Clarice Cliff

Clarice Cliff

by LynnKnight (Author)


Clarice Cliff was one of the most significant ceramic designers of the twentieth century. Her work - a 'gargantuan feast of colour' - is avidly collected and is for many the epitome of Art Deco. From the first, Clarice Cliff refused limitations. When she started work in the Potteries before the First World War, she was just another factory girl with a rolled-up pinny in her pocket and nothing much expected of her future. But by 1928, the year of the 'Flapper-vote', Clarice Cliff was launching 'Bizarre', a range of pottery as striking in appearance as in name, each piece stamped with her own signature. Women responded to the modern spirit of her work. 'Bizarre' was different at a time women hoped their lives could be different too. Clarice Cliff's tastes were magpie and eclectic: the latest European styles, ancient colourings and cottage-garden flowers were given a domestic context. The resulting look was bold, innovative and all the rage. As a working-class woman, Clarice Cliff's journey from apprentice gilder to art director was remarkable. But the life of the "brilliant girl artist", as the press romantically dubbed her, was not without its ironies.Though a thoroughly modern career woman, she lived for years with her parents in the terraced house she had grown up in; she became a public figure but conducted a clandestine relationship with her married boss; she designed for women at home, but rarely took a day off work. In her insightful and engrossing biography of this talented, ground-breaking woman, Lynn Knight also draws a vivid portrait of Britain between the wars, and in particular of the lives of women. Fusing art, design and industry, social history and biographical detail, it is a vibrant study of an Art Deco icon whose work continues to arouse strong and conflicting passions.


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More Information

Format: Hardcover
Pages: 336
Edition: First Edition
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Published: 05 Sep 2005

ISBN 10: 0747578281
ISBN 13: 9780747578284
Book Overview: Clarice Cliff's pieces are collectors' items today. Christies sold one of her plates for GBP40,000. Past Times does reproductions of Clarice Cliff items There has always been media interest in Cliff with a serialisation on Radio Four on her life and regular pieces in the press - this first full-length biography will get lots of attention. This will be Radio 4 Book of the Week from September 19th 2005 For every Art Deco fan: Clarice Cliff's work was prominent in the V&A Art Deco exhibition

Author Bio
Lynn Knight is a writer, editor and lecturer. She is the editor of Dangerous Calm: The Selected Stories of Elizabeth Taylor.