As a pottery lover and fan of the classic Hornsea Designs my new project is a real treat!
The iconic designs of Hornsea Pottery have a worldwide following. From humble beginnings in a small Yorkshire seaside town they were ultimately exported all over the world, selling in stores such as Harrods and Selfridges, and featuring in British Council design showcases. Now Hornsea is celebrating its unique pottery heritage by reimagining these classic patterns in the form of a pottery public art trail.
Hornsea pottery patterns have now taken to the streets – with mug designs adorning a mini roundabout, cat cruet sets featuring on decorative paving stones, and the 1950’s stripe of the Elegance vases transformed into outdoor seating.
The maker and designer responsible for this ambitious town-wide project is contemporary ceramicist Adele Howitt, who spent two years in the research and making, and is herself a great admirer and collector of these iconic pieces.
“I explored the famous portfolio to evaluate which of their designs would be most suitable to adapt and innovate into architectural and robust materials. I began to discover the people and stories who were behind the creation of designs, such as the Royal College of Art graduate John Clappison who transformed the designs of this small creative business.”
A wander around town is now an opportunity to spot a variety of classic patterns recreated as pavement decoration; such as the Bronte Cup & Saucer (1960’s) named after Yorkshire’s most famous literary family, apparently Charlotte Bronte stayed in Hornsea to ‘take the waters’; Contrast Teapot (1970’s) a best selling oven to tableware range which won Hornsea’s first Design Council Award and the distinctive Heirloom Coffee Pot (1960’s).
Shoal Roundabout a mini roundabout around which geometrics and fish swim in the form of hundreds of small tiles. For this piece, which features over 1000 glazed clay bricks, Howitt took inspiration from John Clappison’s collectable mugs.
The Elegance Bench which is inspired by the ‘Design Council Award Winning’ Elegance range from the 1950’s. The first of Clappison’s designs this combines a distinctive black striped exterior with bright yellow interior.
Howitt has designed a patterned pottery carpet for the walkway outside the Hornsea Museum (which boasts the largest collection of Hornsea Pottery in the world!). The Hornsea Pottery Pavement Art showcases a variety of popular designs and includes the famous ‘twin doves’ logo which represents both the Lancaster and Hornsea production factories.
The tiny urban Pocket Park manages to incorporate several designs such as Charisma, Summertime, and Imprest. Howitt has also included poetry which is inspired by community stories in a combination of granite paving slabs and hand decorated bricks.
Another roundabout boasts a traffic stopping Murmuration Tree sculpture which is inspired by the 1970s popular and highly collectable Muramic (mural + ceramic) wall plaques. Howitt chose to powder coat this steel sculpture in orange to celebrate the golden age of Hornsea Pottery.
A visit to the Yorkshire coast to see this is a must for pottery lovers – a chance to explore and celebrate the classic designs and heritage of the Hornsea Pottery.