MAGGIE KIRBY INTERESTED IN WORK BY DESIGNER
JOHN CLAPPISON born in Hull 1937
In 1950 John went to the Hull High School for Arts and Crafts. He then went to the Hull Regional College of Arts and Crafts where he gained a National Diploma in Design, special level in Ceramics. He started to produce some designs for Hornsea Pottery. The company realised his talent and sent him to the Royal College of Art for a year and paid his fees. He specialised in industrial design and ceramics and gained the Faculty of Industrial Design Certificate in Ceramics. He was appointed as Chief Designer for Hornsea Pottery in 1958 quite an achievement for a 21 year old. He designed the bulk of the non-figurative ware for the Pottery. John resigned from the Pottery in 1972 and started work as Chief Designer for Ravenhead Glass, He worked there for four years but was lured back to the Pottery as House Designer in 1976. When the Hornsea Pottery company went into receivership in 1986. John was invited to work as Head of Shape Design for Royal Doulton.
He has retired in 1998.
I first became interested in John Clappisons work when I joined the Hornsea Pottery Collectors and Research Society 6 years ago. My favourite pieces were the People Series he designed for Hornsea in 1982 – 1983. These pieces were only produced for a short period and were described as “art pieces” aimed at collectors. These pieces were a range of stylised figures depicting men, women and children in various poses. They have an ivory biscuit finish and were individually sand blasted by hand to produce a rough surface finish in white. They were also produced with a black coating which was a material similar to terra sigillata, originally devised by the Romans . Click here to see other series produced by John