Clews Blues - IV


English Art Deco "Chameleonware" Jug with Hand-Painted "Indian Flame" Decoration by George Clews (LEO Design)


This week we are sharing pieces from our collection of George Clews "Blue Chameleonware" Art Deco ceramics made in England in the Twenties and Thirties.

We've spoken about David Capper before, the artistic force behind George Clews's unique glazes and painted patterns.  His attempt to broaden the company's offerings—developing more decorative art pottery—started in 1913 with his production of Clews's "Jet" line: redware ceramics finished with a cobalt glaze which turns jet black under firing. The first "Chameleonware" pottery, like the jug shown above, was designed in 1914.  It has been speculated that the name is a reference to the way glazes change color in the kiln—like a chameleon changes color based on its environment.  

Clews's new products, promising as they were, were cut-short with the outbreak of World War One (1914-1918).  Like with most manufacturers, their production was mandated to support the war effort.  Clews was allowed to continue making teapots, given that they "satisfied a necessary consumer need."  But the new Chameleonware line was to be placed on the back burner until after the war (more about this in days to come).

The jug-form vase, shown above, is artfully decorated in a rich palette of blues and browns with their hand-painted "Indian Flame" pattern.  Click on the photo above to learn more about this piece.  Or click here to see an assortment of Chameleonware pieces currently on-offer in the LEO Design on-line store.

More Chameleonware pottery tomorrow and in the days to come.


Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well!  Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (

We also can be found in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (

Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only).  917-446-4248