Saturday, 4 February 2012


84. Leedsware dish

This badly damaged piece of old Leedsware, cracked and minus its handles, sits on my kitchen window ledge. It holds an assortment of broken clay pipes, a collection that grows with each year as I dig and unearth them from the vegetable garden. The dish, of cream earthenware, is very probably of an age with many of the pipe pieces, as the pottery was begun in 1770 by two brothers and closed in 1878. Their work was famous for embossing and for pierced openwork, as my example shows. The openwork was created by hand with a variety of small tools.
The dish belonged to my father, who was a Leeds man. He didn't mind that the piece was in such a poor state, he could appreciate the work that had gone into making it and he still considered it beautiful.

85. Modern Leedsware mug

Moulds and pattern books from the old pottery had been preserved and in recent times
'Leedsware' earthenware was reintroduced - made in the Midlands! It should really be described only as creamware. I  bought this mug as a present for my father but the craftsmanship is only a dull echo of the original work.