A biography of the ceramic artist, Clarice Cliff, written by the author of TAKING TEA WITH CLARICE CLIFF and founder of the Clarice Cliff Collectors Club. It is illustrated and contains a reference section detailing all Cliff's major shapes, designs and painters.
I discovered Clarice's pottery in 1979. In 1982 I founded the Clarice Cliff Collectors Club, as a good way to find people who shared my fascination in this (then) obscure designer.
I placed an appeal for information in the Staffordshire press and was amazed and delighted to find 30 of Clarice's original paintresses from 1927 to 1939. Suddenly Clarice the WOMAN was brought alive via their memories of her, and their work at her pottery.
By chance I was introduced to New York gallery owner Louis Meisel in 1984 - and 4 years later our book 'Bizarre Affair' was published by Abrams, New York, and then Thames & Hudson, London. It 'shook' the Clarice Cliff world, (is still in print) and led to my writing 5 further books.
If you want Clarice's story 'in a nutshell' read the 1996 'Taking Tea'; if you prefer a full chronology, 'Art of Bizarre' from 1999 is still the most up to date account. In 'Fantastic Flowers of' I listed her major floral patterns. In it I also published for the first time Clarice's own colour slides from the 1950s of her garden and her life at Chetwynd House with Colley Shorter, her mentor and the factory owner. To enjoy Clarice's most lavishly colourful ware and best shapes in large scale images, see 'The Best of..' from 2008.
My favourite Clarice Cliff book is the one with that simple title, written by Peter Wentworth-Shields and Kay Johnson in 1976, and privately published by L'Odeon, the leading Clarice Cliff stockist in London in the 1970s. Beautifully written, it introduced 1000s of us 'Cliffies' to her amazing work, and inspired me to find out more and more.
For an in-depth view of the world during Clarice's lifetime the biography by Lynn Knight (Bloomsbury) goes into great depth, and also tells the story from a woman's viewpoint.
Over thirty years after buying my first piece of Clarice Cliff I am STILL learning about her, and we share this knowledge, and in-depth material not in any of my books, on the club's very active website: www.claricecliff.com.