School of Art
Early British Studio PotteryThe year in which Sidney Greenslade began to acquire ceramics for the Art and Crafts Gallery was a pivotal moment in the development of British studio pottery. Bernard Leach, Shoji Hamada, Reginald Wells, William Staite Murray and Charles and Nell Vyse were just establishing their businesses; Katharine Pleydell-Bouverie and Norah Braden were completing their training at art school and Michael Cardew was learning his craft in a long established country pottery.
Greenslade's initial contact with studio pottery in 1898 was his involvement with the Martin Brothers potters. They are often regarded as the earliest of the pioneer studio potters in Britain. The term 'studio pottery' is now used to indicate an enterprise in which the design and the manufacture of a pot are the work of a single maker. The majority of the studio potters in the collection were influenced by Chinese and Korean pottery of the Sung dynasty (AD960–1280).
Nearly four hundred pieces of studio pottery were purchased between 1921 and 1935, including the small-scale ceramic figures, forming what is now regarded as one of the foremost collections of pioneer studio pottery in Britain. Greenslade purchased the studio pottery at the new craft shops and galleries on his frequent visits to London, from the potters themselves and from various craft society exhibitions.