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.
Additional imaged credits:
1stDibs | Invaluable
This fabulous floor lamp came into our lives recently.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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)!
Born in St Petersburg, Mari Simmulson (1911-2000) was an Estonian-Swedish ceramic designer. After art school in Tallinn and Munich, she first went to work for Arabia in Finland. From there, she emigrated to Sweden producing designs for Gustavsberg between 1945 & 49 before moving on to Upsala Ekeby until 1972.
She primarily produced plates, plaques, vases and small sculptures. Like Laila Zink, who we featured in this series a couple of weeks ago, a recurring motif in Simmulson’s work was beautiful, almond-eyed women and animals such as birds, cats and fish.
Her work is surprisingly affordable and is often available on Etsy and eBay.
Additional image credits:
Just a quick little update to say that we’ve added a few new items to our web shop today. These are just three of half a dozen things.
First up, is the Homemaker tea trio designed by Enid Seeney for Ridgway Potteries in the 1950s. Next, is a Figgjo Flint Saga vase designed by Turid Gramstad Oliver. Finally, is a two-tone green ‘Palm’ design acrylic water or juice jug produced by Immanuel.
Click on each item image to go straight to it on our shop site.
Earlier this week, we discovered the designs of Laila Zink (1915-1999) whilst researching the identity of the designer who created a large pottery charger that we’d bought at the flea market. She worked for pottery manufacturers Kupittaan Savi based in Finland. Her work is very distinctive – stylised folk art figures, flowers and landscapes. The elongated facial features and almond shaped eyes of the ladies (and it does usually seem to be ladies) are instantly recognisable. Her pieces are all hand painted and very individual.
We couldn’t find out much information about either her or Kupittaan Savi. A book has been written about the company… however it’s in Finnish. Her work isn’t very commonplace however, there are currently a few examples available on Etsy and eBay.
Bukowskis | Pinterest
This lovely large pottery charger was one of our more interesting finds last week.
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.
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!
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.