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Robert Jefferson Ceramic Designer Part 2

December 23, 2019

robert jefferson

Welcome back to Part 2 of my post about the work of Robert Jefferson. You can find Part 1 here.

Robert had a great eye for nature and incorprated it into his work whenever he could.

I love the marks that create this seagull above. They add to the drama of the whole piece.

Wonderfully textured ‘Helios’ table lamps and sumptuously curvaceous tea and coffee pots.

His decorative eye was both clever and precise. Like much Poole tableware these dishes are surprisingly thin bodied and lightweight. The high biscuit firing temperature used (1150c), produced a semi-vitrified body which meant these pots could withstand domestic ovens.  Although, they were sold with a warning to avoid thermal shock. This “Oven to Tableware”, proved to be very popular.

As a textile designer, these mark-made vegetables and birds really caught my eye.

The shrimp are practically dancing on these dishes !

Robert was a great innovator: Introducing new technology to the factory and reinvigorating the Poole catalogue with new shapes and styles in keeping with a new decade.  As well as the pots below, he also designed the “Contour” tableware range and “Black Pebble” pattern shown in the Twintone Gallery,  together with Helios table lamps and other wares.   He left Poole Pottery in 1966, after he had reputedly “designed himself out of a job”. He went on to continue his painting career, giving exhibitions of his work and showing his extensive love of detail and nature.

I wonder if this was his decorative world merging with the real one ?

Below are some of the first wall plaques that Robert designed, these were hand decorated in the available studio glazes. The designs were ‘transferred to the production departments when greater output was required. These remain my favourite pieces of his work.

Launched as the 1964 ‘Spring Collection’ the plaques were then produced in the (much more common) standard colours of blue and green that you see below.

Other designs of plaques and dishes soon followed. See more about Poole Pottery and it’s production here.

My favourites are still the birds and I’d love to find a few for myself. I hope you’ve enjoyed this visit into Robert’s creative world.

Many thanks again to The Virtual Museum of Poole Pottery and Rob’s Poole Pottery for helping to make this post possible. Do let me know if you’ve found this post exciting, uplifting or have anything to add. I always enjoy hearing from you. My last post for 2019 will appear on Christmas Eve. Enjoy everyone.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Deirdre O'Sullivan from Australia permalink
    December 24, 2019 6:38 am

    I really, REALLY want that beautiful mushroom pot! I’m sure my Mum had a similar Poole pot in the early 1970’s – hers was a lovely sage green, with fish swimming around the top of the lid. A perfect pot for her weekly Friday night tuna mornay – I hated the mornay but loved the pot! I wonder if Poole still produce this mushroom pattern?
    Hope you have a blissful Yuletide, Craig! Thanks for the delightful visual feast you’ve bedazzled us with over the last year!
    I wish you lots of luck and laughter in 2020!

    • December 24, 2019 9:53 am

      Thank you Deirdre for your comments throughout the year. If you look on Etsy and EBay, those mushroom pots do pop up from time to time. Happy hunting and have a great festive season too.

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