the wares, Walter, the technician, was the glaze and clay specialist, Edwin was the decorator, and Charles managed both the business and the shop....

Article

British, 19th – 20th century, male.

Born 16 November, 1839, in London; died 15 January 1917, in London.

Painter, potter.

Arts and Crafts.

William Frend De Morgan was a pupil at the Royal Academy Schools; he started out as a painter, then experimented with stained glass, and finally turned to pottery, eventually becoming the most important and innovative ceramic artist of the Arts and Crafts movement. In ...

Article

Ellen Paul Denker

American pottery manufactory. It was founded in 1880 in Cincinnati, OH, by Maria Longworth Nichols (1849–1932), later Mrs Storer. The Rookwood Pottery originally produced art wares using underglaze painting in coloured slips on greenware. The technique had been adapted in 1878 by M. Louise McLaughlin (1847–1939), who had studied ceramic painting with Nichols in Cincinnati. Rookwood was unprofitable in its early years, but in 1883 William Watts Taylor (1847–1913) was put in charge, and he instituted changes that created a viable art product and established the firm as the USA’s foremost art pottery at the end of the 19th century. Using an earth-tone palette, the artists painted popular subjects on moulded or wheel-thrown objects. Each piece was marked with the company cipher, dated and signed by the artist. The early wares used a dark palette of brown earth tones, but after 1890 the colour palette became lighter. After ...

Article

(b Hessle, nr Hull, May 28, 1857; d Winchester, Hants, Feb 12, 1941).

English architect and designer. Although his importance and his influence on his contemporaries has long been recognized, his reputation rests on an oeuvre that is limited in both quantity and scope. He is chiefly remembered for a small number of country houses (c. 1890–1910) that are neither large nor grand and for the fittings (and often the furniture, wallpaper and textiles) that he put into them. What is remarkable about these houses is that they are independent of past styles to an extent revolutionary at the time, and yet they breathe the spirit of vernacular tradition.

He was the son of a Yorkshire clergyman, the Rev. Charles Voysey, who was expelled from the Church of England for denying the doctrine of Everlasting Hell. The family moved to London in 1871, where his father founded the Theistic Church. In 1874 Voysey was articled for five years to the architect ...