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Clarice Cliff's Ceramics

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Clarice Cliff's Ceramics

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Clarice Cliff's Ceramics

The instantly recognisable designs of Staffordshire-born Clarice Cliff are among the finest ceramic art in England of the 20th century. Produced mainly during the 1920s and thirties, her work is characterised by strong Art Deco lines and bold colour. Having initially concentrated on geometric abstract designs drawn freehand, Cliff went on to feature iconic English motifs such as cottages, trees and garden flowers in the thirties.

Her career began when she was apprenticed as a gilder at the age of 13, but on moving to the Royal Staffordshire Pottery, she acquired a resourceful array of abilities, often taking a drop in salary in order to learn a new skill from scratch. Having demonstrated her talents, she was allotted her own factory, the Newport Pottery, where she produced most of her best-known work. In 1940, she married the managing director, Colley Shorter, and they settled at Chetwynd House, to the west of Stoke.

Today, there is a thriving market in Clarice Cliff’s work, with her more sought-after pieces fetching five-figure sums at auction.

Photo: Care of Leonard Griffin/www.claricecliff.com


Your comments

Clarice Cliff created the English 'cottage in a landscape theme' in Art Deco pottery in the 1930's. Patterns such as Autumn, Poplar, Tralee and Orange Roof Cottage captured the essence of a cottage in a flower garden with winding paths and balloon trees. She was the first true English career woman. Today Clarice Cliff's cottage landscapes are the most sought after and famous English Staffordshire pottery, collected around the world.

Leonard Griffin

her ceramics are refreshing,exceptional and timeless

I have a small collection of her work and love it! Sadly I can't afford to buy "higher end "items but the pieces I have brighten my days with their vibrant colours and unusual shapes. Clarice Cliff was quite simply ahead of her time. Her work was never cheap by the standards of the time in which she worked. I wish my parents had bought lots of it and kept it in good condition!. It is amazing that so much has survived in almost mint condition since it was made to be used! I am sure that the great lady would be amazed at the popularity of her work and prices paid by collectors.

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I nominate the red pillar box.

Donna Spencer