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Posts from the ‘United Kingdom’ Category

Tremar Pottery of Cornwall

Tremar Pottery Cornwall

Tremar Pottery is named after the village it was made in, situated in East Cornwall.  It was started in the early 1960’s by Roger and Doreen Birkett, and sadly had closed by the early 1980’s like many other potteries of this period.

The style of Tremar Pottery pays tribute to Cornwall’s Celtic past, and it has an ancient looking or Celtic charm to it. Likewise – if you had to design pottery perfect for Bilbo Baggins and Hobbits I think this would be it!

Tremar Pottery is earthy, rustic and charming – but at the same time shows a high level of craftsmanship. Most pieces seem to have been slip cast, but have the appearance of being thrown by hand. The work is lovely to the touch, with very smooth, very matt glazes, and demonstrates knowledgable and confident use of pattern, colour, form and decoration.

Tremar Cornwall - Teapot

Tremar Cornwall – Teapot

Tremar Cornwall - Tea Cup/Saucer

Tremar Cornwall – Tea Cup/Saucer

Tremar Cornwall - Coffee Mug

Tremar Cornwall – Coffee Mug

Tremar Cornwall - Teapot with Cane Handle

Tremar Cornwall – Teapot with Cane Handle

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Buchan Stoneware, Portobello Scotland

Buchan Stoneware, Portobello Scotland

The quality of Buchan stoneware pottery is superb, and it has a French country or provincial feel to it,  like something you would find in the south of France, but of much higher quality, being fine high-fired stoneware.

It was produced in Portobello – which is now a suburb of Edinburgh, but which was once an important industrial centre and at the same time – holiday resort – side by side. Wikipedia has an interesting history of Portobello HERE

Buchan Pottery, Portobello Scotland has a long history….and here is a short extract from the very informative and fascinating Portobello Heritage Trust website located HERE

Portobello was one of the main centres of industrial ceramic production in Scotland, dating back to the 1770s or thereby.

The range of wares made at Portobello, spanning two centuries, covered much of the ceramic spectrum.

Activity occurred at several sites, clustered around the mouth of the Figgate Burn where it enters the Firth of Forth. A number of well- known names emerged, of which two stand out – Thomas Rathbone, celebrated for his fine painted and printed earthenware, and Alexander Buchan, famed far and wide for his utilitarian stoneware.

From the 1830s this latter class of ware had been produced by a succession of firms: Cornwall Brothers, Milne & Cornwall, Milne & Smith, Thomas & Robert Tough, Thomas Tough, Murray & Buchan, starting in 1867, and finally A. W. Buchan & Co (1878-1972). 

The rise of Alexander Buchan to the fore heralded a sixty-year period during which vast quantities of stoneware goods of all descriptions were manufactured. The firm was inventive too, securing a number of patents and registering several novel designs, and time was even found to dabble in the world of art pottery with their exotic but misnamed Portobello Faience.  Having been one of the few Scottish potteries to have survived the Depression, A.W Buchan & Co was not about to slide into closure.  Instead, the manufacture of utilitarian stoneware was all but given up and replaced with a product of a quite different character – decorative stoneware. 

Between 1956 and 1968 a number of decorative stoneware designs were produced by Buchan Portobello including: BRITTANY, RIVIERA, COSTA BRAVA, HEBRIDES, FESTIVAL, ROUEN, SUMMERTIME, EDINBURGH, TUSCANY, SUTHERLAND, ALPINE – and Centenary design IONA.  These can all be seen on the heritage website linked above, along with galleries showing these designs.

My favourite pieces of  Buchan that I have come across in person are the large Coffee Pot (really better as a water jug though I think), and baking dish ramekin, from “Costa Brava” designed in 1956.

Costa Brava Design Coffee Pot, Portobello Buchan Scotland

Costa Brava Design Coffee Pot, Portobello Buchan Scotland

Costa Brava Design Coffee Pot, Portobello Buchan Scotland

Costa Brava Design Coffee Pot, Portobello Buchan Scotland

.Although I love the fish motif of the “Riviera” design, also from 1956. Riviera came in 3 versions – Fish, Vegetable and Abstract. Read more

Denby Glynbourne

Denby Glynbourne

Glynbourne Ware (not to be confused with Glyndebourne ware which is a different design) was designed by Glyn Colledge in 1960. It was marketed as a prestige product and sold until about the 1970’s when the exotic designs of Gill Pemberton and David Yorath were more favoured.

Glynbourne continues the long Denby tradition of traditional high quality stoneware, hand thrown and hand decorated.

Production Studio Pottery at its best. Each piece was handpainted in natural tones of browns and greens with a simplified decorative pattern of leaves….the glaze is just wonderful to the touch.

It has continued to be a very collectable range to the present day.

Denby Glynbourne

Denby Glynbourne Planter

Denby Glynbourne

Denby Glynbourne

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Moira Pottery Staffordshire

Moira Pottery Staffordshire

Moira pottery was originally founded in 1922, and is still well known for its domestic or utilitarian earthenware which started with jam jars, and progressed to its well known “Hillstonia” range which was made from 1934-1972 . It also produced salt glazed stoneware, beer steins, and stamped/branded domestic ware of many types.

The pottery was located near Burton-on-Trent in Staffordshire and mined its own clay on site. Moira is often (and seemingly incorrectly) documented as having closed in 1972 by a National Coal Board compulsory acquisition. (It sat on a valuable coal seam, which is often next to a clay seam)

From snippets of information I have come across it seems the original Moira location was closed, but Moira then either re-openend or operated at a nearby location until the mid 1980s when it closed and the site possibly became a textile factory.

The Victoria & Albert Museum also has 2 pieces of Moira salt glazed stoneware pottery in its collection, made in 1981. You can see one of them on the V&A site HERE.

The beautiful clay used by Moira pottery was very plastic in nature and beautiful for throwing as well as enhancing glaze colour and surface, and was also used by other potteries such as that at Albrighton.

The beautifully plastic characteristics of the Moira clay differentiates it from lesser quality creamware – in the jug I have pictured below you can still see the concentric rings from its throwing because it held shape so well.

If you know more about the later history of this pottery, or even worked at Moira I would love to hear from you.

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Berit Ternell – Fleur, T.G. Green

Berit Ternell “Fleur”, T G Green

This design really stood out to me, and I was surprised to see a T.G. Green backstamp on the back as it looked so Scandinavian in style when I came across it at an auction some time ago (but didn’t purchase because of the poor condition of many of the pieces).

It turns out the design, labelled “Fleur” is by none other than Berit Ternell, the very well known and respected Swedish designer. She was commissioned by T G Green in 1961 to design a twist on “Cornishware” along with Judith Onions. In addition to re-designing some of the Cornishware forms, Berit Ternell came up with this very Scandinavian looking and popular design called “Fleur”. It was a full oven to table and kitchen range.

Fleur Design, Berit Ternell for T G Green

Fleur Design, Berit Ternell for T G Green

We see so much of T G Green’s “Cornishware” it is easy to forget that dozens of other designs were produced by this iconic British pottery. There is a comprehensive visual catalogue of most of the T G Green designs on Pinterest here.

Below are some more examples of “Fleur” from the T G Green Pinterest page: Read more

T G Green Channel Islands Series

T G Green Channel Islands Series

Judith Onions had already successfully restyled the Cornish Ware range in 1968 when she was joined by Martin Hunt RDI to design an entirely new range.

They produced four clear, bold and very British designs (each with a very different pattern). They named them after the English Channel Islands Jersey, Guernsey, Alderney, Sark and later Herm.

Pieces in the Jersey and Sark designs seem to be the easiest to get hold of these days. My favourites are the blue Jersey and Sark in any colour as it has such a fantastic texture created by the ribbed design.

Each of The Channel Islands designs was produced in a number of colours – Honey, Grey, Blue, Green, Brown & Orange.

T G Green - Jersey Blue Tea Cup - Judith Onions

T G Green – Jersey Blue Tea Cup – Judith Onions

T G Green - Jersey Blue Coffee Pot - Judith Onions

T G Green – Jersey Blue Coffee Pot – Judith Onions

T G Green Alderney

T G Green Alderney – Pinterest page for T G Green

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T G Green Cornishware

T G Green Cornishware

T.G. Green & Co was originally founded by Thomas Goodwin Green of Boston, Lincolnshire in around 1864 in an existing pottery in Church Gresley, Derbyshire. Most people immediately recognise T G Green by its now iconic blue and white striped “Cornishware”. The pottery however produced hundreds of other designs which are less well known.

In 1926, T.G. Green began producing its famous “Cornish” kitchenware in Church Gresley – using a lathe-turning technique which scraped the blue slip away from the pottery to reveal white bands of clay below.

Apparently those stripes were reminiscent of the blue skies and white-crested waves of Cornwall, and this is said to be how Cornishware got its name.

By the 1930s, the Cornishware range was well established with a thriving export business. Cornishware was widely sold in the UK through major department stores. Stores would carry stock of the standard range of lettered jars such as Flour, Sugar, Salt, Currants, Sultanas, Raisins, Tea and Coffee but the housewife was able to make request to the store for her own lettered jars from the factory. Cornishware is still in production today, and the older pieces – especially the jars – are highly valued.

Blue and white is the most common and popular colourway in Cornishware – but over time there have been at least 12 variations in colours – you can see a most of them on the site linked below.

T G Green - Traditional Form Canister

T G Green – Traditional Form Canister

T G Green 1950s catalogue brochure

T G Green 1950s catalogue brochure

T G Green 1928 catalogue brochure

T G Green 1928 catalogue brochure

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Mayflower – Gill Pemberton, Denby

Mayflower Design, Gill Pemberton, Denby

Denby Mayflower (stamped Langley Mill) was designed for the American market by Gill Pemberton at Langley Mill, Nottinghamshire in 1964 while she was pregnant with her first child.

Its “homespun” quality was immediately popular. The plates and bowls of Mayflower have an upright spray of 3 flowers in yellow, brown, orange and grey. To me the Mayflower design stands out immediately as one by Gill Pemberton.

It was the first of several other similar stylised floral patterns including Sherwood, Canterbury and Chatsworth for which Glynn Colledge designed the patterns on Gill Pemberton’s Mayflower forms.

Each had a typically Denby glaze with stylised and hand painted floral decoration on the plates and bowls. Other companies tried to emulate many of the Denby designs of this time, but none matched the design integrity and artistry of the Denby hand painted originals.

The forms for these series had dark brown ribbed coffee pots and the jugs had an unusual projecting side handle – a further evolution of the side handle Gill had used on some pieces in her Chevron series.

Mayflower Design - Gill Pemberton

Mayflower Design – Gill Pemberton – Denby

Denby Mayflower Coffee Pot – Gill Pemberton

Mayflower Cup - Gill Pemberton, Denby

Mayflower Cup – Gill Pemberton, Denby

Mayflower Teapot - Gill Pemberton - Denby

Mayflower Teapot – Gill Pemberton – Denby

Mayflower Backstamp - Langley Mill

Mayflower Backstamp – Langley Mill

The following interesting background comes from the Wikipedia page for Langley Mill Pottery – it is worth having a look at the whole history of the Langley site which has been well written and put together. Read more