Bizarre Ware / Ravel / Conical Teapot
Clarice Cliff (1899–1972, English)
Newport Pottery (1927–1964), Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England
6 x 9 x 5 5/8 inches
Clarice Cliff’s pottery, produced in Burslem, England, was termed Bizarre Ware, because it was intended to surprise people. It was revolutionary and different than any other dinnerware of the era with its colorful circles, triangles and diamonds. Inspired by a silver conical bowl with three triangular feet produced by a French Art Deco design firm, Clarice Cliff created her Conical line of pottery, which played off the cone and triangle. The Ravel pattern painted onto the pot depicts Cubist-inspired leaves and flowers placed off-center, on the edges. The Ravel line’s simplicity demonstrated Cliff’s ability to make pottery more suitable for commercial sale because it was less wildly patterned than many of her other designs. Many of Cliff’s designs were painted over a honey-colored glaze. Orange was another important color in Bizarre Ware, especially because its vibrancy made Cliff’s work stand out from other art pottery of the period.
Not currently on view
Bottom stamped in black, "5499 / HAND PAINTED / Bizarre by Clarice Cliff / NEWPORT POTTERY / ENGLAND" (Clarice Cliff as signature) and "REGISTRATION / APPLIED FOR"; raised "30"
Collection Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art