all the designs produced
by Chance Brothers
for their Fiestaware,
there's no doubt that
the avant-garde styles
of the 1950s & 1960s.
One frustrating point about Swirl is
the lack of a designers name. While
it is often assumed to be Margaret Casson,
there is no evidence to support this.
Designs from the post-war period had suffered from
a shortage of raw materials: the use of
gilt was limited, for example.
So the optimism that followed after
restrictions were lifted in the early
1950s must have proved immensely uplifting
to a recovering nation. Gone were the
rather stark, utilitarian designs
to be replaced by stunning new shapes
with bold, striking patterns.
Certainly these influences seemed to have
spread to many other manufacturers like
Midwinter Pottery (see below).
was the impact of Swirl, it was selected
for the Design Centre in London. A very
only had about a ten-year lifespan from
1955 to c.1965, it was reintroduced and
modernised for the new millennium by Joseph
Joseph Ltd. around 2000.
Joseph Joseph Ltd — Made
Chance factory closed in 1981, the designs
were bought up by Michael Joseph (Fiesta
Glass Ltd.) Joseph Joseph is operated by
his twin sons, Antony & Richard,
who created the new company around 2002.
'Joseph Joseph' now produce a wide range of modern
glassware incorporating fresh designs that
are perfectly suited to contemporary
surroundings. New designs such as 'Bubble'
and 'Optic' are perfect examples of this.
Almost as a tribute to its glass heritage,
the company also produce retro designs
– none more so than the 'Retro Rectangle'
and 'Square Numbers' clock faces that could
be a homage to styles from
of all the retro designs, one in particular
has stood the test of time: the iconic
'Swirl'. From the original design,
Joseph Joseph have adapted this with
a more irregular pattern that
emphasises the curves of the slumped
shape. While the central 'spoke' that
served as a focal point on the original
design has disappeared, the new pattern
is unmistakably 'Swirl'.