John Clappison’s parents were involved with the Hornsea Pottery and he therefore spent his formative years at the pottery modelling with clay, eventually taking the decision to design for them. From his very first designs, Honeymoon & Elegance in 1955, it was obvious that John would be instrumental in moving Hornsea in a fresh and exciting direction.
In 1957 the company paid for him to attend a special one year course at the Royal College of Art, where he was awarded the Faculty of Industrial Design Certificate. Subsequently his Tricorn range was included in the Decorative Art Studio Yearbook 1958-59. In 1958 he was appointed chief designer for Hornsea and very quickly took the company to the forefront of British design. He continued to work at Hornsea until 1972.
Recently John has worked on many personal projects such as his “Muramic” wall hangings, enjoying the freedom and purity of thought not possible when constrained by a large commercial venture.
He has been closely associated with The Home and opened a recent exhibition in store profiling not just his work but that of many distinguished ceramicists throughout the 21st century.
We were very excited about the collaboration between Clappison and Italian master ceramicist Bitossi developing an entirely new collection but have sad news to report.
John sadly passed away on the 21st February, 2013, aged 75.