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Guy Sydenham


Guy Sydenham could literally have had a hand in almost all of the pots on these web pages.  He was one of the workers staying with the firm throughout his working life from the jazz age though to the age of Aquarius.  The best years of Poole Pottery's history. 


He wasn't alone. Other names Jimmy Soper and Lesley Elsden, Ruth Pavely, Nellie Bishdon and more  were there too, through roughly the same period, each perfecting their craft before passing on their skills to younger generations.  All of them keeping alive Poole's tradition of hand made, hand decorated pottery for as long as they could.  And in Guy Sydenham's case, taking it away to his own studios on the islands of Poole Harbour and Portland.


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Right: Metamorphic, pin dish-come-candleholder, made by Catherine Connett sometime between 1973 and 1976, Left small vase shape number A2/2, made by Beatrice Bolton between 1972 and 1974


The Atlantis range dates from about 1969 and came from the Poole Craft Section headed up, at that time, by Guy Sydenham. The range has a similar look to Guy's solo work.  The bowl/candle holder pictured is made from high fired red earthenware, but other Atlantis pieces have a grey stoneware body.  


The Atlantis throwers were encouraged by Guy Sydenham, for the first time at Poole, to mark their work  in recognition of their individual artistic contribution.  So it is a little ironic that on on this, of all pages, the two pots above are among only a few on this whole website that we can say with certainty were not thrown by Guy Sydenham himself.


Atlantis ware isn't all that common: I think when it was made it was quite expensive and production relatively time consuming and small scale, and prices today reflect this.



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The New Stoneware Coffee Set was designed by Guy Sydenham at Poole Pottery in 1967. The coffee pots were each hand thrown by Alan White, the other peices were made on the jigger (a machine for shaping cups) or jolly (a machine for shaping flatware) and then hand carved by Chris O'Donoghue, who is now an award winning garden designer. They came in two colours  above is "Pampas"" and below two coffee pots in both Pampas and Serpentine.


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Sea Crest and Blue Lace Table Ware

These storage jars and cruet set are from a range of kitchen and tableware designed by Guy Sydenham and Tony Morris in 1967. Initially coloured in one of two reactive glazes, "Blue Lace" and the mottled green "Sea Crest", this shape and others was also treated to "Traditional " painted patterns.




Island Potteries

Guy Sydenhams career at Poole Pottery began in 1930, he had a break to fight in WWII, returning in 1946 and resigned from his post as senior designer in 1977.


However he also had a life as a potter away from Poole Pottery, at his island homes.  Making pots on Long Island in Poole Harbour from 1960 to 1968, Green Island again in Poole Harbour from 1968 to 1988, and on the Isle of Portland from 1992 until his death in 2005.


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Left, Green Island salt glazed stoneware egg cup (1968-88).  Right, Mermaid studio, Isle of Portland goblets (1992-205). 


Marks on egg cup, Green Island, 1966-1988. Comprising Green Island GS mark showing the island's coastline, the Corfe Castle mark used on pots retailed at craft shop in Corfe village, and two ducks feet, originally the Long Island Mark, but retained on later pots due to customer demand.

Marks on goblets, Mermaid Studios Isle of Portland, 1992-2005. Including Court Leet symbol for Wakeham.








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I won these two amazing sculptural jugs at the Cottees Poole Pottery sale in 2013.  The Jugs were one of a group of Guy Sydenham lots that had been entered into the sale by Guy's wife Joan Sydenham, so I guess, they had been part of their own collection from the time that Guy made them. The glaze and carving is very similar to the Poole Pottery Atlantis ware that Guy developed. 


These marks are at the bas of the jug handles.  The trouble is, I don't know if they date the Jugs to the beginning or the end of Guy's solo career.  Any help with these or any of the other marks would be much appreciated.



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Started December 2008                                                                                                                                                            Last updated: 20/12/2015

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