A Pristine White Appearance & a Demise of the Orange

Scanographs — Alex Waterhouse-Hayward

Saturday, November 07, 2020

Susan Williams-Ellis (6 June 1918–26 November 2007) was an English-Welsh pottery designer, who was best known for co-founding Portmeirion Pottery. She was the eldest daughter of Clough Williams-Ellis.

Williams-Ellis was born in Guildford, Surrey, England, in the house of artist and critic Roger Fry. Her father, Sir Clough, was an eminent architect; Williams-Ellis’ mother was writer Amabel Strachey, cousin of author and Bloomsbury figure Lytton Strachey. Her parents were friends of other members of the Bloomsbury Group, including Augustus John and Virginia Woolf. Williams-Ellis’ godfather was Rudyard Kipling.

She was determined to be an artist from an early age. In the 1930s, Susan studied ceramics with Bernard and David Leach while she was at Dartington Hall School.[1] At Chelsea School of Art, during the 1940s, her tutors included Graham Sutherland for painting and Henry Moore for sculpture, who helped to develop Susan’s innate feeling for three-dimensional shape and form.


Today in my now late fall garden ( a sunny day at that) I was pleasantly surprised to find this lovely English Rose in bloom. It led me to investigate who Susan Williams-Ellis was. There is a lot more about her and her relatives in Wikipedia.

One would think ( I would think) that a fragile looking white rose would have bid me goodbye many weeks ago. But here she is! Perhaps she is celebrating in her pristine whiteness the demise today of the orange.

Originally published at http://blog.alexwaterhousehayward.com.