A Trove of Timely Treasures at Stoneywell

A decorated jug by Grace Barnsley

Bringing some delicate colour into the dining room are a small collection of ceramics, decorated by Grace Barnsley. Grace, born Emily Grace Barnsley in 1896, created beautiful decorative pottery. Her work often took inspiration from nature, such as the flower designs on the pieces in the Stoneywell collection.

Decorative cup painted by Grace Barnsley
Grace Barnsley cup
Decorative cup painted by Grace Barnsley

Grace's education included attending Bedales, in Hampshire, and Birmingham School of Arts. Grace was also trained in pottery decoration by Louise and Alfred Powell, who were family friends of the Barnsleys.

Grace went on to paint blanks for Wedgwood, as well as her own pottery. With her husband, Oscar Davies, she ran Upchurch Pottery for a time, before establishing Roeginga Pottery, in Rainham, Kent. This ran until the outbreak of war, in 1939.

Decorative ceramics by Grace Barnsley
Grace Barnsley design
Decorative ceramics by Grace Barnsley

Grace has links to the Gimson family, through her work within the arts and crafts and through her father, Sidney Barnsley, an architect and designer who worked and lived alongside Ernest Gimson, the designer of Stoneywell. 

Grace's decorative pottery reflect many of the values of the arts and crafts, they are both beautiful and useful. The floral designs bring the outside, in and are very reminiscent of the beautiful flowers found in the Stoneywell garden this time of year.

A ceramic jug, handpainted by Grace Barnsley
A decorated jug by Grace Barnsley
A ceramic jug, handpainted by Grace Barnsley