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In 1902, textile designer John Scarratt Rigby was commissioned by London department store Liberty & Co to create a progressive, intricate design, lovingly entitled ‘Ragged Poppy.’
This contemporary creation depicted beautifully winding ragged poppies with the intricacies of botanical illustrations from the Victorian era, standing out against a colourless background. Naturally, the scarf became a head turner as it swept across the country.
In the spirit of this, Moorcroft Pottery ceramic artist and designer Emma Bossons FRSA embodied the spirit of Rigby’s original design in new piece, 'Popsicle'. Beautifully emblazoned with exuberant red ragged poppies illuminated against a celadon background, the Popsicle piece is truly timeless in its aesthetic. Seemingly alive, the piece radiates excitement and a lust for life as the poppy and the lipped bud appear to rise up off the surface of the lidded vase.
Speaking about the inspiration behind the lidded vase’s design, Emma likened it to that of an icicle, in the way that ‘it can sometimes freeze in mid drip, appearing to catch the water flow in motion’, with Popsicle seeking to appear no less illusory.
Within the sweeping, almost poetic waves of her brush, Emma perfectly encapsulates the poppy’s ‘raison d’etre’, a feat considered by many ‘an unfathomable achievement’ for any Arts & Crafts designer. The lidded vase’s 'pièce de résistance' comes in the form of beautifully inscribed words from the Bard of Ayrshire, Robert ‘Rabbie’ Burns’ piece, Tam O’ Shanter, which cite, “But pleasures are like poppies spread:
You seize the flower, its bloom is shed;
Or like the snow fall on the river,
A moment white - then melts forever.”
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