Women’s Day

March 8th is International Women’s Day and at WMODA we are looking at the important role played by women in the British ceramic industry during the 19th century. In the Staffordshire Potteries women worked as assistants to their menfolk and were a hidden workforce. They were often involved in strenuous

Continue reading

Behind the Painted Mask

The vogue for hanging wall masks of chic young ladies was at its peak in the Art Deco era of the 1930s. Clarice Cliff, one of the most famous Art Deco designers, produced a number of ‘wall medallions’ for her Bizarre range by Wilkinson, which are hanging in the Carnival

Continue reading

Parrots in Porcelain

The Macaw in Paradise is one of the most spectacular creations by the Boehm porcelain company and the two bird and orchid compositions on display in our current Biophilia exhibition are attracting a lot of attention. They are shown alongside some striking feather mosaics and Amazon Parrot wings lovingly preserved

Continue reading

Orchid Mania at WMODA

Since ancient times, orchids have been valued for their beauty and beneficial effects. The Greeks and Romans cultivated orchids for medicinal purposes, including varieties for aphrodisiacs. In South America, orchids were grown for their perfume and culinary uses. However, orchid mania really took root in 19th century Britain where vast

Continue reading

Artistry in Action

Discover the artistry behind the decorative arts during our WMODA After Dark event on March 7th. Watch expert artists and craftsmen at work as they demonstrate the skills involved in throwing and hand-painting pottery, fusing glass, and making silver jewelry. Consider whether you would like to try making a work

Continue reading

Polikoff Library

WMODA is very proud to have received the Victor and Muriel Polikoff Library for the study of Wedgwood and Related English Ceramics. The late Victor and Muriel Polikoff were ardent collectors and scholars of Wedgwood and this very generous gift will enable the museum to offer greater educational resources to

Continue reading

Venetian Masks

Authentic Venetian carnival masks were a highlight of our Masquerade party on Wednesday, February 7th. The exhibit was presented by Balocoloc Artisans of Venice, makers of traditional masks for over 40 years. One of their mask makers, Matteo Montagner, explained the processes used by the traditional mascherero in Venice. Balocoloc

Continue reading

Zany Love Stories

With Valentine’s Day approaching we are highlighting the love stories from the Commedia dell’Arte which feature in our latest exhibition Carnival & Cabaret and its spectacular Lladró centerpiece. All the performances of the Italian comedy revolved around young lovers, the Innamorati,  who are continually thwarted by their parents, notably Pantalone

Continue reading

Serpentine Ceramics

When Louise Irvine was curating Biophilia ǀ The Elements at WMODA, she was surprised to find lots of serpentine designs in the ceramics collection to display with Christopher Marley’s snake specimens. For instance, the Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre Tree Serpent design depicts a snake coiling around a tree and shooting out

Continue reading

Generous Gifts

Some of the most striking exhibits in Carnival & Cabaret have been loaned or donated to the museum by collectors who wish to support our mission of celebrating and preserving the fired arts of ceramics and arts. Jeff and Penny Spellens of California recently acquired the rarest version of the

Continue reading