Monday, November 21, 2011

Introducing Emma Bridgewater

We are thrilled to announce that The Bee’s Knees is now selling a range of Emma Bridgewater Pottery. This beautiful handmade English pottery is made with loving care in much the same way it would have been in Victorian times when the brick factory that is Emma Bridgewater’s home was built. This summer while in England visiting my family I was lucky to see first hand the time and skill that goes into producing these pieces during the fascinating Emma Bridgewater factory tour.

This is Bill throwing plates
Located in The Potteries, the name for the area in Stoke-on-Trent where for years many companies produced renowned china and pottery, Emma
Bridgewater is one of the few remaining companies (as is Burleigh, which we sell) producing their pottery here. The clay they use is from Staffordshire, Wales and Cornwall. From start to finish Emma Bridgewater Pottery is truly handmade. Mugs and jugs are poured into handmade casts, and plates are thrown by hand, by Bill, who has being doing this job for almost half a century.



Creating the Sponges
After an initial firing, each piece is hand sponged (for the Polka Dot, Hearts, Union Jack patterns, for example), or has a litho transfer applied by hand (for the more intricate designs like the Flowers). Every piece is completely unique. It was amazing to watch one lady working with a small soldering tool hand cutting the sponges that would be used by the painters, who train for about 18 months working on the technique.

Decorating a "Joy" Medium Bowl
View of the Factory
I think it must take a huge amount of patience to complete one of the Joy Christmas bowls, for example, as each decorative element is hand stamped with a separate sponge.

Union Jack Mugs
As we finished the tour I had a true appreciation of the work and skill that goes into making each piece of Emma Bridgewater Pottery. And what better way to end the tour than with a yummy lunch at the EB café with jacket potatoes baked in their own personalized Aga cooker! 
The Emma Bridgewater Aga

You can see our Emma Bridgewater collection at

Lucinda & Donna

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