Biography: The Ruskin Pottery was founded in 1898 by Edward R. Taylor, the Principal at the Birmingham School of Art. It was named after the artist, writer, and social thinker John Ruskin. Taylor's son, William Howson was responsible for the unique and innovative glazes and brightly colored pots for which the pottery is known. The pottery was located at 173-174 Oldbury Road, Smethwick, then in Staffordshire (now part of Sandwell, in the West Midlands). William Taylor used 'high fired' techniques, to produce the range of colors and unique 'fissured' glaze effects. When he died in 1935 (after which the pottery closed), the secrets of his technique were lost.