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Alfred Powell began his career as an architectural pupil of John Sedding until the early 1980`s, working in the 'crafted Gothic' tradition inspired by John Ruskin. During this time he associated closely with the Arts & Crafts movement and became close friends with the Gimson and Barnsley families later to move nearby at Tarlton in the Cotswolds to live with his wife Louise. Alfred married Louise Lessore in 1906.
As an adherent to the Arts and Crafts Movement, believing that designers should understand the production process, he became skilled as a carpenter. In 1903 Alfred presented some designs to Wedgwood following a suggestion made by W.R. Lethaby who was aware that Wedgwood were looking for new designers. This was the beginning for both Alfred and Louise Powell, a life long association with Wedgwood of Etruria. He spent time at Wedgwood’s factory observing and learning throwing, moulding and decorating techniques, but until his introduction to Wedgwood had had no experience in ceramics production in either a workshop or industrial context.