This is a gorgeous example of the flamboyant nature of William Moorcroft. It is a rare flambé glaze leaf and berry inverted rim bowl inscribed with signature and ‘Potter to H.M the Queen’ on the base, dating to c.1930.
Originally founded as a studio in 1897 within a large ceramic company of James Macintyre & Co. Moorcroft pottery soon made its mark on the world.
Designs which came from the 24 year old William Moorcroft personalised each piece of pottery produced with his own signature or initials. This did little for James Mcintyre’s name and reputation, and in 1913 the inevitable split occurred. William marched his workforce acrossCobridgeParkto a new factory inSandbach Roadwhere Moorcroft pottery is still made today. Money came fromLiberty, the famousLondonstore andLibertycontinued to control Moorcroft until 1962.
1904 was the year that Moorcroft won a gold medal at the St Louis International Exhibition, which followed up the achievement with further medals and commendations, culminating in the appointment of the Moorcroft company as Potter to HM The Queen in 1928.
Today, Moorcroft leads the world of art pottery with its own distinctive design style. With added value coming from the skills and craftsmanship of a dedicated workforce, Moorcroft is selling more of its magnificent ware all over the world today, than it did even in its previous heyday in the mid-1920’s.
The life of a Moorcroft ceramic begins with a designer creating an image in both three dimensional form on a blank clay shape known as a ‘green’, and also creating a watercolour. Pieces are trialed until perfected and meet the designers’ approval.
This method of production used today is almost exactly the same as the one originated by William Moorcroft in 1897. Most pieces are still turned on the lathe to perfect the shape. Designs are applied by tubelining a raised outline of liquefied clay through a glass tube from a small handheld bag, on to a pot. The process is not unlike that used in icing a cake. The colours are based on metallic oxides and are applied by hand, one colour being gently washed over another to enable them to blend together at high temperatures, firstly with the clay pot and then with the transparent glaze. It is this second firing which produces the brilliance of colour which has become the hallmark of Moorcroft.