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Ann Wynn Reeves Mid century Ceramic design

August 6, 2018

Little has been documented about today’s designer Ann Wynn Reeves (born 1929). However, I do know that in 1954, she married the famous ceramist Kenneth Clark and also created motifs to decorate his household ranges of tiles. This was carried out by means of silk screen printing.

As well as tiles, Clark made single hand-thrown domestic ware items, and in the 1960s designed for the Denby and Bristol Potteries, including the “Mooncurve” range for the latter. He virtually single-handedly reinvented the form and function of tiles for modern times. He elevated the humble glazed wall tile from a low cost practical wall covering to something that could be used creatively in public or private spaces to entertain and inspire.  I’m fairly certain that Ann’s wonderful array of artwork was also instrumental in making that happen.

Themes that seem popular include food and drink, nature (birds, fish and insects) and natural forms.

The colours varied from time to time so you could mix and match reoccurring ideas to create border designs, add variation to a wall or build up a whole narrative of imagery and ideas. I like the detail in her fish and skeletal leaf prints.


Tiles could even be mirrored (as in the case of the tree design above) to allow the tree to ‘grow’ up the wall with different features, leaves, insects etc which could appear higher up.

Musical instruments…. not sure where you’d put these.

Children’s nursery stories, images from nature all made successful designs.

Some tile designs even transferred onto plates and wall plaques.

Interesting to see how the same design appeared totally different on ceramics by just changing the colours.

Even the Post Office Tower gets featured.

I believe Ann’s later work was signed Ann Clark. A wonderful designer. If anyone knows anymore information to help fill in the gaps, then please do let me know.


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