Art Deco pottery



2015-06-26 11:18:54

Art Deco pottery was originated in France in the early 1900s partly as a form of protest against the mass production of ceramics which was prevalent during the period. It soon became very popular and influential - many established names in the pottery business began embracing its design principles and techniques. Many pottery pieces that were inspired by the Art Deco movement showcased natural motifs and colours that were bold and soft. In general, artists employed a limited colour palette, with primary colours particularly prevalent. Black, whether as outline or fill-colour, established drama.

The term Art Deco (widely used today) though did not become popular until the 1960s. Originally the movement was referred to by its French names, Styles Moderne and Arte Moderne.

Prominent potteries identified with this movement include Stellmacher, & Kessel, Grueby Faience Co., Clifton, Newcomb College, Rookwood, Doulton, Minton & Co., Moorcroft, Zsolnay, Royal Dux, Konigliche Porzellan Manufaktur (K. P. M.), Meissen, Sevres, Rozenburg, Goldscheider Earthenware and Porcelain.

Notable Art Deco pottery designers include, Sir Henry Doulton, Clement Massier, George Ohr, and Martin Bros.

Stylistic and historical influences on Art Deco Pottery

Art pottery

Art Pottery was created in the UK as a response to the mass production of ceramics.

Pieces were made by both studios (set up by manufacturers) and independent potters. Many designs were adapted and imitated by large and established potteries.

This movement eventually reached the US which caused an explosion of potteries. Art Pottery designs were inspired mostly by natural forms.

Art Nouveau

Art Nouveau’s popularity reached its pinnacle during the last decade of the 19th century, but its influence continued on until the early part of the 20th century. Distinguishing marks of many genuine Art Nouveau pieces are flowing lines and whiplash curves. Popular themes included the human form and nature.

The Arts and Craft Movement

This movement came about during the 19th century and during its heyday, it heavily influenced handcrafted work in the United States and Europe, including the United Kingdom. The Arts and Craft Movement was established as a form of protest against mid 18th century industrialization.

Ballets Russes

The Ballet Russes began to gain international recognition in 1909 in Paris, France. Known for its preference for vibrant colors, Ballet Russes strongly influenced the decorative and design styles of its period.


The Bauhaus was a learning institution that offered instruction in architecture and design. Though relatively short lived (1919-1933), the school had a lasting impact on Art Deco Pottery. Its pottery pieces generally had clean and simple finishes to maximize functional efficiency.

De Stijl

De Stijl was a confederation made up of Dutch architects and artists. Though their work for the large part did not involve ceramics, their influence is still evident in Art Deco pottery. This group was known for their preference for primary colors and pure geometric forms.


The Futurist movement was established in Italy in the year 1909. It started out originally as a literary movement, but later on also promoted art forms when it began to admit painters. One of the goals of the group was to influence the minds of middle class families through the use of provocative symbols. They were known for their functional and also artsy vases, tiles, and dishware.

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