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Clarice Cliff Pottery

Updated on April 25, 2010

Clarice Cliff

Classic Clarice Cliff Pottery

Clarice Cliff

Hand painted bright colours and bold design are classic signs that a piece of pottery was designed and painted by Clarice Cliff, The Clarice Cliff name on a piece of pottery makes it sought after by collectors from around the world.

Clarice Cliff started on the road to her amazing career in the potteries in 1912 at the tender age of 13 when she was hired as an apprentice.

she spent her days Guilding classic pottery pieces (Painting gold borders and lines on classic pottery ware). Clarice Soon mastered the guilding job and moved on to a free hand painting position

At the same time as Clarice began her career she was also attending evening classes at the Burslem School of art.

In 1916 Clarice made an unusual decision to move to a different pottery factory and it was to prove the making of her illustrous career.

Clarice Cliff started work in the pottery of A. J. Wilkinson in 1916 and although she had already finished her apprenticeship she still had a yearning to learn more.

She took up modelling figurines and vases, keeping pattern books and hand painting ware: outlining, enamelling.filling in colours within the outline, and banding, painting bands around plates or vessels.

Clarice was 25 years old when she started another apprenticeship at the factory as a modeller and it was at this time she began working with the factories main designers, designing and creating some typical Victorian style pieces that were popular with the population at the time.

Colley Shorter the factory owner was so impressed by the work that Clarice was producing that he gave her, her own studio in 1927 and The legend of Clarice Cliff began.

From the Bizzare range

The Bizzare Range

When Clarice Cliff moved into her new studio she was given white glazed pottery items to work with, these items were often found to have some slight defects and Clarice began to paint over the defects with coloured triangles.

Using onglaze enamel colours enabled Claricer to use brighter and bolder patterns when painting her pottery

The Bizzare range as it became known was an instant success, tired of the plain and dull pottery items that were all that were on offer at the time; people were buying it as soon as it hit the stores.

In 1930, Cliff was appointed Art Director to Newport Pottery and A. J. Wilkinson, the two adjoining factories that produced her wares.

In 1940 Clarice married the factory owner Coley Shorter and moved into his home Chetwynd house which was renowned for its beautiful gardens.

Coley Shorter died suddenly in 1963 and Clarice Cliff pottery was produced until 1964 when clarice sold the factory to Midwinters and retired to Chetwynd house.

In 1972 there was an exhibition held in brighton celebrating the work of Clarice cliff in which Clarice herself wrote some comments in the catalogue of the items displayed. On October 1972 Clarice Cliff died at her beloved Chetwynd house.


Clarice Cliff at the NEC Birmingham

Clarice Cliff Pottery

1999 saw an explosion in sales of Clarice Cliff pottery it was her centenary year which was celebrated all over the world, although camera shy Clarice Cliff became the best known face of the British pottery industry in her lifetime and her pottery has become sought after by collectors and dearlers.

Her Bold choice of colors and design ensure that Clarice Cliff pottery will never look out of place Even in the most modern homes.


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    • profile image

      hi hih hi 

      8 years ago

      i love her art her work xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxir is great the cours

    • GALAXY 59 profile image

      Galaxy Harvey 

      9 years ago from United Kingdom

      I love Clarice Cliff pottery and am lucky enough to have a tea set of her crocus pattern ware. This hub has given me a lot of information about Clarice that I didn't know so thanks for that.

    • Amber Allen profile image

      Amber Allen 

      9 years ago

      Clarice Cliff made such colorful and practical pottery that has a timeless appeal. Great hub! Amber

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 

      9 years ago from London, UK

      A wonderful, unusual pottery. Thank you for drawing our attention to it.

    • suziecat7 profile image


      9 years ago from Asheville, NC

      What beautiful and unusual pottery. Thanks for making me aware of it.

    • wavegirl22 profile image


      9 years ago from New York, NY

      Ah Jimmy what a terrific Hub . .I love Clarice Cliff Pottery, and I loved reading all about the pottery! WTG:)


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