Thursday, 2 April 2009

Ambleside Pottery

One of my favourite tasks each month is writing my regular column for Collect It! magazine. I'm lucky enough to enjoy free-reign on the target of my articles, which is a luxury indeed. Just before heading north to work on another Antiques Roadshow, I researched the history behind a little known pottery I'm rather fond of, called Ambleside. I've been collecting their work on and off for a few years now and, although my collection could be counted on one hand, they're up there amongst my favourite pieces of studio pottery that reside in Hill Towers.
For those of you who don't know, the pottery was founded by a certain George Cook and based in Ambleside, Cumbria from 1948 until the 1980s. They became known for their sgrafitto designs, such as the rather handsome vase on the left. Values and interest seem to be woefully low, but this may change if more people pay the pottery more attention. If you want to know why I think they should, then you'll have to read the magazine which hits the shelves in early May.


Steve said...

I have started buying Ambleside pottery with the aim of building up a good collection of George Cook pieces. Very well potted and decorated with innovative designs. Whether they will ever reach the dizzy heights of Troika remains to be seen, but this is a very under-rated pottery which deserves wider recognition. Prices are creeping up slowly so maybe more people are starting to appreciate its virtues.

Mark Hill said...

I agree - Ambleside is great and under-rated stuff. In a way I hope it doesn't get too popular, because then I won't be able to afford it any more!

leeroy said...

I have a very large george cook jug/vase it is over 12 inches tall.I would like to find out more about my pot.It has got cook 1950 ambleside on the base of the pot and is hand potted.and not like any pieces on the net..?

Martine S said...

I lived in Ambleside as a child and George Cook was a family friend. I love it when I (*infrequently) come acrodd one of his pots at antique/flea/car boot markets and buy them when I can.
At the time we knew him best (1963 - 1970 ish) he had a lovely young woman named Sylvia Sloan/e(?) working with him and I believe she did some of the designs.
It's good to know there are people out there who also appreciate his work and influence. He was a lovely man too!