De Morgan Road, SW6

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William Frend De Morgan (November 16, 1839 – January 15, 1917) was a potter, tile designer and novelist, who fired his pottery at Sands End. He was a lifelong friend and collaborator of William Morris, designing tiles, stained glass and furniture for Morris & Co. from 1863 to 1872. He originally set up a pottery in Chelsea during which period he was heavily influenced by Islamic tiles, later moving to a factory in Merton Abbey and, in 1888 when this road was named, to Fulham. It was here he worked in close partnership with architect Halsey Ricardo. During the Fulham period De Morgan mastered many of the technical aspects of his work that had previously been elusive, including complex lustres and deep, intense underglaze painting that did not run during firing. However, this did not guarantee financial success, and in 1907 he left the pottery, which continued under the Passenger brothers, the leading painters at the works. “All my life I have been trying to make beautiful things, and now that I can make them nobody wants them,” he said a touch bitterly. He did not retire, instead he turned his hand to writing, and produced a series of best-selling novels.

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