Author(s): HIGGINS ROB & FARMER WILL
This book showcases British decorative tiles from 1945 to 1975. 'Mid-Century Modern' had its roots in the 1930's, with influences especially from California and Europe. Pioneers include the architect Frank Lloyd Wright in the USA, and in Europe the Milan designers Gio Ponti and Piero Fornasetti, who derived inspiration from artists such as Picasso and Miro. British designers hardly had time to embrace the new style before the Second World War, but the decades after 1945 saw it flourish in the UK. Bold, sweeping curves in the manner of sculptures by Barabara Hepworth flowed into interior design, and the graphic style of Graham Sutherland was adopted by ceramic manufacturers. British tile producers developed a Mid Century Modern character of their own, not simply derivative of American and European or even other British designers. Tiles were widely used inside the home, and also as key features of architectural projects. The DIY movement of the 1960s took the choices about interior tiling away from builders and architects and allowed homeowners to adopt their own style of the day. Among the important tile manufacturers were Carter and Company based in Poole, who used screen printing to great effect in both the home and in major architectural projects. Kenneth and Ann Clark, working in London and then Lewes in Sussex, decorated tiles through the 1950s and 1960s with Ann's detailed calligraphy and new glaze effects including wax resist and 'reactive' glazes. A host of other companies and small producers created a rich catalogue of powerful designs.