Ceramic Art Bird plaque by John Randall

Contributed by Coalport China Museum

Ceramic art by John Randall.Copyright Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust

John Randall, a well-known Coalport artist, and was also a geologist, a borough councillor, author, and centenarianJohn Randall was one of the best-known Coalport artists. He had an extraordinary life, as a celebrated china painter, geologist, borough councillor, author, and keeper of a nearby Post Office. He was born in 1810 and was apprenticed to his uncle Thomas Martin Randall at Madeley, near Coalport, and painted at the Rockingham factory before joining the Coalport staff in 1835. Most of his designs feature panels of Sevres-type exotic birds in landscapes, but in the 1860s he began to paint more naturalistic subjects, often birds of prey, in their natural surroundings. In 1881 failing eyesight forced Randall to give up ceramic painting after a career of over 50 years. He subsequently wrote several books on the neighbourhood which provide valuable first-hand information. He died at the age of 100 on 16 November 1910, retaining his sense of humour and acute mental faculties until the very end.

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