The Moorcroft Gallery

The Moorcroft Gallery

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A Potted History of Floral Design
W Moorcroft Ltd

The Moorcroft story began when a company called James Macintyre & Company, a utilitarian pottery factory in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, set up an art pottery department in the Arts & Crafts tradition. The company’s quest for a designer to run this decorative side of production ended in 1897 with the employment of William Moorcroft. His designs shortly carried the new 'Florian Ware' which, as the name suggests, was based around designs of British wild flowers like narcissi and cornflowers. With a family history of botanical art coupled with William’s studies in the chemistry of ceramics at the Royal College of Art, it would be this new, incredibly labour-intensive pottery, using a slip trailing method, known as tubelining, to create a raised ceramic outline before being infilled with metallic oxides, that is known in the world of the Applied Arts as ‘Moorcroft’ today. Uniquely fired twice, these first pieces of Florianware saw the arrival of colourful designs of intricacy, brilliance, and clarity.
William’s innate botanical style, which fused the very best of the grace and movement of Art Nouveau design with Arts & Crafts styling, soon saw the arrival of gold medals from across the Atlantic in St Louis in 1908 to Europe, including him gold medal at the Paris Exhibition in 1925 just over ten years after he had set up his own factory under his own name. Moorcroft was now a world-wide phenomenon. Unsurprisingly, Queen Mary of England was a great admirer of Moorcroft pottery, and the company was appointed “Potters to her Majesty The Queen” in 1928.
Moorcroft continue to create designs that excite and inspire in the floral tradition as well as landscapes, cityscapes and other designs inspired by the natural world for enthusiasts around the globe. With the world's media following Moorcroft's world-class designers and Museums all over the world holding pieces within their collections, this pottery is certainly a jewel within the Applied Arts.



Moorcroft Gallery