Carter, Stabler and Adams. Poole, Dorset


NOTE: This article which follows originally appeared in a 1956 book 'British Potters and Pottery Today', is based mainly upon accounts provided mainly by the firms themselves.

In the mid-nineteenth century several potteries were started at Poole, one of the first being the tile works on the East Quay, founded about 1850. In 1873 this came into the hands of the Carter family and subsequently developed into the firm of Carter and Co., Ltd., makers of all kinds of wall- and floor-tiles and architectural ceramics.

The present Company was founded in 1921 as a subsidiary of Carter and Co., the germ from which it has grown having been planted at the turn of the century by Owen Carter, who experimented with and successfully developed hand-thrown pots with lustre glazes of fine quality.Further development took place when, during the 1914 18 War, a group of Belgian refugees came to Poole and introduced the Delft, or in-glaze, technique of decorating. A small unit of operatives was formed who worked to designs by Radley Young, the Works Designer.

To carry on the work of Owen Carter, who died at the close of the war, the new company of Carter, Stabler and Adams was formed, with the backing of Carter and Co., and the enterprise of Cyril Carter, a man inspired by individual ideals of design and quality. Harold Stabler, well known as a designer of silversmith's work, and John Adams, a distinguished artist-potter (one-time Head of the School of Art, Durban Technical College), were mainly responsible for shapes and glazes, Truda Cartcr, A.R.C.A., being designer of the patterns which have come to be known as 'Traditional Poole'.

Thrown and painted pots and architectural faience were the chief output in the first fifteen years, though John Adams also experimented much with stoneware pots and figures. Indeed he was the mainstay of the firm until he retired in 1950. In the mid-thirties he introduced fine table wares finished in two-toned effects with glazes in pastel colours of subtle quality.

Following the last war, Poole Pottery was entirely rebuilt on the modern flow-line system, with the most up-to-date equipment. The works were designed by David Carter, a qualified architect, and Roy T. Holland (the Works Director.), in collaboration with a local firm of architects.

In I953, A. B. Read, R.D.I., A.R.C.A., F.S.I.A., became Director of Design and, in collaboration with Lucien Myers, Managing Director, and Roy Holland on the technical side, has been responsible for a resurgence in design and quality at this Pottery by the sea.


NOTE: This article which originally appeared in a 1956 book 'British Potters and Pottery Today', is based mainly upon accounts provided mainly by the firms themselves.

Questions, comments, contributions? email: Steve Birks