More sad times in the Crown Lynn world - in May 2022 we lost Mark Cleverley, one of Crown Lynn’s outstanding designers, and indeed a New Zealand design icon.
Above Mark Cleverley and David Jenkin at work (Image from 'Mark Cleverley Designer' by Jonty Valentine)
Mark’s most well-known design is Echo which was released in 1969 and was still on sale in 1979. This was produced on the Murray Curvex machine but pushed the technology to the limits, printing the flowers first in black on the white bisque, with the semi-opaque red added later, and a black line on the rim was rolled on by hand. Amusingly Crown Lynn publicity described Echo as influenced by the flower-power hippie culture, drawn with ‘reckless abandon.’
This pattern was a winning entry by Mark Cleverley in the design competition of 1963. His entry was depicted in shades of grey, but the final version was in shades of brown. Palm Springs was used by American Dorothy Thorpe for one of her ball-handled ranges. The picture above is is a version of the Dorothy Thorpe range with an 'ear' handle rather than the ball handle. Along with the Pine pattern, Palm Springs sold well in New Zealand, on standard Crown Lynn dinnerware shapes.
Today, Juliana is one of Mark’s most sought-after designs. At the time it didn’t sell well in New Zealand and was thought to be too avant-garde for our tastes. This is on the Forma shape, which was jointly designed by Mark and David Jenkin. Mark also designed the fluted Apollo dinnerware range, which was sold mainly in white.
This coffee set was selected to be part of an exhibition held at the Design Centre in London in 1969, celebrating “examples of this country’s achievements in industrial design.” Designed by Mark Cleverley and Dave Jenkin for Crown Lynn, it was made at the Crown Lynn-owned Luke Adams pottery in Christchurch. Image from a Crown Lynn publication
In 1970 the New Zealand Meat Board had a large pavilion at Expo 70 which was held in Osaka, Japan. Mark and Dave Jenkin designed a set of dinnerware for the Geyser restaurant there. As well as these ‘geyser’ plates, there were various lidded serving pots in a deep green.
Mark Cleverley leaves a rich legacy of design, in other fields besides Crown Lynn. The book Mark Cleverley Designer by Jonty Valentine, gives a good overview of his work. It is published by Objectspace gallery/David Bateman.
My condolences to Mark's family, he will be sorely missed.
And my usual end note: I do my very best to ensure that my information is correct, but if you see any errors or omissions, please let me know.
My book Crown Lynn a New Zealand Icon, and unpublished interviews with Mark Cleverley and others
Mark Cleverley Designer by Jonty Valentine, published by Objectspace gallery/David Bateman