Poole Delphis spear platter - Shirley Campbell

  • Materials: earthenware
  • Size: 435mm (W) x 175mm (D) x 20mm (H)
  • Reference: SB22479
  • Manufacturer: Poole Pottery
  • Categories: Ceramic
Stunning (early?) Poole Delphis spear platter, shape no.82, with heavily moulded, abstract decoration in yellow, orange, and dark glaze on a vibrant red background. Decorator's mark suggests it was likely painted by Shirley Campbell who worked for Poole Pottery from 1966-69. Some damage - a crack and chip - but not visible on the surface.

Delphis was the name used for all the Poole Pottery Studio output when it was first launched for retail in October 1963. As other ranges were developed over the following years - Aegean and Atlantis - Delphis was used to describe only the brightly coloured painted wares which used a black wax resist technique to delineate abstract patterns. Every piece is pretty much unique, with designs created by the decorators themselves and serendipity playing a big part too. Marketed as "irreproducible", this was true freedom of expression that befits the 1960s.

To encourage this experimentation and creativity during the early years, each decorator would be given a few hours a week to produce their own work, be it models, tile panels, any artistic output they wanted. Delphis became such a commercial success that demand began to encroach on these creative freedoms and later the painters terms of work changed, in 1972, from an hourly rate to piece work.

Information from Rob's Poole Pottery web site (no longer online)