John Bew & Frank Spindler, Odney pottery (Cookham Berks)

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Post by denbydump July 5th 2014, 7:50 pm

1948-1956
john Bew who was at St Ives in 1938, and
Frank Spindler who went on to Chelsea pottery.

My one Piece (I smashed my lovely coronation mug!)
John Bew & Frank Spindler, Odney pottery (Cookham Berks) Odney_10 John Bew & Frank Spindler, Odney pottery (Cookham Berks) Odney_11
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Post by denbydump July 8th 2014, 9:07 am

OOps, found some more..

A delicate little Sake bowl
John Bew & Frank Spindler, Odney pottery (Cookham Berks) Odnet010 John Bew & Frank Spindler, Odney pottery (Cookham Berks) Odnet011

A Scraffito plate
John Bew & Frank Spindler, Odney pottery (Cookham Berks) Odnet012 John Bew & Frank Spindler, Odney pottery (Cookham Berks) Odnet013
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Post by denbydump September 23rd 2015, 8:06 pm

A 5 in dia dish.

John Bew & Frank Spindler, Odney pottery (Cookham Berks) 100_2639

John Bew & Frank Spindler, Odney pottery (Cookham Berks) 100_2640

John Bew & Frank Spindler, Odney pottery (Cookham Berks) 100_2641
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Post by 22 Crawford St. September 24th 2015, 10:30 pm

DD - odd but there is NO GUY SYDENHAM in the V&A but id did notice there are two small Odney dishes.

John Bew & Frank Spindler, Odney pottery (Cookham Berks) Img_1110

John Bew & Frank Spindler, Odney pottery (Cookham Berks) Img_1111

John Bew & Frank Spindler, Odney pottery (Cookham Berks) Img_1112
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Post by denbydump September 24th 2015, 10:51 pm

They got taste!
I've been hinting it had some importance.
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Post by Doughboy April 24th 2020, 2:53 pm

Hello, I am hoping someone can shed a bit more light on this small ( 11cm diameter ) pin dish by the Odney Pottery. I have only seen before pots with the typical Odney stamp and not hand inscribed like this one. The interesting part for me is the word 'finis' inscribed beneath meaning 'the end'. Is it possible that this is the last pot made at Odney? Is it the name of a 'line' of pottery made for the John Lewis Partnership that it was supplying? Or perhaps the last pot made by a certain potter at the pottery, maybe even John Bew (the slip decoration does look a bit like a stylised 'JB') himself given his untimely passing? I do hope someone can help as I have quite a few pots that have given me more questions than answers! Should be listing some more soon with lockdown time on my hands!John Bew & Frank Spindler, Odney pottery (Cookham Berks) Sam_4611
John Bew & Frank Spindler, Odney pottery (Cookham Berks) Sam_4612
John Bew & Frank Spindler, Odney pottery (Cookham Berks) Sam_4610
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Post by 22 Crawford St. April 24th 2020, 3:42 pm

Hi Doughboy, is this not an ashtray? Everyone and his dog smoked back then. Pin dish would have had much flatter sides? I have a few bits of Odney and I keep an eye on what come up on ebay at it's half local to me.

Is this stoneware or dirty white clay can't see? Stoneware would be odd? Most is that light white clay. I've not seen either of those marks before. About 50% is stamped and 50% carries no mark from what I've seen. They did some very eclectic pieces, there is virtually nothing on the internet about them - Forgotten + neglected pottery.


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Post by NaomiM April 24th 2020, 5:20 pm

Seems that the pieces were decorated by AF Spindler. I’m not sure if he also threw the pots

A bit more about the pottery on this thread

https://www.20thcenturyforum.com/t15379-odney-pottery-cookham-berks

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John Bew & Frank Spindler, Odney pottery (Cookham Berks) Empty Odney Teabowl.

Post by Grumpy Grandad April 24th 2020, 9:20 pm

A finely potted little teabowl or sake bowl.

John Bew & Frank Spindler, Odney pottery (Cookham Berks) Odney_10

John Bew & Frank Spindler, Odney pottery (Cookham Berks) Odney_11

John Bew & Frank Spindler, Odney pottery (Cookham Berks) Odney_12

John Bew & Frank Spindler, Odney pottery (Cookham Berks) Odney_13
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Post by Grumpy Grandad April 25th 2020, 4:06 am

22 Crawford St. wrote:Hi Doughboy, is this not an ashtray?

Wouldn't an ashtray usually have 3 or 4 depressions on the rim to rest the cigarettes on?
Going solely on the small size I'd be more inclined towards a plant pot stand, and that it originally had a matching plant pot.
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Post by studio-pots April 25th 2020, 11:43 am

I have seen a number of incised marks over the years and, although I have no evidence to support it, I have assumed that these are likely to be older than those with impressed seal marks i.e. before production increased and there was a need for stamps.

The Pottery ran from 1942 until 1956 and of the two partners, John Bew was the one with the most throwing experience but that doesn't mean that Frank Spindler didn't throw, although as written information is sparse, I would be happy to be corrected.

Over the life of the pottery, apprentices and production workers were employed and so it is fair to assume that most of the small items, like this, were unlikely to have be thrown and decorated by the same person. Also they would have been unlikely to have been thrown by John Bew, who would have concentrated on more substantial items and overseeing the production throwing.

John died in 1954 before the pottery closed in 1956 and so the chances of him have written finis on the bottom of this dish are remote to say the least.

There could be any number of reasons for "finis" being written e.g. the last thing an apprentice threw before moving on or leaving the pottery, the last one of a large batch that had been a chore etc. etc.

Even if we assume that the person who wrote "finis" on the bottom of this thrown dish had at the time thought it was the very last one that was thrown at the pottery, there is no reason to think that he was correct. Also there is no way when that was written that the person would have any idea if that would also be the last to be decorated, to be fired and then be the last item to come out of the kiln and to be in one piece.

Maybe we ought to call it a "fairy tale piece" - a pot that endless stories can be made up about. Laughter

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Post by Doughboy April 29th 2020, 3:23 pm

Thank you all for your responses!
As I'm new to posting on the forum I'm not sure how to reply to individual questions so decided to 'lump' them all together!
It is made from the typical off white clay they used, I tend to call most small shallow dishes 'pin dishes' but equally they may have had another intended use or purely decorative, unlikely to be a plant pot stand as the slip decoration is there to be seen and not covered I would have thought.
Studio-pots - I love the idea of a "fairy tale piece"! I guess I kind of knew that there would never be an answer to my question but had to ask anyway. Personally I always thought it was probably a production assistant who had thrown his last pot of the day before knocking off and just decided to inscribe 'the end'. I know many times in the past after a particularly arduous day and finishing the last task I've muttered the words 'The End'!!
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Post by studio-pots April 29th 2020, 4:45 pm

The "fairy tale piece" just came to me while writing but I liked it and will use it again when appropriate.

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Post by NaomiM January 20th 2021, 3:07 pm

Interesting piece via the John Lewis Memory Store

https://johnlewismemorystore.org.uk/content/head_office_and_distribution/manufacturing/the_odney_pottery/the_formation_of_odney_pottery_limited

The foundation of Odney Pottery Limited
Frank Spindler spinning at Odney Pottery, 1949 - pinterest link to the photo: https://pin.it/7cmcKyQ

Introduction
Between the years 1942 and 1956, a pottery operated at Odney in Cookham, creating pots that were purchased for the Partnership, and sold in the department stores. Started during the difficult years of the War, the venture encapsulated the creativity and practicality of the Partnership, and the talented man at the helm of Odney Pottery, John Bew.

A potter in the Rhondda
The establishment of a Pottery at Odney was the end product of a number of superseding prior occurrences. It all began in 1939. Michael Watkins, later Sir Metford Watkins (link) who was at that point Director of Trading (Department Stores), introduced China and Glass buyer Elvie Macdermott to a pottery supplier in the Rhondda. The potter in Rhondda was John Bew himself, and his pottery was part of the Maes-yr-Haf Settlement for unemployed miners, an unusual business that placed social and educational welfare as its main goal. John Bew’s pots started to appear in the Partnership’s department stores.

A Perfect Partnership recruit
The War changed everything. By 1942, the miners, previously unemployed, were now in strict demand, and Bew wanted a new outlet to which he could direct his talents. He sought the help of Evlie Macdermott, who looked to Michael Watkins. Watkins leapt at the chance to recruit Bew, owing largely to the scarcity of pots from large manufacturers due to the oppressive wartime conditions. Furthermore, Watkins knew of the desire of the Founder to establish an adult education college at Cookham, and bringing talented craft teachers into the Partnership would undoubtedly be an advantage.

Formation of Odney Pottery Limited
By early 1943, instruments of the trade began to be installed into one of the buildings of Grove Farm, Cookham. Soon after, Odney Pottery Limited was officially formed, led by John Bew, and with seven other members of staff on the Partnership approved training scheme. Bew and his wife were paid a joint annual salary of £300 by the Partnership and had free accommodation in the shape of the flat over the workshop at Grove Farm.

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Post by 22 Crawford St. September 24th 2021, 5:23 pm

So move this if it's not right but seems correct to me and this signature seems to match the one above? Shape looks mid century and the pot is well thrown and the glaze is smashing.

Anyone else have any singed JB pieces? - They are 'unusual' not seen one before on eb.

? thoughts ?  Pondering


John Bew & Frank Spindler, Odney pottery (Cookham Berks) 20210914
John Bew & Frank Spindler, Odney pottery (Cookham Berks) 20210913
John Bew & Frank Spindler, Odney pottery (Cookham Berks) 20210912
John Bew & Frank Spindler, Odney pottery (Cookham Berks) 20210915
John Bew & Frank Spindler, Odney pottery (Cookham Berks) 20210917
John Bew & Frank Spindler, Odney pottery (Cookham Berks) 20210916
John Bew & Frank Spindler, Odney pottery (Cookham Berks) 20210918
John Bew & Frank Spindler, Odney pottery (Cookham Berks) 20210920
John Bew & Frank Spindler, Odney pottery (Cookham Berks) 20210919
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Post by NaomiM January 12th 2022, 12:09 am

John Bew & Frank Spindler, Odney pottery (Cookham Berks) 260f1e10
John Bew & Frank Spindler, Odney pottery (Cookham Berks) 4b830b10
John Bew & Frank Spindler, Odney pottery (Cookham Berks) F43caf10

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Post by denbydump April 24th 2022, 9:58 pm

studio-pots wrote:The Pottery ran from 1942 until 1956 and of the two partners, John Bew was the one with the most throwing experience but that doesn't mean that Frank Spindler didn't throw, although as written information is sparse, I would be happy to be corrected.:

No maybe he didn't throw, but as a modeller, he is credited with the legal figures produced at Chelsea pottery.
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