Charles Collard 2004
Charles Collard - 1874 - 1969 - Westcountry Potter Exhibition in 2004
As a young boy Charles Collard showed a keen interest in art so it was perhaps natural that he should seek work at one of the local potteries when he left school. He started as an apprentice at Aller Vale in 1886 when he was twelve years old, learning all the pottery skills as well as developing his artistic talents in the Cottage Art Schools.
The arrival of Domenico Marcussi at Aller in 1889 was to have a profound effect on the young Charles Collard’s daughter Joan recalls that her father often mentioned Marcucci and how much he admired his work.
Some of Collard’s decorations of scrolls, cherubs, dolphins and mythical beasts show Italian influences. Collard’s favourite patterns, though, were based on Isnik designs as can be seen on his apprentice mug and the large charger.
By the late 1890’s Collard was Aller Vale’s senior decorator (after Marcucci had left); however, he became restless after John Phillip’s death when Aller Vale’s new owners. Hexter Humpherson and Co. Considered profit to be more important than artistic creativity. When Hexter Humpherson took over the Watcombe Pottery in 1901 Collard went there briefly to supervise the decorating shop; he then left their employment and worked at Longpark Pottery for a time with a few of his friends from Aller. But this did not give him the ‘job satisfaction’ he was seeking so in 1905 Charles Collard decided to establish a pottery of his own, the Crown Dorset Art Pottery in Poole, Dorset, which he ran until 1915. Collard was later to acquire the Honiton Pottery which he owned until his retirement in 1947. Many of the styles and decorations used at both the Crown Dorset and Honiton potteries reflect Collard’s early training at Aller Vale, and the arts and crafts ideals which he shared with John Phillips.
Picture: Aller Vale Pottery Charger made by Charles Collard - Rhodian pattern - Museum Collection