Up the Walls!

By Louise Irvine

In the last few weeks, we have been going up the walls at WMODA! Fortunately, not in a metaphorical sense but literally as we have been hanging highlights of our 2-dimensional art collection. In the past, we did not have much wall space for paintings but we are now able to show many more of our stunning watercolors from the modern Moorcroft Design Studio.

Around ten years ago, Arthur Wiener began collecting paintings by Moorcroft artists. The watercolors were created originally to illustrate new concepts for vases and plaques at the company’s design conferences. These unique works of art were admired so much that they were later sold at collectors’ events in Stoke-on-Trent. Arthur saw many of them on the walls in the decorating studio during his visits to the factory and over the years he has acquired 80 of them.

In our original museum, we were only able to display a couple beside the finished vases in the art pottery gallery. In Hollywood, almost half the collection is on display around the museum. The artists in Moorcroft’s Design Studio each have their own unique design style. They draw much of their inspiration from the natural world but also create in other “design windows” including people, architecture and revival designs from the Arts and Crafts era inspired by William Morris and his contemporaries.

Rachel Bishop

It was Rachel’s interview portfolio of watercolors that landed her the job as sole designer at Moorcroft in 1993. She was just 24 years old but Hugh Edwards, the owner of the company, was dazzled by her work. Rachel began to interpret her exquisite floral designs for the distinctive Moorcroft tube-line style of decoration and the company’s sales doubled in her first three years. She has specialized in reviving William Moorcroft’s Florian ware from the early 1900s and is a true disciple of William Morris. Rachel was appointed Senior Designer when the new studio of artists was created in 1996. On Friday September 8, Moorcroft will be celebrating her 30-year career at their Heritage Center in the Potteries.

Emma Bossons FRSA

Emma taught herself to paint in watercolors on leaving school and applied to join the new Moorcroft Design Studio in 1996. She has had great success with her designs notably Queen’s Choice which was Moorcroft’s best-selling collection for many years. Emma was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a remarkable tribute for such a young designer. Emma’s first prestige piece was King Protea, a stunning interpretation of South Africa’s national flower which she was able to see first-hand on a demonstration tour through the country. Emma met many of her American fans when she traveled with Hugh Edwards on the New Dawn book tour in 2007.


Nicola Slaney

Nicola joined the prestigious Moorcroft Design Studio in 1997 at the age of 22. Her successful inaugural design Amazon Twilight led to an opportunity to study tropical flora and fauna first-hand on a Moorcroft research trip to the South Pacific the following year. Nicola was responsible for one of Moorcroft’s best- selling patterns, Anna Lily, and she designed the awesome Jerusalem vase which has pride of place in Arthur Wiener’s collection.


Kerry Goodwin

After many years of experience as a painter in the ceramic industry, Kerry joined Moorcroft in 2000. During the day, she worked in Moorcroft’s decorating studio and at night she studied design. Four years later, her first design was accepted for production and she became a valued member of the Moorcroft Design Studio. Kerry’s inspiration is diverse and her designs are often quirky and fun. She particularly loves animals and had the opportunity to go on safari to Africa during a demonstration tour in 2006. In the same year, she traveled to Florida to demonstrate her skills at the West Palm Beach Show.

Paul Hilditch

Paul joined Moorcroft as a painter in 1999 and worked on his own designs in the evenings. He entered the staff competitions and his first successful design went into production in 2003. His special talent is presenting pictorial scenes from bygone days in an evocative way. Arthur Wiener has enjoyed meeting Paul on his visits to the Moorcroft factory and one of his favorite vases is Coming to America featuring immigrants arriving by boat in New York.

Vicky Lovatt

Vicky began her career with Moorcroft in 1999. She is highly skilled at both painting and tubelining and is often a demonstrating artist at Moorcroft events. After successfully entering designs in Moorcroft’s annual auctions, she joined the design team. She first attracted attention with her astronomical designs of planets but down to earth, she is a great animal lover and enjoys bird watching in Scotland in her leisure time.

Read more about the Moorcroft designers at moorcroft.com