Clarice Cliff

Clarice Cliff was born in January 1899 in Tunstall, Staffordshire and died in Newcastle-under-Lyme in October 1972. The fourth of eight children of an iron-moulder, Clarice Cliff started working at the age of 13 as an apprentice enameller. At 17 she joined A. J. Wilkinson's Royal Staffordshire Pottery as a lithographer, where her drawing ability was soon noticed. She attended evening classes at Burslem School of Art from 1924-1925 and studied sculpture at the Royal College of Art in 1927, but returned after only a few months to set up a small studio in Wilkinson's Newport Pottery, decorating traditional white-ware. In 1927/8 a market testing of 60 dozen pieces of "Bizarre Ware" was organised by Colley Shorter. Wilkinson's salesmen were shocked by the extreme boldness of Miss Cliffs designs and further astonished by the rapidity with which they sold. Hand painted Bizarre, the name chosen by Colley Shorter, the managing director of Wilkinson's, to cover the whole range, was launched. We hope you enjoy our selection.