Designer Desire: Carol Cutler

Selection of Carol Cutler designs for Poole Pottery | H is for Home

Carol Cutler has been on our radar from well before we even began trading as H is for Home. We used to collect Delphis design Poole Pottery and our favourite paintress has always been Carol Cutler (her married name was Kellett).

The more Delphis you see, the more you can immediately recognise Cutler’s designs. She often used lots of circular patterns and motifs that look like insects’ eyes or nut kernels. During her long career at Poole Pottery, she also worked on other ranges such as Aegean and Atlantis.

Delphis is surprisingly affordable and can always be found to buy online. We sometimes have the odd piece in stock and eBay and Etsy usually have plates, vases and dishes available.

Additional image credits: My Potshots | Robs Poole Pottery

Forthcoming Attractions: End March 2015

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Collection of vintage pottery homeware items | H is for Home

We’ve picked up some lovely pieces of mid century modern pottery this week.

Vintage Ceramica di Milano pottery vase | H is for Home

This vase dates from the 1950s/60s and was produced in Italy by Ceramico di Milano. These wares have their devoted fans, but generally speaking they’re not that well known and a bit underrated perhaps. They’re all very individual – and hand painted too. Fabulous decoration on this one with a very stylish bambolina – she’ll break a few hearts!

Vintage pottery bull by Elizabeth Skipworth for Lotus Pottery | H is for Home

This bull was designed by Elizabeth Skipworth for Lotus Pottery in the 1960s. They come in various sizes – this one’s a small money box.

Vintage Hornsea Pottery 'Tricorn' preserve pot | H is for Home

Next we have this stunning, lidded preserve pot. It’s from the ‘Tricorn’ range introduced by Hornsea Pottery in 1958; one of John Clappison’s early designs and becoming increasingly sought after.

Vintage pottery lamp base | H is for Home

This lamp dates from a similar period. Classic fifties colourway of grey & yellow. It’s unmarked, but we’ve had a similar lamp before. The names on the tip of our keypad! It would look great with a new drum shade in a grey hessian.

Vintage Poole Pottery 'Delphis' dish designed by Carol Cutler | H is for Home

Last but certainly not least – a classic piece of Poole Pottery ‘Delphis’ dating from the late 60s or early 70s. It’s by Carol Cutler, one of the most highly regarded decorators at the factory. She has a distinctive style with a wonderful flowing design and stunning colours.

We’ll be listing all these pieces in our webshop in the next few days.

Hostess with the mostest!

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vintage Hostess set comprising a floral apron and matching oven mitt | via @hisforhome

This fabulous set should help you in your quest to be the hostess with the mostest!

vintage Hostess set comprising a floral apron and matching oven mitt | via @hisforhome

Comprising kitchen apron & oven glove, there’ll certainly be no groovier attired rival vying for the title. It dates from the 1960s/70s and comes unused in the original packaging.

vintage blue Pifco 'Junior' fan vintage red Viking kitchen scales

vintage Poole Pottery Delphis pot vintage white enamel candle holder

It’s one of the new items we listed on the H is for Home shop this week.

Put in the shade!

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collection of vintage lamps including a pair of olive green Poole Pottery cubes, one tall, teak Danish example and a lime green glass pear shaped base

We’ve bought lots of lamp bases recently and have been trying to marry them up with shades that we also pick up from time to time.

large white vintage geometric table lamp base topped with a vintage Genia Sapper "Heidi" fabric shade

We think this combination really works. We bought this original 1960s/70s white pottery base at a market last week. We already had the Genia Sapper Heidi pattern shade… and hey presto, a match made in heaven!

diptych image of vintage Danish teak lamp base with two different shades

We had a couple of options available for this vintage Scandinavian teak base. Both have natural tones in hessian type materials. Each works fine… but we’re not sure that either is the perfect shape & size.

detail from vintage Danish teak lamp base

The actual base is stunning though, with its tactile sculptural form – very Dansk Designs actually.

pair of small, olive green, cube-shaped vintage Poole Pottery lamp bases with geometric pattern decoration

We’ve just acquired two of these geometric pottery bases. They were produced by Poole Pottery in the 1960s.

detail from pair of small, olive green, cube-shaped vintage Poole Pottery lamp bases with geometric pattern decoration

The bases are the stars of the show here, so we’ll keep it simple for the shades. We’ve got some of those cylindrical off-white fibreglass shades, which are a pretty good fit… but a slate grey fabric would be perfect.

vintage pear shaped lime green glass lamp base

…and then there’s this stunning lime green glass shade – possibly by Holmgaard. This base is quite tricky – we’re not even sure what we’re looking for – but it will jump out at us one day!!!

P is for… Poole

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Collection of vintage Poole Delphis pottery vases and plates | H is for Home

Poole Pottery is a vast topic with well over 100 years of production, so we’ll narrow it down a bit – and concentrate on one of our favourite ranges.

The arrival of Robert Jefferson as resident designer in the late 1950s took Poole in new directions regarding shapes & glazes.

Vintage Poole Pottery Delphis vase | H is for Home

The Delphis range was one of the developments.

Trio of Poole Pottery plates & dishes designed by Carol Cutler | H is for Home

Working with Guy Sydenham, the gulf between studio pottery and commercial production could be bridged, resulting in this exciting, dynamic range.

Delphis was launched at an exhibition at Heal’s in 1963 and subsequently at stores throughout the UK.

Poole Pottery plate designed by Carol Cutler | H is for Home Poole Pottery plate designed by Carol Cutler | H is for Home

Abstract designs & bright colours were the characteristic features.

Poole Pottery 'Delphis' plate | H is for Home

The range was a great success both at home & overseas and was increasingly marketed with the emphasis on the hand painted element.

Poole Pottery 'Delphis' pin dish | H is for Home Poole Pottery 'Delphis' dish | H is for Home

A standard range of shapes was used with individual painters responsible for the free-flowing designs. There were approximately 50 artists working on the range including names such as Andrée Fontana, Beverley Mantel, Cynthia Bennett, Lynn Gregory, Ross Sommerfelt, Janet Laird, Thelma Bush and Carol Holden.

Our own particular favourite is Carol Cutler (Kellett) who worked between 1969 & 1976.

Poole Pottery 'Delphis' pin dish | H is for Home

Carol Cutler's painter's mark on the base of a Poole Pottery plate | H is for HomeCarol Cutler’s painter’s mark

Production of Delphis continued until the late 1970s.

Other similar Poole ranges to look out for from this period are Aegean, Ionian and Atlantis.

Vintage Poole Pottery 'Aegean' plate | H is for HomeAegean range fish plate

To see a huge range of colour photos of all the different Poole pottery visit the Poole Pottery Collectors Club website.

There’s also a wonderful book that looks at Delphis in detail. It includes a full list of the Delphis painters and their marks. It actually covers the entire history of Poole Pottery – all the ranges & designers involved. It is simply entitled Poole Pottery by Hayward & Atterbury. It’s available from both and It contains lots of great, full-colour reference photographs.

Small vintage Poole Pottery vase | H is for Home

Also, check out the Poole Pottery Flickr group we started up. Please feel free to join up & add any photos of your own!

We sometimes have a few pieces of Poole, including Delphis, for sale at H is for Home.

Some of you may have noticed that it’s been longer than usual between blogs. We’ve had a very busy week, including a magazine photo shoot at our house – all very exciting! More about that to follow soon…

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? 🙂

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