William STAITE MURRAY
Dates: 1881 -1962
After an early career as a seed merchant he studied pottery at evening classes at Camberwell School of Art and began to make pottery seriously after 1912. Some of his early work shows the influence of avant-garde art styles such as Vorticism but in the early 1920s, like many others, he became more interested in early Chinese ceramics and experimented with high temperature stoneware firing with oil. He had kilns first at Rotherhithe, then at Brockley in Kent and finally in 1929 at Bray near Maidenhead. After the mid 1920s he produced his most notable work making non-functional pots which he regarded as works of art akin to a piece of sculpture. Each was given a title, he held exhibitions in conjunction with well known painters including Ben Nicolson and his prices rose steeply over the decade.