The popular coastal resort of Poole in Dorset, England has been home to the Poole Pottery since 1873. Specialising in studio wares and ranges of collectible items, the pottery was by no means left behind with its production of Art Deco ceramics. Perhaps the location at the other end of the country from the hub of Deco producers in The Potteries, Staffordshire, fuelled Poole’s highly distinctive ranges of Art Deco wares in the 1930s.
The story began in 1855 with the opening of an architectural pottery in Hamworthy. Through various stages in development of distinct areas of pottery manufacture – most notably tile design and production of art wares, the pottery remained producing until the early part of the 21st century. There are collectors of modern Poole wares as well as those interested in the Poole styles of the 1960s, 1950s and also the Deco production of the 1930s.
The potteries at Poole became established under Jesse Carter and his two sons Owen and Charles, drawing in designers and craftsmen. Art Deco wares were produced when the pottery was headed by Carter, Stabler and Adams. Notable Deco designers working for the pottery and tileworks were; Truda Carter, John Adams, Irene Fawkes, Olive Bourne and Ruth Pavely with earlier ground-breaking designs by Owen Carter. Initially traditional shapes were used with Deco designs in well-chosen limited palettes of colour, and then Harold Stabler introduced more angular faceted wares. Remarkably these were introduced as early as 1925. The pottery had major exhibitions during the 1920s and 30s and major contracts fitting the Queen Mary and the Hoover factory were won by the tileworks.