Designer Desire: Alan Wallwork

Mosaic of Alan Wallwork studio pottery | H is for Home

Last week, we wrote about a vintage Bernard Rooke pottery floor lamp that we acquired recently. We also mentioned that he, at one time, shared a studio in Forest Hill and then Greenwich, London with fellow potter and Goldsmiths graduate, Alan Wallwork.

Wallwork (born 1931) is best known for his beautiful, often colourful, glazed tiles that adorn tabletops, cheeseboards, trivets etc. He also produces the most sensuous, sculptural studio pottery pieces. Often inspired by nature, these textural works resemble acorns, seed pods, eggs, slices of fruit, shells and fossils.

His art pottery pieces can often be found for sale at auction houses all around the country. The tiled items are very affordable and are always available on eBay and Etsy.

Alan Wallwork at work in his studiocredit

Additional imaged credits:

1stDibs | Invaluable

Bernard Rooke floor lamp

Vintage Bernard Rooke studio pottery floor lamp | H is for Home

This fabulous floor lamp came into our lives recently.

Bernard Rooke pottery stamp | H is for Home

It’s by artist, Bernard Rooke and dates from the 1960s/70s period. Bernard Rooke was born in 1938. He attended Ipswich School of Art and Goldsmiths College, London where he took up pottery. He set up a workshop in Forest Hill in London in the 1960s, sharing the space with Alan Wallwork whose work we have sold in the past. Bernard’s pieces are very sculptural and he found that producing lamp bases made his pieces even more acceptable and accessible for the public to have in their homes. They’ve remained a mainstay of his output over many years.

Vintage Bernard Rooke studio pottery floor lamp | H is for Home

There are bulbs both at the top and internally, and this gives a great effect when illuminated – light diffusing through all the little holes and casting shadows on the wall behind.

Detail of a vintage Bernard Rooke lamp with the light diffusing through | H is for Home

We’re now on a hunt for the perfect shade. It has to be Hessian or raffia, we think – and a fair old size too – the lamp base itself stands 3½ feet tall. Let us know if you have one for sale or know where there’s one lurking. We currently have around five lamps that need shades, but this one’s probably top of the waiting list!

Collection of studio pottery stoneware vases | H is for Home

We’ve placed the lamp in our bedroom where it shares the space with other studio pottery from the same era. We like these little groupings of pots. They’re all in quite subdued tones of brown, beige and oatmeal so don’t shout for attention, but we love these subtle variations in colour, shape and texture.

Vintage Bernard Rooke studio pottery floor lamp | H is for Home

The lamp has real impact when you walk into the room. It has the potential to work well in all kinds of settings – from boho-chic to mid century modern. In addition to working well with the other pottery in the space, we also like the way the circular form is echoed by the cane mirror. There’s a classic 1960s starburst clock on the wall close by too. It might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but we really love it. And we know a good friend of ours will be eyeing it up jealously (and we have to admit that it would look perfect in their house)!

Kirkham milk jugs

"Kirkham Pottery milk jugs" blog post banner

vintage Kirkham Pottery milk jug with vintage milk bottles

There’s a distinct risk of double entendre in this post, but the design of these jugs is so striking & photogenic that we had to give them a quick blog mention.

pair of vintage Kirkham Pottery milk jugs with vintage milk bottle

These milk jugs were produced by Kirkham Pottery and we think it’s called the Chef & Stripe range. They’re such classic 1950s – the graphic lettering, the stylised dancing chef & waiters – and the distinctive red, yellow & black colourway.

pair of vintage Kirkham Pottery milk jugs

We’ve just put the larger one in our web shop. It has a bit of wear & crazing, but still displays wonderfully – and is completely usable for milk or cut flowers.