William Howson Taylor
Edward Richard Taylor
A Ruskin Vase
Edward Richard Taylor founded the Ruskin Pottery in 1898 and named the studio after the artist, writer and social thinker John Ruskin who the Taylor's believed in his principles about beauty and quality. The pottery was situated at 173-174 Oldbury Road, Smethwick, Sandwell, West Midlands and managed by Edward's son, William Howson Taylor who employed a skilled and dedicated workforce.
The pottery experimented with glazes, producing innovative designs on a range of brightly coloured pots, vases, buttons, bowls, tea services and jewellery and producing results that were quite different from anything that had been seen before.
The glazes devised by William Howson Taylor included a difficult technique, first developed in China and reminiscent of the old Chinese master potters of the Sung and Ming dynasties of the 13th century and reinvented by several art potters in Europe during the late 19th century. William Howson Taylor was one of the principal exponents of the ‘high fired’ techniques, producing a range of colours and unique glaze effects including speckled, mottled, lustre and flambé glazes all of which are highly sought by collectors. The pottery produced from the early 20th century carried a variety of marks including Ruskin England, Ruskin Pottery and Ruskin W. Howson Taylor.
Having exhibited both in the UK and abroad at international fine art exhibitions, the award of a "grand prize" in 1904 at the St Louis International Exhibition, gave them the recognition they needed. The factory continued to produce pottery until its closure in 1935 and unfortunately for the pottery world the formulae for the glazes and all the pottery documentation were deliberately destroyed, so that the unique Ruskin products could never be replicated.
The value of Ruskin pottery remains buoyant, and there's a strong demand for good, clean examples. If you are interested in adding to your Ruskin collection and would like to buy one of our pieces please contact us. Alternatively if none of our items are of interest we can add you to our e-mail list so that we can let you know when we have items that may be of interest to you in the future.
We are constantly updating any archieve material that can be found on the potteries that we show. any new information will be gladly received, to share with fellow collectors. to view a history click on any of the potters below.