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

Dish of the day: Ambleside Pottery

Vintage Ambleside Pottery slipware dish | H is for Home

We don’t go into charity shops that much any more, but we had a mooch in a couple yesterday – after viewing the auction at Hartley’s in Ilkley (a nice town for a day out if you’ve never been – auction, independent shops, cafes etc). We made a few purchases including this cute little vintage slipware dish.

Detail from a Blue slipware pottery dish produced by Ambleside Pottery | H is for Home

It was made at Ambleside Pottery which was founded by George Cook in the late 1940s. This is quite an early example and rather charming, we think. They also produced some fabulous sgraffito designs which have real mid century modern style.

Stamp detail from a Blue slipware pottery dish produced by Ambleside Pottery | H is for Home

The pottery closed in the 1980s. It’s developing a wider following of collectors, but is still very affordable. Strangely we saw the best piece of Ambleside Pottery we’ve ever come across in Ilkley – a huge 1950s flagon-like slipware jug. It was for sale at the aforementioned auction. We couldn’t attend on bidding day, so left a bid. Alas, we didn’t leave one high enough, missed out – and have regretted it ever since!

Lakeland Break

'Lakeland Break' blog post banner

Loughrigg Tarn, Langdale, Lake District | H is for Home

In last week’s Wednesday Wish post, we mentioned a recent trip we took to the Lake District.

wood & rope swings hanging from an oak tree, Chapel Style, Little Langdale, Lake District, Cumbria

We thought we’d just share a few snaps of our short stay – perhaps for any fellow Lake District lovers who haven’t been for a while (and are in need a quick ‘virtual visit’)… or maybe for anyone who’s always fancied going and need just a little further tempting.

a single tent pitched in Baysbrown Farm, Chapel Style, Little Langdale, Lake District, Cumbria

How about this for a view to wake up to?

For all you campers out there – this photo was taken at the Baysbrown Farm campsite in the Great Langdale valley.

trees with beautiful autumn leaves in the churchyard, Ambleside, Lake District, Cumbria

The stunning, seasonal colours had started to emerge…

Chapel and roofs in the mist, Chapel Style, Little Langdale, Lake District, Cumbria

…and we had a couple of those glorious autumn days with morning mists giving way to bright sunshine.

close up view of moss, Little Langdale, Lake District, Cumbria close up view of a spider's web on a stone wall, Little Langdale, Lake District, Cumbria

Around every corner you find beauty – whether on a small or large scale.

road dry stone wall and farm gate, Chapel Style, Little Langdale, Lake District, Cumbria

We have some very nice walking country of our own here in Yorkshire where we live…

Loughrigg Tarn, Langdale, Lake District, Cumbria

…however, Lakeland really takes some beating!