I’ll be honest with you, generally Carlton Ware isn’t my bag when we’re talking dainty tea parties and gold glazes. I do however have a great big soft spot for a number of the ranges from the late fifties and the sixties through the seventies and early eighties, including the Wellington Range, (blogged here), Triforms, Walking Ware, Money Boxes, Animal Condiments and more to the point of this blog post – the Skye Range!
There’s a fair number of ceramics out there showing the obvious influence of the space race, rockets, lunar surfaces etc. but this particular range to me seems to have these connotations but without the obvious design connections. The Sunglow segmented tray almost looks as if the Apollo module baked the Moon’s surface upon landing and heated it to a two colour temperature. Meanwhile the pattern on the plate saucers and the other trays has to me the effect of a lunar rover criss-crossing the moonscape in multiple directions many times. I’m sure most significantly though – and would imagine the play on the range name derives from this – that the square trays have the look almost of a celestial star map about them?
These textures coupled with a post modernistic styling in terms of the tray shapes and waisted cups, coffee pot, condiments and sugar bowl, all add up to a really cool, collectible range. One of my favourite aspects is the saucer plate combination piece in which the cup sits neatly right next to your cucumber sandwich!
These fantastic two tone glazes fade from orange into yellow, which works so brilliantly with the product forms and textures that we don’t know what’s not to love!
The Roman Green is to be frank not the most flattering colour in the group, it seems to range from deep and dark to pale and olive-like, although still a decent set to possess in our humble opinion.
Lastly, and this one seems to be the holy grail in the range, is the Thistle colourway!
A fantastic purple-ish red wine colour that we’ve only seen on one item and even then the image we have is soooo small it’s hardly usable. But we have to. Because you won’t know what we’re talking about otherwise. So here you go –
Date wise the shape numbers impressed to the rear and bases of these items range between 2800-2900, which indicate they were produced between 1968 and 1969. To summarise the list below is the available shapes we’ve found, our descriptions, along with the shape numbers and approximate sizes where we could find them.
Please email us if you have any other shapes or numbers we don’t have info for, and also Thistle, we need more Thistle!