RHS and Moorcroft collaborate on beautiful new line of art pottery

RHS Beatrix Stanley Collection inspired by life and work of famous gardener and painter.

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) has announced that valued RHS licensing partner Moorcroft, a renowned producer of heritage art pottery and a leading name in the world of ceramic design, has produced a brand-new RHS collection. The RHS Beatrix Stanley Collection is a beautiful line of art pottery, with designs based on the floral watercolour studies of the gardener and painter Lady Beatrix Stanley as well as the iris that celebrates her name.

The Stanley artworks used in the designs were sourced from the RHS Lindley Library collection, the world’s finest collection of botanical art. Moorcroft designer Nicola Slaney used these artworks and the Lady Beatrix Stanley iris as the inspiration for this art pottery collection in honour of this legendary gardener.

The range includes:

  • Ooty, inspired by Geranium wallichianum, also known as cranesbill. Stems bob and twist as an assortment of pink and purple flower heads come to bloom on this bulbous-shaped, diminutive vase.
  • Solanum, a popular medicinal herb. A labyrinth of indigo flowers almost seem to melt into this vase and delectable red berries feed the artistic appetite.
  • Peacock Flower, a species of flowering plant in the pea family. Golden hues of red, yellow and orange are sprinkled upon fine tendrils which dance across clay. This planter has been used by Moorcroft for many decades, allowing the decorative arts to work in harmony with living florals.
  • Lady Beatrix Stanley, a design based on the rich blue Lady Beatrix Stanley iris. Nicola Slaney chose two popular Moorcroft shapes on which to include the iris, an art nouveau loving cup and a vase, with surface decoration creating soft, pastel-coloured petals and lemony wisps of foliage.
    Sibbertoft, a plaque featuring the stunning Lady Beatrix Stanley iris. It is inspired by the period in which Lady Stanley lived, and the home – Sibbertoft Manor – that she loved.

The new pieces launched on the Moorcroft and RHS websites in late December. The collection is expected to become widely available in the New Year through all Moorcroft retailers, both in the UK and abroad, including major stores, independents and china and glass retailers.

Moorcroft and the RHS have collaborated a number of times in recent years, through Moorcroft show gardens at the RHS Tatton Flower Show in 2008, and the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, and, in 2017, when Moorcroft launched the RHS Rose Bouquet Collection: six designs, based on famous roses, appearing on vases, coasters and plaques. Such was the acclaim for the collection that three limited edition designs were added in February 2018. Moorcroft will be exhibiting its art pottery at a number of RHS flower shows in 2019.

The method of creating each piece made by Moorcroft originated with William Moorcroft in 1897 and is almost exactly the same today. Most pieces are still turned on a lathe to perfect the shape. Designs are applied by tubelining a raised outline of liquefied clay through a glass tube from a small handheld bag onto a pot. After this meticulous process, metallic oxides are applied carefully by hand; one colour is gently washed over another to enable them to blend together at high temperatures, firstly with the clay pot and then, after a ‘biscuit firing’, with the transparent glaze. Supported by designs from the world-famous Moorcroft Design Studio and the skills of a dedicated workforce of artists, craftsmen and craftswomen, Moorcroft pottery sells all over the world.

Catherine Gage, Director of Legal & Marketing W Moorcroft Ltd, says: “Renowned ceramic designer Nicola Slaney has produced a vibrant but delicate homage to the captivating works of Lady Stanley. Moorcroft is utterly delighted to have been able to work with the RHS again and to have access once more to its unrivalled botanical library for this captivating art collection.”

Cathy Snow, RHS Licensing Manager, says: “As a horticultural authority and a creator of marvellous watercolours of the flowers and plants she loved so much, Lady Beatrix Stanley’s life and work are well worth celebrating. This beautiful new art pottery collection from a valued RHS partner is a fitting tribute to this wonderful woman.