Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Return of The Blogger!

Apologies, but I have been neglecting this blog recently due to other commitments. So what's been happening in the last few months?

Poole Pottery is still at the quay shop, but still looking for new premises I understand. No change there then. Giftware is being produced and painted in Staffordshire and I have heard that retailers are now receiving supplies. I was on holiday in Devon this summer and it was quite a shock on visiting the Dartington Glass factory to see the Poole section in the shop stocked only with Lifestyle branded products of a most un-Poole like nature.

The studio section within the quay shop is now operational after some initial delays and the limited edition Sunface plates are reaching their owners. There has been quite a turnover of store managers in the last few months, Michael Collins being the latest and, I am assured, best so far! A new initiative seems to be the selling of one-offs and special editions through Poole Pottery Online, an eBay shop.

For the last few months the Poole Pottery website has just displayed a holding page saying "Under New Management". However, at the time of writing the website seems to have disappeared altogether so I am not sure what is happening in that department.

An interesting development is that Roger Hartley of Poole Zone has acquired some retail space upstairs within the quay shop, together with a small workshop, and is selling the current work of ex-Poole paintresses such as Carol Cutler, Janet Laird, Sue Pottinger and Lynn Gregory under the Poole Zone brand. This is said to be in collaboration with Poole Pottery, rather than in competition. One obvious possibility is that this will form the basis of an enlarged Poole Studio operation, featuring familiar names from the past as an attraction to collectors. Something to keep an eye on. I hope to be able to visit in the next few weeks.

Over the summer I had the pleasure of meeting with, and interviewing, Nikki Massarella, for an article that will appear in the forthcoming issue of the "All About Poole Pottery" collectors journal (which will probably be published in Spring 2008). Nikki is a delightful lady with a wonderful career at Poole Pottery spanning 28 years. I would love to tell you more but I had better wait until the magazine is published!

Talking of publications, I see that this months edition of Antiques Info magazine has an article on Poole Pottery written by Roland Head, together with three pages of illustrated auction results. The article is a well informed piece with some accurate observations on the secondary Poole marketplace, with the one quibble that the Alfred Read period is completely overlooked! I would argue that without the diversification of the product range and adoption of contemporary design philosophy that Read began in the 1950's there would have been no Delphis. He should not be underestimated! And, of course, there is a distinct market for 1950's pieces.

I believe Roland is the man behind the excellent Perfect Pieces blog (rather more frequently updated than my own!) He has been kind enough to link to this blog in the past so now I have an opportunity to return the favour.

Finally, we are just a couple of weeks away from the autumn Poole Pottery auction at Cottees. The catalogue has just been released and, as always, there is much to interest the Poole collector. More on this in due course.


Blogger Roland Head said...

Thanks for the mention, glad you enjoyed the article. I agree with you over the significance of Alfred Read's work, but I was trying to steer away from writing too much of a chronological history of Poole.

The Antiques Info article was mostly intended to highlight how popular Poole's early studio wares have become and how the high-quality 1920s/30s pieces continue to be in demand. I'm a big fan of Freeform and some of the other 50s stuff though, and agree it was a significant transitional period for Poole.

Regards, Roland

5:23 pm  
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