(b Hanley, Staffs, 1880; d New York, 2 Nov 1942). American potter and ceramic designer of English birth. Born into a family of potters and designers and trained in the English potteries, he arrived in the USA in 1902. Until 1917 he was associated with several art potteries, notably the Roseville Pottery Company in Ohio, the Arequipa Pottery in California and the University City Pottery, St Louis, MO. The last was under the aegis of the American Woman's University, for which Rhead created a pottery correspondence course in 1910. His early art pottery used English techniques, including contrasting slip decoration, pictorial low-relief carving and monochromatic low-relief modelling. In 1917, after closing his own small pottery in Santa Barbara, CA, Rhead began working for large commercial potteries, first as research director for the American Encaustic Tiling Co., Zanesville, OH, and in 1927 as art director for the Homer Laughlin China Co., Newell, WV, where he created the popular ‘Fiesta’ line of domestic dinnerware. In his later career, Rhead contributed significantly to the design of mass-produced ceramic tableware through his work for Homer Laughlin China Co. (e.g. ‘Fiesta’).
From The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts in Oxford Reference.
Subjects: Decorative Arts, Furniture, and Industrial Design.