For the next few months, there’s a chance to see a selection of works by one of the greatest Victorian potters, William De Morgan, inside the Guildhall’s Art Gallery.

His work is very much, of a certain appeal, and like that famous meaty spread, you’ll either love it or loathe it.

While I wouldn’t want to go all Victorian and fill a room with his works, I could easily delight in a run along a kitchen worktop or as a block of colour on a wall.

William De Morgan’s greatest technical achievement was the rediscovery of the art of lustreware (characterized by a reflective, metallic surface) which had been lost for a couple of hundred years. He also burnt down part of his Chelsea house in the process.

His pottery though was also very popular, with murals commissioned by various notable people, and organisations – including P&O for some of their cruise liners.

The exhibition, as befits its title of Sublime Symmetry focuses very much on how much of his work is designed to be seen from all angles. Especially important with plates and bowls, but even the tiles are designed with repeating patterns within the ornate decoration.

The exhibition isn’t just about the pottery, but also about the man, the family, and if you go into the side room, the family’s connections with science and mathematics.

There used to be a dedicated museum to his works in Wandsworth, but it closed in 2014, so apart from the wonderful Postman’s Park, this is a rare chance to see a decent sized collection of pots, plates and plaques.

The exhibition, Sublime Symmetry, is open daily until 28th October and is free to visit.


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