A flash of Brilliance – ceramics of the Art Deco period

Ref: C2227897

This new course will celebrate and enjoy the wonderful world of Art Deco ceramics: A Flash of Brilliance in a world appearing produced by both Great Britain, Europe and Scandanavia between 1925 and 1935. We will explore the origins of the Art Deco style first shown at the internationale des arts décoratifs et industriels modernes in Paris in 1925 and how designers such as Rene Buthaud created the luxurious and expensive ceramics which influenced many other designers.We will also consider how the Art Deco arrived in Great Britain and why only a few designers and pottery manufacturers embraced the style. We will focus on designers such as Clarice Cliff, Susie Cooper and others to appreciate why they there so popular yet soon went out of favour by the mid thirties only to be replaced by modernism

Course aim

This course celebrates and explores the ceramics produced during the inter-war period known today as Art Deco. These brightly hand-painted pots, decorated on striking shapes, captured the mood of the day and proved popular across the country

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • You will need your own personal email address so that you’re able to login to the WEA’s digital learning platform: WEA Canvas. You will need to be able to understand how to follow URL links to pages on the internet. If you want to understand more about Canvas please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline
  • No skills or experience needed
  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • appreciate how the art deco style evolved in Paris in the early 1920's
  • understand how the Paris Exposition promoted this new style
  • Understand how British ceramic designers were inspired by and responded to the popular style by creating new shapes and patterns
  • identify the factors why many pottery manufacturers were unable to capture the true Art Deco style
  • Identify why Art Deco went out of style and how modernism changed how designers responded to patterns and shapes

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA’s digital learning platform, Canvas will be used to provide resources or to support lessons, enable assessment, provide learner feedback and for other activities for individuals away from the course. If you want to understand more about our digital learning platform please visit: http://bit.ly/WEAonline

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • The course will feature an informal session where learners can show examples from their own collection for discussion

What else do I need to know?

  • What you need: You will need an internet connection, speakers, a microphone and a webcam so that you can use our video learning platform, Zoom. If you’d like to understand more Zoom please visit: http://bit.ly/ZoomSpec

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • The tutor will create a list of further reading and links to you tube films were applicable

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Visit some of the museums that display art deco ceramics

Download full course information sheet

A flash of Brilliance – ceramics of the Art Deco period

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course is only available as part of this programme.


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you enrol. Please check the details below to ensure you meet the basic eligibility critiera:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2020
  • You declare that the address you provide is correct and that you will provide evidence of this and your eligibility to live and work in the UK
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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