Keith Murray (1892 – 1981)
Keith Murray was born in Auckland, New Zealand. During World War I he served with the Royal Flying Corps; he was mentioned in despatches and awarded the Military Cross and Croix de Guerre. After the war he studied architecture and, during the 1930s, produced many successful designs for the glass manufacturers Stevens and Williams. In 1933 he began to design for Wedgwood where he was attracted by the semi-matt moonstone glaze.
Murray’s emphasis was on form rather than decoration, and he made extensive use of the throwing and turning skills in the factory. His work is characterised by strong shape and clearly defined outline, which was in perfect keeping with the art deco style of the period. In 1936 Murray formed an architectural firm in partnership with C S White and Louis de Soissons and they were given the task of designing the new Wedgwood factory at Barlaston, the building of which began in 1940. Murray’s work was exhibited widely during his lifetime and a travelling exhibition of his work was shown at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London in 1977.
The arrangement of elements or details in an artefact or a work of art.
Vitreous coatings applied to pottery to make objects watertight and as a form of decoration. Also a glaze can be a thin, translucent or transparent coating applied to the surface of a painting to modify the colour tones. Glazes may also be applied on top of one another as a means of creating a sense of depth and translucency.