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Dragonware Vase designed by Christopher Dresser

Christopher Dresser (1834 – 1904) became known as the first ‘industrial designer’. He designed objects for the home that were functional yet beautiful, that could be mass-produced making them more affordable.

Dragonware Vase designed by Christopher Dresser

This vase was inspired by his travels in Japan, where he encountered superior techniques in ceramic design and production including Moriage and Dragonware. Moriage is the technique of decorating pottery with raised designs, and Dragonware is usually decorated with a Moriage dragon. Early Japanese Dragonware includes ornate dragons which usually wrap around the entire piece, like this one. The vase also has a floral and butterfly decoration inspired by what Dresser thought of as ‘perfection’ in the natural world.

Dresser designed over 1,000 pots for the Linthorpe Pottery in Middlesbrough, putting the town on the map as a centre for some of the most influential and innovative ceramic designs of all time.

Image courtesy of Middlesbrough Museums Service

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