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Designer Talks: Stan Baskett

Stan Baskett has been a designer and master sculptor since 1978. He earned his degree in Industrial Design in the heart of the English Pottery district of Stoke-on-Trent. Stan has designed and sculpted many products for Wilton Armetale, including the best-selling Acanthus tray, and many items in top lines such as William and Mary. Before joining Wilton Armetale, Stan worked for various companies such as Lenox, Pfaltzgraff, Wedgwood and Royal Doulton.

Do you have a greatest career moment? If so, what was it?

Yes, emigrating here to the U.S. for my first job as an industrial ceramic designer. It was an important stepping stone to a long career here.

What was your most challenging career moment?

Becoming design director at Pfaltzgraff.

What is the basis of your design strategy?

To be flexible with ideas and applying my experience to market and customer needs.

What do you consider to be your design expertise?

Three-dimensional design and a broad knowledge of industrial ceramic manufacturing.

Where do you seek inspiration to kick-start your creative process?

The past and the present - in architecture, nature, and what I believe to be successful product.

Offer diversity, flexibility, meet deadlines, and always strive for a winner.

How do you overcome creative blocks?

Keep drawing ideas - walk away, come back to them and 'edit.'

How do you know when to stick it out and when to let go of an idea?

I do listen to other opinions and will often find compromise when needed. However, I will always be willing to let go and try another idea.

Is it difficult to strike a balance between your creativity and the objective for commercial success?

Perhaps when I was young it was difficult but now the two balance out quite evenly.

Is there one design or collection that changed everything for you? What was it? And what do you think of it today?

Yes, it was the Masterpiece vase collection at Lenox. I both designed and sculpted all the pieces - it was successful in the market for quite a number of years.

Do you have any rules regarding design?

Offer diversity, flexibility, meet deadlines, and always strive for a winner.

If you could do one thing as a designer what would it be?

I'd like to design the complete table setting - that includes the table and chairs.

If you were not a designer, is there another career path that intrigues you?

Being a chef - in the global world we're in now the creative possibilities would be marvelous.

Is there one person who you admire or consider to be your greatest mentor or design?

Yes, it's my former boss and design director at Pfaltzgraff, David Walsh. His talents always inspired me to strive for the best I could produce.

What do you use on your table?

Various Pfaltzgraff dishes, and on very special occasions, a Limoges fine china.