Bideford Pottery - Traditional North Devon Harvestware
North Devon is particularly well known for its harvest jugs. These were made for celebrations, were covered with shapes and patterns from the natural world and might also be inscribed with poems or sayings. This area is famous for two decorative techniques. One is slip trailing, the use of slip or liquid white clay to dip pots or trail patterns on them. The other is sgraffito, a technique for making shapes by scratching through a slip to reveal the clay underneath. Much of the pottery produced around Bideford was plain earthenware for cooking and storage. Harry Juniper - Carrying on the Tradition Harry's love of art led him to sudy at Bideford Art College. Harry, aged 14, began to explore his creativity at Bideford Art College under Jim Paterson - a renowned local artist.
"The principal was a lovely, jolly Scotsman who made every student believe that they could be the next Leonardo da Vinci. He was one of the most inspirational men in my life," says Harry. Harry made his first harvest jug in 1958 for Torrigton's Burt Waldron. "Burt was the Torrington Town Crier and a real character and when he won an international town crier award I made the jug for a bit of fun," said Harry.
Burt was impressed with his jug taking it on a trip to the USA to show it to collectors.Harry has made thousands of harvest jugs with designs depicting subject matter as diverse as the Beatles, Native American Indians, Dad's Army, and many commissioned jugs to mark various events and occasions. Harry made a noteworthy pot after a trip to Clovelly one evening:
"I remember watching the Coldstream Guards taking part in the beating the retreat. It was quite a surreal scene watching the soldiers on their white horses travel around the Clovelly boundaries and when I got home, I was inspired to illustrate the scene in a comical way on a harvest jug!"
Harry's jugs are collected by the Burton Art Gallery in Bideford. But he says:
"The first pot I ever sold was made was in 1947 and I sold it to Peter Cox, the head of Dartington College of Art. But the jug returned to the gallery a few of years ago, but it never went into the collection, they very kindly returned it to me and it is lovely to have it back!"
Harry has his own particular take on life and uses this to inspire his work using his sense of humour to create pieces based on local and national stories. Harry's son, Nick, and daughter, Sue, are carrying on with making pots, knowledge they have acquired from their pottily passionate Dad and bringing their own signature to the Bideford Pottery House Style! Harry and his family are ensuring that the North Devon potting tradition will be carried on in he Bideford Pottery on Rope Walk, Bideford, EX39 2NA
Tel: 01237 471 105
Further Info about North Devon Pottery