preview

Charles Vyse

Decent Essays
Charles Vyse
When considering the life and the work of Charles Vyse, one should not overlook the influences that shaped his artistic sensibilities. Those unfamiliar with late nineteenth century Stoke-on-Trent, may find it anomalous that this city should exert such a strong influence on his formative years. This unlovely city, known throughout Britain as The Potteries, exercised a power over all its inhabitants, bending their will to the service of its two enormous industries, Pottery making and Coal Mining. Here talk of diverse pot making activities permeated the daily lives of its inhabitants (Fig 01). The Potteries, so often maligned for its lack significant architecture, the meanness of its worker’s houses; conversely, is capable of producing
…show more content…
He writes of being appalled when seeing the scores of bottle-shaped kilns pouring out clouds of dirty smoke to drift over the rooftops of the blackened terraced houses. The Keates Gazetteer of 1873, as if to underline these remarks, stated that of the six towns comprising The Potteries: Tunstall had approximately twenty-three potteries, Burslem had sixty-two, Hanley had forty-three, Stoke-upon-Trent had ten, Fenton had seventeen, and Longton seventy pottery works. For every two or three streets of terraced houses, a pottery-works stood adjacent, each having a number of bottle kilns belching out smoke into the atmosphere. On concluding his excursion, Foster Fraser observed to a friend:
There are few places less pleasing than that region of England called the Potteries. There you have the climate of Manchester with the architecture of Sheffield. Nobody resides in the Potteries from choice. I have never been in the place without being strongly tempted to suicide, and when I saw the smoke cloud, which hangs over the land like a pall fade in the distance while the train whirled me elsewhere, I sighed a sigh of happy relief. 2
It is from Foster Fraser and the Keates Gazetteer that one learns something about the environment in which Charles Vyse and Harry Parr were nurtured. Their damning description
…show more content…
After about four years with that firm, he returned to Doulton’s Nile Street pottery. Coinciding with his return to Doulton was his change of domicile from Milton village to Shelton near Hanley. Charles Vyse was an infant when his family moved to a newly built terraced house in the private tree-lined Havelock Place, Shelton, situated some two miles from Hanley, the principal shopping town of the Potteries. The unusual features of Havelock Place were the iron-gated railings at either end of the road, barring vehicular access (Fig.
Get Access