Clarice Cliff is renowned for her skill in designing both the painted pattern and the shape of her pieces. She favoured bold colours and strong designs and unusual, sometimes bizarre shapes. Cliff was different from most young women in the pottery industry. She wanted to learn everything and she quite soon became skilled in modelling, gilding, hand painting, enamelling and banding. Cliff’s work was popular and much in demand during the 1920s but then interest declined. However, the Brighton exhibition started a revival in interest. The interest peaked in the 1980s and 1990s. Although the prices have fallen since then, rare combinations of paint and shape can still command high prices at auction.

El Greco, or The Greek, was the nickname adopted by Spanish Renaissance artist Domenikos Theotokopoulos. In 1563, at the age of twenty-two, El Greco had been described as maestro (master) Domenigo and probably ran his own workplace. He would have trained as a painter of icons at the Cretan Renaissance which thrived from the 15th to the 17th century. El Greco is viewed as the most successful graduate to create an art career in Western Europe in the Cretan style. His style is viewed as unique in the art world, with his elongated figures and combination of Byzantine and Western conventions. His work is sometimes described as pre-dating both Expressionism and Cubism.

The first use of pipes for smoking was by the Native Americans. Tobacco was valuable to them. It was considered to have medicinal properties, and smoking was believed to help alleviate pains and cure illnesses. Tobacco and smoking pipes reached Europe when explorers returned to their country in the 1500s. Some early European pipes were made out of a type of clay used to make fine china. Some pipes were made of wood such as walnut and cherry. Aside from their wooden pipes, Germany was also known for its excellent porcelain pipes. Pipe shapes changed as time passed until it evolved into the pipes we recognise today.