I recently discovered the British designerJessie Tait via the magazineBBC Home & Antiques and an article on vintage ceramic art. Struck by her design's mid century loveliness, I began scouring eBay for more. Not easy to find, I lucked out recently and found two reasonably priced plates in the Ming Tree pattern. The stylecraft plate shape was inspired by the then modern wonder, television screens.
Jessie worked exclusively as Chief Designer for the legendaryMidwinter Pottery company for almost 30 years from the mid 40's to the early 1970s. The distinctive patterns and shapes of her work is now considered alongside other significant 20th-century designers such asClarice Cliff,Charlotte Rhead andSusie Cooper.
She came from a working class family and grew up around the factories in Staffordshire and attended theBurslem School of Art, in Stoke. It was not until the 1990's that her work was "re-discoverd" and became highly collectible. After retiring in 93, she worked into her 70's as a freelance designer, she died just this past January at 81.
I used them here as the perfect background for warm popovers served with apricot jam and crème fraiche.
If this has wet your whistle to learn more check out this yummy lookingbook on the innovative pottery company by Steven Jenkins.
all photos except portrait of Jessie Tait © Lara Rossignol