24 January 2019

Old fashioned pottery Transferring the pattern onto the biscuit

This is Old fashioned Pottery Transferring the Pattern onto the Biscuit. Hester Reeve wrote in Apollo magazine: ‘ From an early age Sylvia Pankhurst had admired the work of William Morris and Walter Crane and hoped to one day ‘decorate halls where people would foregather in the movement to win the new world’. Initially attending the Manchester School of Art (1900–02), where she won the award for best female student, she went on to gain a two-year scholarship to study at the Royal College of Art (1904–06) – with the distinction of having achieved the highest grades of any candidate. Apart from a series of studies made in Venice, it seems that no works survive from this period. Fortunately, a large series of gouaches, watercolours and charcoal works from her ‘Women Workers of England’ tour in 1907 survived. Sylvia Pankhurst took it upon herself to travel the country visually recording the working conditions of women in various industries, going from the Staffordshire potteries to the Glasgow cotton mills. Working on site in often extreme conditions, the images she produced are remarkable for both their beauty and radical critical intention.’