The Life and Times of Clarice Cliff

Jean Broadbent’s illustrated talk to the March meeting of the Society focused on the period between 1927 and 1939.

Clarice Cliff is now a well-known ceramic artist whose work is very popular and considered valuable by experts. Her work regularly features on day-time TV Auction programmes. She was born in 1899 in humble circumstances in Stoke. At the age of 13, she started work in the pottery industry. She progressed rapidly by learning the techniques required in ceramic design. She also studied art and sculpture at Burslem School of Art in the evenings.

Jean explained how Clarice’s designs were influenced both by art-deco, modern art and music of the time and the commercial imperatives to sell product ranges manufactured by mass production and then hand-painted. Clarice produced 200 patterns of design and became the first woman Art Director in the Potteries. Many of her designs are based on garden flowers and characterised by bold colours although other colours could also be provided to suit all tastes.

Geoff Barnes,
Vice Chair and Publications Officer