Designer Desire: George Cook

Mosaic of George Cook pottery items for Ambleside Pottery

Earlier this week, we wrote about a piece of Ambleside pottery we bought. Today we’re going to show you a few more examples of work by its maker, George Cook. Cook was the founder and main designer-maker of Ambleside Pottery based in the southern Lake District, Cumbria. He ran the pottery from 1948 until he retired in 1968, when he sold the premises to Brian Jackson. Between 1959 & 1966, he trained Gordon Fox who currently owns & runs Kentmere Pottery.

George Cook pieces regularly come up for sale at auctions across the UK and occasionally appear on eBay. They’re very reasonably priced… for the time being!

The 1954 Rydal Women’s Institute programme reveals how the group held their April meeting at George Cook’s studio. A pottery demonstration formed part of the event. The studio was located in North Road, in an abandoned corn mill (see bottom photo taken in April 1886) by Stock Ghyll, Ambleside.  The pottery remained in existence until the 1980s. At present, it operates as the Giggling Goose Café. Apparently, examples of the pottery can still be found on the roof above the kitchen window.

George Cook, founder of Ambleside Potterycredit

Stock Ghyll Mill, North Road, Amblesidecredit

Additional image credits: Worthpoint

Ooh la la!

Vintage Parisienne and Paris Café pattern side plates | H is for Home

We bought these two lovely vintage Paris side plates this week – what classic 1950s designs!

Vintage Rigeway Parisienne side plate | H is for Home Vintage Alfred Meakin Paris Café side plate | H is for Home

They’re quite similar, both featuring French café scenes, but were produced by different makers – namely Ridgway and Alfred Meakin.

Back stamp from vintage Rigeway Parisienne side plate | H is for Home Back stamp from vintage Alfred Meakin Paris Café side plate | H is for Home

The illustrations are gorgeous – café society, stylish ladies and gentlemen, parasols, hats… and poodles!

Detail from vintage Rigeway Parisienne side plate | H is for Home Detail from vintage Alfred Meakin Paris Café side plate | H is for Home

They display very well – catching your eye and drawing you in for a closer look – something different to notice each time. Available to buy in our webshop now.

Chalkware Japanese lady lamp

Vintage chalkware Japanese lady lamp | H is for Home

We picked up this lovely lady yesterday!

Vintage chalkware Japanese lady lamp | H is for Home

She’s a vintage 1950s Duron chalkware or plaster lamp… and the best example we’ve ever come across. Not only the design, but condition too – they’re often chipped and a bit tatty. The painted decoration is all original. It has twin bulb fittings and works perfectly.

Vintage chalkware Japanese lady lamp | H is for Home

We tend to steer away from what’s termed as ‘kitsch’, but the occasional example sometimes takes our fancy. We like the classic Tretchikoff girl prints… and this Japanese geisha has a similar vibe going on.

Vintage chalkware Japanese lady lamp | H is for Home

The lamp can either stand on a horizontal surface or can be hung on a wall.

Rear view of a vintage chalkware Japanese lady lamp | H is for Home

Here’s a view of the maker’s mark for collectors.

Vintage chalkware Japanese lady lamp | H is for Home

We’ll be a bit sorry to see her go actually, but go she must. The lamp is heading to our antiques centre space tomorrow. Sayonara lovely lady!

Salad Ware

Vintage Midwinter Salad Ware plate designed by Terence Conran | H is for Home

It’s very surprising that in our ten years of trading as H is for Home (and in the vintage ‘hobby years’ prior to that), we’ve never actually bought a piece of Terence Conran designed ‘Salad Ware’. Well, as of this morning, those days are over.

Detail from a vintage Midwinter Salad Ware plate designed by Terence Conran | H is for Home

Here’s our lovely new plate with its classic vintage 1950s design of fruit and vegetables.

Detail from a vintage Midwinter Salad Ware plate designed by Terence Conran | H is for Home

We love the shapes and colours… and its pared back simplicity. We even like the radish-shaped back stamp detail. It still looks modern today – imagine the impact it made over 60 years ago.

Base detail from a vintage Midwinter Salad Ware plate designed by Terence Conran | H is for Home

We might just have to stroke this piece a while before selling. Well, the house walls are newly painted, there’s a small space available… and it did come with hanging hooks!

A mysterious gentlewoman

Vintage platter with hand-painted gentlewoman illustration by Laila Zink for Finnish manufacturer Kupittaan Savi | H is for Home

This lovely large pottery charger was one of our more interesting finds last week.

Vintage platter with hand-painted gentlewoman illustration | H is for Home

We were wondering how to describe the subject matter. An elegantly dressed gentlewoman we figured – contemplating the day at the tea table with her cut flower and songbird.

Detail of a vintage platter with hand-painted gentlewoman illustration | H is for Home

It’s beautifully hand-painted and despite the piece being signed front and back, the artist was initially a mystery. But after some research, we’ve solved it! It’s the work of Laila Zink (1915-1999) for Finnish manufacturer Kupittaan Savi and dates from the 1950s/60s. It’s always good to keep learning!

Signature on a vintage platter with hand-painted gentlewoman illustration | H is for Home

It measures 36cm x 30cm and has holes to the reverse for hanging. It certainly makes for a very striking piece of midcentury modern wall art. She’ll be coming to our web shop very soon, but first dibs to our blog readers – priced at £175.

Win tickets to York’s Festival of Vintage

Win a pair of Festival of Vintage tickets | H is for Home

We’ve teamed up with the award-winning Festival of Vintage to offer two of our readers a pair of tickets each to attend the upcoming festival. This April 22nd & 23rd it returns for its 7th year to York Racecourse and will once again be showcasing the best in vintage shopping, music, dancing and fashion.

Vintage shelves for sale at the Festival of Vintage, York

A fun and nostalgic weekend, it attracts thousands of visitors, giving a feeling of being transported back in time. There’s a packed programme with three large halls of vintage shopping including fashion, homewares and furniture, two dance halls and music stages plus an impressive classic car display outside all focusing on the 1930s-1960s.

Rack of vintage clothes for sale at Festival of Vintage, York

There are so many extra things to see and do over the weekend such as craft ‘Make, Do and Mend’ workshops where you can learn a new skill, dance lessons covering many styles such as Lindy Hop and Jive and a variety of fashion shows. The Marks and Spencer Archive team returns to share their fashion history with everyone in Q&As and talks as well as show casing their favourite designs on the catwalk. There’s even a ‘Best Dressed’ contest where you can wow the judges and win cash prizes.

Couples dancing at the Festival of Vintage, York

With over 200 hand-picked vintage sellers from across the UK as well as 50 top quality vintage reproduction brands, the event is a honey pot for collectors and enthusiasts. Be it fashion, homewares, music, jewellery – there’ll be something there for everyone.

Vintage fabric for sale at the Festival of Vintage, York

Doors open from 10am-5pm, both days. York Racecourse, York YO23 1EX. For more information visit www.festivalofvintage.co.uk or call 0113 3458699.

If you fancy this as a great day or weekend out leave us a comment below saying what you’d most look forward to seeing or doing at the Festival of Vintage.

Tickets to Festival of Vintage, York





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