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Women painters

'Tea For Two' by Clarice Cliff

There were scores of women painters working in the ceramic industry in Britain at this time, many of whom had lost their husbands, fathers or sons in the First World War. These women came from a variety of backgrounds and they had to struggle to succeed in a male dominated profession. Some women worked for just one pottery, others for several potteries, while others worked freelance. Some of the young girls and women who decorated the ceramics had learnt their skills either as apprentices or at the local Art Schools, and most received no recognition for their work.

Vase by Charlotte Rhead

Clarice Cliff (1898-1972), Susie Cooper (1902-1995) and Charlotte Rhead (1885-1947) whose popularity prevails to this day, all played their part in British Art Deco ceramic design in the 1920s and '30s. What sets Clarice, Susie and Charlotte apart was the fact that they were all highly regarded and recognised as talented designers in their day and, as a testament to that, their names were used as marks on their wares.