Sunday, 5 February 2012

Midwinter Pottery

I discovered Midwinter Pottery a couple of years ago after being bought a vase by my parents that was rather more retro than I normally collect. The vase - pictured below - was a hand painted, brightly coloured vase which at first I wasn't quite sure I liked! (Sorry folks!) Despite this, I did like its unusual and asymmetrical shape at the lip and loved the fact that it was hand painted and so very original. (Rather unlike the 'flower-power' retro transfer prints I was used to from the late 1960s - ealry 1970s.) When I 'googled' 1950s ceramics, I came across several pictures on the image search that I loved and eventually landed on the 'fashion' shape – by Midwinter - which is the 'rounded-edge' square style (everyone who knows me is starting to understand my theme!)
As I mentioned in a link previously on DC, Steven Jenkins, a friend and ceramicist (what do you call someone who makes ceramics?) who works and sells in Frome, enlightened me to a wonderful Vintage, Retro fair at Rook Lane Arts Gallery in Frome. It was there that I stumbled across two plates and first learnt the name 'Jessie Tait'. The design I had landed on was called 'Savannah' - a very typical 1950s design with cross-hatch and lovely yellow squares, which immediately made my eyes light the hunt was on for more Jessie Tait designs. Two years ago, I paid £15 for the two plates then and since they have probably increased in value to around £20. (It's very important to look at the quality of the painting and glaze and obviously avoid ANY faults, crack or chips when collecting and buying and selling.) At the fair in Frome, I 'ummed and ahhhed' over buying a matching cake stand, but didn't and you guessed it…have regretted it ever since. (Thankfully my friend has a very trustworthy and dedicated contact who collects and deals in Midwinter, so watch this space...)
Jessie Tait - one the longest running designers at Midwinter sadly passed away about a year ago. I was gutted to have missed an exhibition that her Grandaughter helped to put on, of a huge personal collection in London. A real shame.
So - Midwinter caught my eye then and has obsessed me ever since. From that first 1950s wrapped vase that my parents bought me, I have moved back 20 odd years from my first love of 1970s ceramics, to 1950s. Although I still own my two plates and one bowl - which unfortunately got broken recently - I'd love to start collecting more. My stall at the Vintage&Antiques Market in Bath will hopefully allow me to sell on some of my old ‘likes’ and acquire some new ‘loves’. Namely – 1950s Midwinter and West German 1970s pottery...

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