Gordon Forsyth

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Gordon Mitchell Forsyth (1879–1952) was a Scottish ceramic designer and fine artist and art education innovator.

Biography[edit]

Born in Fraserburgh, he attended the Gray's School of Art, in Aberdeen and the Royal College of Art. Moving in 1903 to Stoke-on-Trent, he became art director of the tileworks Minton Hollins & Co, where he began a career which "spanned over forty years and left an indelible mark on the ceramic industry of Staffordshire.".[1] In 1906 he moved to take the same position at Pilkington's Tile & Pottery Company near Manchester. He returned to Pilkington's after service in the First World War. However, in 1920 he became Superintendent of Art Instruction in Stoke-on-Trent, a role which involved responsibility for several art schools.[2] Forsyth was the tutor of a number of notable students at the Burslem School of Art including Susie Cooper,[3] Glyn Colledge, Clarice Cliff, Charlotte Rhead, Arthur Berry, and Mabel Leigh.[4] At that time, Forsyth was described as a "pottery designer, educator and writer...and one of the main spokespersons on industrial pottery design."[5] And the pivotal role he played in British ceramic design has inspired some to call him "the magus of the mid-twentieth century pottery industry."[6]

Stained glass[edit]

Forsyth is best known for his work in ceramics, particularly lustreware. However, he did work in other media, notably stained glass: he designed stained glass windows for St. Joseph's Roman Catholic church in Burslem in the late 1920s.[7]

Forsyth's daughter Moira (1906–91), who also worked on the decoration of the church, had a successful career as a glass designer.[8][9]

Published works[edit]

  • Gordon Mitchell Forsyth, Joseph William Mellor & H. J. Plant, Introduction to Sympsium on Art, Stoke-on-Trent: Webberley, 1921
  • Gordon Mitchell Forsyth, Art in the Pottery Industry, no date
  • Gordon Mitchell Forsyth, The Art and Craft of the Potter, London: Chapman & Hall, 1934
  • Gordon Mitchell Forsyth, M. P. Bisson, F. Jefferson Graham, W. Hartley, Pottery, Clay Modelling, and Plaster Casting, Sir I. Pitman & Sons Ltd. (in two volumes), 1935
  • Gordon Mitchell Forsyth, 20th Century Ceramics: an International Survey of the Best Work Produced by Modern Craftsmen, Artists and Manufacturers, The Studio Ltd, 1936

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Anne Eatwell, Artists as Educators, The Journal of the Decorative Arts Society 1850 to the present, Number 13 (1989)
  2. ^ Gordon Forsyth
  3. ^ Andrew Casey, Elegance with Utility: The work of Susie Cooper (1902-1995)
  4. ^ Hopwood, Gordon (18 September 2000). "Glyn Colledge". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 June 2013. 
  5. ^ Jerry Palmer & Mo Dodson, Design and Aesthetics: a Reader, London: Routledge, 1995, p.210
  6. ^ S. Beddoe, Potters and Paintresses: Women Designers in the Pottery Industry 1870–1955, Jnl Design History (1990) 3 (2-3): 197-198
  7. ^ Gordon Forsyth's stained glass windows at St. Joseph's Church, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent
  8. ^ Father and daughter left legacy to Mother Town, The Sentinel, 20 December 2008
  9. ^ Sussex parish churches, re Moira & Gordon Forsyth