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John Hughes and his pottery"


See 91.3, George Lewis' Diary Part Five: March 18th 1953 for an account of an exhibition at Hawkesbury Community Centre in which John Hughes exhibited the basket of flowers shown in the photograph.


John Hughes, who at the time of the photograph lived at Lightcliffe, Chester Road, Mold, was born in Buckley and used to live in Liverpool Road. He worked as a potter and retired in about 1938. He learnt his trade in Buckley then moved to Halifax to gain experience.


His knowledge of the pottery industry was vast. He saw the decline in demand for Buckley ware; this was allied to the increase in the cost of lead, which had previously been obtained very cheaply from Halkyn. The cost of coal had also increased. As a consequence, the industry suffered a decline.


Some of his work displayed in the photo was made in Halifax, for example the plaited clay basket of flowers. The flowers and ferns were all made individually, using only a penknife and a match-stick and then placed in a box surrounded by wet flannel to prevent their hardening. When they were all ready, they were each placed in the basket on a separate stalk for strength. The beautiful, tall vase on the right was also made by him, as were the teapots and jugs.


The pitcher on the left was found in the early fifties by Summers when bulldozing clay at the Trap for use at Castle Works. The bulldozer uncovered a well at the bottom of which were a number of intact pitchers. In 1954, Mr Hughes estimated the age of the pitcher to be between 100 and 150 years old. A grain in its brown glaze runs towards the base, caused by the lead. The remedy for this was found at least by around 1850 and put into use.

Author: Anon


Year = 1954

Gender = Male

People = Single

Work = Light Industry

Extra = 1950s

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