Jonathan Mallinson

Published On


Page Range

pp. 115–136


  • English

Print Length

22 pages

6. 1913–14: A New Beginning

  • Jonathan Mallinson (author)
We consider the practical difficulties faced by Moorcroft in his first year at the new factory, built to a tight budget and at high speed. The move to full production was inevitably slow, and the consequential financial pressures were compounded by continuing disputes with Watkin about the market value of stock which Moorcroft bought from Macintyre’s. Drawing on contemporary documents and ledgers, we examine the design of the new works and its informed compliance with the ‘Regulations for the Manufacture and Decoration of Pottery’, enacted in 1913. Its distinctiveness, though, lay not just its compliance, but in its working environment, quite different from both industrial manufactories and smaller-scale art potteries. Closer to a studio, it was defined and energised by Moorcroft himself, who played an active role in all aspects of design and production, management and marketing, supported in this by his wife, Florence Lovibond, one of the first Women Factory Inspectors. This unique atmosphere was immediately noticed by reviewers, and written about in terms which implicitly linked it to the Arts and Crafts movement. We contrast it with Fry’s Omega Workshops, another variant on the Morris legacy, established at the same time. Moorcroft’s enterprise is seen to be both more personal and less exclusive, with a mission to create an ‘everyday art’ for more than a select few.


Jonathan Mallinson

Emeritus Professor of French at University of Oxford

Jonathan Mallinson is Emeritus Professor of Early Modern French Literature and Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford. He has written extensively on prose fiction, comedy and satire of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and has edited works by Molière, Voltaire and Graffigny. His interest in British art pottery and its reception dates back many years.