Priddoes’s Studio Pottery

Priddoe’s Studio Pottery was one of the last potteries in Devon employing throwers and decorators producing traditional red clay pottery hand thrown on a wheel, then decorated by hand using coloured clay slips. Their pottery was high temperature fired often with a thin matt glaze to make a hard impervious pot which does not easily chip.

Peter Priddoe who studied at Torquay Art School was an early employee at Dartmouth Pottery in 1948 initially working under Harry Crute. He left Dartmouth in 1953 to become a junior partner in the new Babbacombe Pottery 1952, there he developed decoration techniques also the firing of different glazes and slips.

In 1954 he established a pottery at Three Beaches Goodrington where to start with he and his wife Mary produced simple items with sgraffito and slip designs much in the fashion of the time. Later they moved into a modern purpose built shop and workshop with living accommodation above. There they produced basic shapes by jollying saucers and small trays these being individually hand decorated with a wide variety of subjects like boats, caricature faces, birds, cats, cows, cockerels, dogs and fish mostly using the sgraffito and slip technique. Much of this was done by Mary Priddoe and Peter’s sister June Grose, other decorators included Janet Churchwood, Marian Snell. Throwers at different times were Donald Duxley, Peter Draper, Stuart Bass and Cyril Wilson.

The pottery was very much in the style of the 1950’s & 60’s with abstract and geometric patterns in bright colours including stylised motifs on flat areas of pastel colours. However other styles used muted brown and green bands and shapes additionally fine combed to give very pleasing effect under a clear shiny glaze. Other techniques were tried like a water splash effect leaving small splash craters on a black surface while another was a wax resist technique of brown bands with highlighted swirl and comb patterns.

In 1964 the Priddoe’s studio pottery business closed and was sold. Peter and Mary went their own way working for a short time as studio potters locally. Mary worked at her River Dart Pottery at Dittersham and Peter with his the Westward Pottery at Brixham and Galampton. Peter later died overseas in 1971.

From original research by Keith Poole