Exhibition – HEIRLOOM 2022

Two artists designers & one brewer have created a new collection of unique products inspired by the iconic Hornsea Pottery.

 10th Sept 2022 – 15th Jan 2023

Studio Eleven, 12 Humber Street, Hull HU1 1TG

Gallery Opening Times:  11am – 4pm.  Wed – Sun.

Wall Hangings by Deborah Bowness

Ceramic Tiles and Fabrics by Cornflower & Saffron
(Adele Howitt)

Heirloom Ales & Glass by Hopfrog


  1. a valuable object that has belonged to a family for several generations.

Hornsea Pottery is going through a renaissance….

Hornsea Potteries, which became a much-loved household name in the 1960s, has been revived after 21 years.  It is with pleasure that Studio Eleven is offering this unique exhibition within the Fruitmarket, Hull, for the first time. Partnering with Hornsea Pottery LLC, these designers and artisan are reinventing the iconic designs.

Heirloom Wall Hangings by Deborah Bowness – Deborah has produced a beautiful range of understated wallpaper hangings and borders inspired exclusively by the iconic Heirloom design. Originally designed by John Clappison for Hornsea in 1966, this new collection of limited editions, hand-printed wallpapers & borders centres on the HEIRLOOM pattern. Inspired by observing the method in which Clappison adapted the pattern over different tableware shapes & created by deconstructing, rebuilding, reusing & redesigning the original HEIRLOOM pattern.  Deborah’s intention is for her work to interact quietly and playfully with objects and furniture, but not dominate the surrounding environment. Bowness wallpapers have made a place in history. Acknowledging their innovation and unique design style, museum institutions hold examples of work in their print collections including the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester. Graduating from Leeds College of Art & Design in surface pattern and textile design, Deborah went on to gain an MA at the Royal College of Art.

About Cornflower and Saffron and the Designer Adele Howitt – This artist-owned brand is the work of Adele Howitt, a leading UK ceramicist, based in Hull, Yorkshire.  When not creating stunningly intricate, textured clay works for international exhibition and sale, Adele is also regularly commissioned for public art projects.  A recent project was as designer and curator of the Hornsea Pottery trail, in collaboration with the East Riding of Yorkshire Council, Hornsea Pottery Museum, Hornsea Pottery LLC, and the Hornsea Area Regeneration Partnership. The trail celebrates the classic designs and heritage of the pottery and has become a popular piece of public artwork, in its own right.  Inspired by the design history of contrasts and mid-century design patterns, Adele has reinvented the Muramics (limited edition ceramic wall hangings circa 1971 – 1972) into fabrics and tiled flat ware. The Paradise Bird designs are inspired by the work of John Clappison, Hornsea Pottery’s creative designer from 1958.  While remaining faithful to the strikingly simple block outlines of Clappison’s bird designs, the artist has blended in adaptations of other Hornsea designs (note the peacock tail) with extra organic design touches.  The contemporary colourway places these designs firmly in the 21st Century and would be a conversation piece in any interior.  Following her two year period of research delving into the Hornsea Pottery archives, Adele promises that more collections are to follow!

About Hopfrog – In 2020 Hopfrog launched a range of craft glasses with the three of the most loved John Clappison Hornsea Pottery designs – Heirloom, Saffron and Hornsea Cat. The huge success of these has led to Hopfrog expanding its range of designs and products with a new bigger venue at Hornsea Freeport (the old HP factory site). Nick Burton is the sole director of Hopfrog. His experience includes over 20 years in brand management. To celebrate and honour the heritage of the Hornsea Pottery great designs, Hopfrog has launched a range of pale ales to include Heirloom, Hooray for Hornsea.

A little paragraph about the Hornsea Pottery – John Clappison’s designs are loved the world over and his Hornsea Pottery bird muramics are highly sought after.  One of his bird designs is featured in the V&A collection.  John joined Hornsea Pottery in the 1950s and soon rose to become one of Britain’s most influential ceramic designers of the 20th Century, not only for his striking designs but also for innovation in the production of mass-market pottery. His work is highly collectible and identifiable today the world over.  In 1949, the Rawson brothers, Desmond and Colin started making plaster – of – Paris models in the scullery of their house in Hornsea to sell as affordable souvenirs to Hornsea’s rising number of visitors.  During the 1960s, Hornsea Pottery had become the biggest employer in the town.  With a succession of talented designers such as John Clappison, Michael Walker, Sara Vardy and Alan Luckham as well as innovative new production techniques, it rose to award winning status with the Design Council and eventually formed a beneficial partnership with Queensberry-Hunt.  Many of Hornsea Pottery’s table ware designs are recognised world-wide.  At its peak in 1980, Hornsea Pottery had over 700 employees, with two sites covering 70 acres at Lancaster and Hornsea.  Hornsea Pottery was a major visitor attraction for the area which sadly closed in 2000 but it has never been forgotten.  Hornsea Museum has the biggest collection of the pottery in the world, dating from 1949 to the factory’s closure.  Hornsea is a lovely seaside town on the east coast of Yorkshire, only 15 miles away from Hull.

Posted under Exhibitions on 8.9.22 at 7.34am