William de Morgan: 1839-1917 (member of the Arts and Crafts Movement)
William de Morgan was a prolific potter and an excellent designer with his achievements in the world of design varied from stained glass to furniture painting, but he is probably most celebrated for the glorious Persian, Iznik, and figurial designs which he recreated onto tiles and ceramics (see below). His works are so full of colour and life - I particularly like his works.
Born in Chester on 16th November 1839 to an intellectual family, De Morgan’s father, Augustus was a professor of Mathematics and his wife Sophia Elizabeth Freud was well known for campaigning with Elizabeth Fry to promote prison reform.
At 20 he enrolled with the Royal Academy Schools to learn and progress his talent - this is where he met William Morris (the guy who designed wallpaper) and a founding member of the Arts and Craft Movement. Briefly, the Arts and Craft movement was to do with handcrafted decorative works of art which began in the 1860's and ended in the 1920's. It was a reaction to the overtly industrial society that was flourishing by the 1850s. Ruskin, for example, Ruskin railed against the industrial construction of furniture and everyday decorative objects because they lacked spirit and artistry. (for more on de Morgan information)
Lustered earthenware: Beasts and dogs among stylized foliate motifs in a ruby luster on an ivory ground decorate this vase by William De Morgan. (source) He is also renowned for using lustre glazes which were discovered almost by accident. De Morgan realised that the silver outlines painted on his stained glass produced an iridescent effect when fired, so he experimented using this technique on tiles which resulted in the same desired effect.
Two handed vase in one of the typical blues used by de Morgan (source)
Pottery tondino plate, 1890