Wedgwood Releases Harlem Toile Collection with Sheila Bridges

photographerfrank frances digital techolivia demetros stylistmeike ten have

Frank Frances Studio

After creating the Harlem Toile pattern 17 years ago, New York designer Sheila Bridges is practically synonymous with her design, which has been entered into museum collections and used in homes across the world. Harlem Toile depicts joyous scenes of Black life, sometimes tongue-in-cheek, sometimes historical, and the pattern has been applied to fabrics and wallpapers. Now for the first time, it will be available on Wedgwood china as its own collection. “I love to travel to France, I love toile, but I never saw anything that expressed my point of view as a Black woman,” Bridges said. “There is a strong relationship between Harlem [where I live] and France and so I made a toile that has that storytelling aspect that both addresses stereotypes in Black culture and celebrates it. I love that it has resonated with so many people. ”

The collaboration with Wedgwood is a natural one. Not only did Bridges grow up admiring her mother’s cabinet filled with Wedgwood’s Jasperware and now collects it herself, but the founder, Josiah Wedgwood was also an ardent abolitionist. The British potter was active in his country’s anti-slavery movement in the 18th century, using his influence (he was the royal Potter for Queen Charlotte and King George III) to bring attention to the cause and creating the Wedgwood anti-slavery medallion in 1787 Tens of thousands of the medallions, depicting a kneeling and chained slave, with the words Am I Not A Man And A Brotherwere distributed across the UK and worn as a symbol of protest.

The Wedgwood Harlem Toile continues the conversation into the 21st century, not just from a social perspective, but a design one. “When I think of Wedgwood, I think of symmetry and classicism,” Bridges says. “For this collection we pulled from original Wedgwood colors like Jasperware blue, white, and yellow, but we put things slightly off center, placed some designs in the center of the bowl or underneath a platter. It was about designing a piece as a whole, making it whimsical and fun. ” Practical concessions were made as well: the china features a black accent rather than metallic so that it is dishwasher- and microwave-safe and pieces will mix and match with classic Wedgwood.

“As an interior designer, I’m always executing someone else’s vision for their home,” says Bridges. “This is a way for me to share my vision with everyone.” Shop the Harlem toile Wedgwood collection, below.

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Wedgwood x Sheila Bridges 4-Piece Place Setting

The four piece place setting includes a dinner plate, salad plate, pasta bowl, and soup / cereal bowl.

Wedgwood x Sheila Bridges Tea Cup and Saucer

Thin black lines accent each piece while still being dishwasher and microwave-safe.

Wedgwood x Sheila Bridges Serving Platter

The colors throughout the capsule match with Wedgwood’s Jasperware so new and old pieces can be mixed together.

Wedgwood x Sheila Bridges Mug

The mugs come in four different colors: blue, green, yellow and orange.

Wedgwood x Sheila Bridges Picnic Teapot

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