Something Fishy!

Bill Charmatz fish illustration

Whether it be the physical landscape itself or the flora & fauna contained within it, artists and designers have been influenced by nature over the centuries.

Inspiration drawn from mountains, rivers, lakes, seas, clouds, trees, birds, fish, plants, flowers are all reflected in their work.

We thought it would be fun to take these broad themes and show their influence on the creative process. For no particular reason, we’re going to start with fish!

Poole Pottery Aegean plate Pottery plate decorated with three fish
vintage 1960s pottery plates
vintage pottery plate

We might feature stuff from any decade, but there will, no doubt, be a mid 20th century bias as we love this era and are always drawn to vintage pieces from the 50s, 60s & 70s.

Vintage green glass fish dish
Large 1950s green glass dish

Small green art glass fish sculpture Small blue art glass fish sculpture
1960s art glass sculptures

Stylised fish were a much-used design motif in this mid 20th century period – in art, design and everyday homewares.

vintage fish collage artwork
Collage entitled Fish Fossil Sea Bed by Andrew Rob, 1970

Pottery serving dish detail detail of Swedish pottery serving dish
1960s iron trivet | Swedish serving dish (Dukat)

vintage fish plate detail vintage fish plate detail
Aquarius series fish plates by Washington Pottery

vintage John Clappison Hornsea Pottery mug Small vintage pottery pin dish
John Clappison, Hornsea Pottery | Bernard Moss Pentewan Pottery

Trio of wall mountable pottery fish
Hornsea Pottery wall-mountable fish… who needs flying ducks? ๐Ÿ™‚

Also, the artistic treatment given in cookbooks etc can be quite magical. Two of our undoubted favourites are Bill Charmatz and Charley Harper.

Bill Charmatz illustration of a fish stock pot Bill Charmatz illustration of fish in a fryer basket Bill Charmatz illustration of a cat and fish in a bowl
Bill Charmatz – from the Esquire Cook Book first published in Great Britain in 1956.

Charley Harper illustration of fish with a thermometer in its mouth
Charley Harper – from Betty Crocker’s Dinner for Two first published in 1958.

Charley Harper illustration of a flat fish Charley Harper illustration of a fish with a tangled fishing line in its mouth

Finally, to show that nature can do a pretty good job herself, we picked up this fossil from a great little shop in Hastings. Preserved in green river shales, it’s 45 million years old (hopefully you won’t be waiting that long for the launch of our website!).

image of fossilised fish
Knightia alta, Eocene period. Origin: Wyoming