Designer: Paul Hilditch
Limited Edition: 150
A warm but nostalgic mix of old and new, Harvestime has universal appeal. Seasonal toadstools and red autumnal berries from the era of William Moorcroft are there to remind us all just how long both images have existed in the world of Moorcroft. If toadstools and red berries have their origins in the early years of the last century, corn is known to have made an appearance at Moorcroft courtesy of the late Beatrice Moorcroft in the 1930s encouraged, it is said, by her brother Walter. The Harvestime arum lilies or cuckoo pints as they are sometimes known, arrived post-World War II from Walter Moorcroft himself, evidently working in experimental mode at the time. Because of the blue tractor, whether ploughing a field or pulling a cart stacked high with corn, it becomes clear that a much later and broader design era has moved centre stage. Paul Hilditch chose to use a rural landscape backcloth framed with flowers and fruit to give the world a fine vase on the 3/8 shape. By any sensible measure, Harvestime is contemporary Moorcroft, yet some of the design threads which Paul has pulled together so well, stretch back in time more than 100 years.
Good Moorcroft is timeless. These days, several generations can be represented on any one piece. Harvestime comes into that category. Rich images, both past and present, are there to be enjoyed. They appeal to the senses in many different ways which is why the vase rises above a mundane landscape idyll. At a personal level, as a one- time War baby, ears, eyes and memories can go instantly into recall mode to recreate the sensations and images of a bygone age. On the one hand, happily, everything is contemporary because the design techniques available at Moorcroft have advanced considerably in the past twenty five years, but on the other hand, Harvestime wins an honourable place in the Circles of Life part of the 2012 catalogue because of its creator’s profound understanding of the evolution of design imagery at Moorcroft. Good design can never stand still, and Harvestime is a study of movement and progress. Put simply, modern techniques at Moorcroft enable a designer to portray far more than hitherto, but images thus created drift back in time, just as Harvestime has done.