Above - 8 inch plates by Tony Morris

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10 inch plate - Tony Morris

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16 1/2 inch signed Tony Morris charger

Above - shallow bowls, unsigned.

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Above - unsigned 14 inch charger, probably by Christine Tate.

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Above - coffee table with sun-faces (Tony Morris). The left hand face is well known to Poole Pottery collectors by reason of its appearance on the back of the dust cover for Hayward and Atterbury's 'Poole Pottery'.

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The story goes that Tony gave coffee tables as Christmas presents and carried them with him on the coach to South Wales. 

Pollarded trees

Pollarding is a traditional means of keeping a tree to its original size by regular hard pruning. This gives rise to new growth, upwards and outwards from the trunk. 

Above - sun-face through a pollarded tree by Tony Morris. At least one other plate was made with a similar design but with  a different glaze.  It was quite unusual at the time for studio designs to be repeated.

Above - 8 inch plates by Tony Morris with pollarded tree designs.

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Above - detail from the oval Tony Morris charger above. The branches of the pollarded tree are formed with wax resist giving the piece a stained glass appearance.

Above - 14 inch chargers by Tony Morris.

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Above - pollarded tree with horse shoe shapes, unsigned.

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Above - either a 10 inch plate by Tony Morris, or one drawing heavily on his influence. 

Horse shoes and geometric shapes

Some abstract designs are defined by their geometric appearance and the use of horse-shoe shapes.

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16 1/2 inch signed Tony Morris charger

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Above - 4 tile panel, Tony Morris. The panel comprises 4 identical tiles made from a mould, each rotated through 90 degrees.

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Above - studio plates 1964-1966, unsigned.

Sheep's heads and town planning

Robert Jefferson is quoted as saying "I seem to remember [Tony] was fascinated by sheep. If it was sheep, it was Tony" (1993 Harry Lyons exhibition catalogue). The design below is a stylised version of a sheeps head, the downward stroke of the 'T' representing the sheep's neck and the circle to the left being the eye.

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Above -  Uranium orange 14 inch 'sheep's head' design by Tony Morris. The decoration is an abstract progression from the detail on the Poole Town Plan which was on display in the Studio at the time. The early orange glazes were made from depleted uranium and are mildly radioactive.

Above -  all 6 plates by Tony Morris, centre left 10 inches, others 14 inches.

 Above - 16 inch 'town planning' charger by Tony Morris, 1962-64.

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Full size Tony Morris town planning charger from the same palette as the plate above.

Above - 16 inch charger by Tony Morris, 1962-64.  Some designs with their origins in town planning have evolved into images of planets and outer space.  

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Above - 10 inch plate by Tony Morris.

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Above - 14 inch charger by Tony Morris, 1962-64

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Above - signed 10 inch plate - Tony Morris

Above - unsigned 10 inch plates by Tony Morris

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Above - 14 inch charger which depicts the sun setting behind the twin chimneys of Poole Power Station (now demolished) as observed by Tony Morris on his return from a fishing trip out of Poole Harbour. 

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Above - Poole Power station. Tony returned to the subject later in his career.

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Not all of Tony's work is easily defined. The 14 inch plate above was part of the window display for the launching of the Delphis Collection at Eaden Lilly's shop in Cambridge in October 1963. 

Above - 10 inch plates by Tony Morris

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14 inch plate, Tony Morris.

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Above - 10 inch plates by Tony Morris

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Turbot (Tony Morris)

14 inch seascape by Tony Morris.  The plate belonged to Roy Holland (the managing director of Poole Pottery from 1962) and is reunited with Tony in the right hand picture.

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Above - abstract view of a family, mother and child on the left. 16 inches, by Tony Morris

8 inch plate by Tony Morris

Above - unsigned studio plates. Right hand plate 14 inches.

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Above - circus plate by Tony Morris (16 inches). Tony described this as the best piece he ever made. The plate was sold by Christies in 2001 and features in Robert Prescott-Walker's book, although the image in the book is shown in reverse. 

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Above - wall plaque by Tony Morris and, unusually, incorporating Tony's initials as part of the design. The design was inspired by the sculptures of Eduardo Paolozzi who created animal presences ('frogs') in the 1950's by an accumulation of objects and detail including piano parts. The Tony Morris design shows a piano with four legs but the overall effect is that of an animal.

Above - Corfe Castle in Dorset. Left - by Tony Morris, the right hand plate unsigned.

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Above - 8 inch Tony Morris plate showing early use of the orange red-glaze brought back by Tony Morris and Guy Sydenham from their trip to Vallauris in France in 1966.

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Unsigned 8 inch plate

 

8 inch gallery

Below - a selection of designs on 8 inch plates. Out of all of these only three are signed (two by Ruth Paveley, one by Betty Bantten). Ten are known to be by Tony Morris. One of them was broken when a jar of Marmite fell on it. A few of them are radioactive.

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Above - a spectacular full sized charger (unsigned) but possibly by Christine Tate . This piece was displayed on the wall of the new Craft Section at poole Pottery in 1966 and can be seen in the contemporary photo on page 146 of Hayward and Atterbury.

Tile Panels

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Above - tile panel approx 3 feet long by 18 inches high, painted  by Tony Morris. The view is of Poole Harbour from below Evening Hill.

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Above - the Custom House Poole - tile panel by Tony Morris, 1960's. The panel is on display in Poole Museum.

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Above and below - Tony Morris tile panels showing the spiny flower heads of the wild teasel.

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These tile panels are 'Tony Morris' rather than Poole Pottery pieces. Tony made them in his own time but was permitted to sell them in the Factory shop.

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Above - Canada goose

Decorative Faience

Below - sculpture by Tony Morris, modelled as fish swimming around a column of seaweed and sea anemones. Made from black basalt, this is a substantial piece weighing over twenty pounds and standing just under 16 inches high. It was made between 1964 and 1965 and closely resembles the panels on the main staircase in the former Craft Centre shown below

Above and below - faience slabs with marine decoration by Tony Morris. These were part of a group which formerly decorated a staircase at the East Quay Pottery (see above)

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The slabs have now been framed and mounted high on a brick wall above a flight of stairs in a quayside development. 

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It is possible to imagine a more friendly environment for these important works of art. At least they have been preserved and are on permanent display.

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Above - Tony Morris sea horse wall decoration

After 1966

In one sense the Poole Pottery Studio was the victim of its own success. Such was the popularity of the Delphis range both at home and overseas that production was increased and more paintresses were recruited. Robert Jefferson left the Pottery at the end of 1965 and was not replaced by a full time designer. Paintresses were (initially at least) given the freedom to create their own designs.

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Above - a rare tile panel by Carol Cutler (early 1970's)

In time, production of decorative ware became driven by commercial expediency rather than artistic merit . New glazes were introduced. To speed production (and in the interests of consistency and 'uniformity') the number of glazes available was reduced.  By 1971 paintresses were paid according to the number of pieces they produced, with a minimum requirement per day.  The freshness, creative design and spontaneity which had been at the heart of the studio philosophy were all but abandoned as designs were diluted and repeated to satisfy the need for mass production.