11/19/2008

A visit to Longton




I have been busy working on a new collection of designs for bone china mugs. The new designs will not be available until early next year and I cannot show them to you at the moment, so, instead I am showing two of my designs, which are currently in production.

Hudson and Middleton Ltd will manufacture the mugs in Stoke-on-Trent and on Monday of this week, I drove over to Longton to deliver the artwork. To visit this famous potteries town is to take a step back in time and whilst I was there I thought that I would photograph some of the old bottle kilns at the Gladstone Museum. Bottle kilns were once a very familiar feature of the area, now only a few remain and they are being preserved for posterity.

The Hudson and Middleton factory is still manufacturing English Bone China in a factory which dates back to the Victorian era and operates from it’s original grade two listed building and is one of the oldest potteries in the country. Over the course of my career I have seen many of the famous potteries close with the loss of thousands of jobs. Many of the ceramic companies have moved their manufacturing to the Far East but I am pleased and proud to say that my mugs will be made in Stoke-on-Trent, England.

18 comments:

  1. I adore vintage pottery and glass. I would thoroughly enjoy the old bottle kilns!

    Your mug designs are so cheery! I like how the design is on the inside of the mugs, too. And so nice that your new ones will be made in the UK! A big difference in quality. :)

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  2. Oh, Valerie - you were only 20 minutes walk away from my home - if only I'd known you were at the Gladstone I would have walked down to say hello - maybe next time:) I love the mug designs and will look out for them next year.

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  3. I look forward to seeing the designs in due course, acornmoon.
    I used to live fairly near to Stoke on Trent and often went to see the museum - if I remember they had the most beautiful collection of cow creamers.

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  4. What a treat it must be to drink tea from a beautiful mug you yourself designed! These are just lovely. And, like Willow, it's wonderful that they will be manufactured in Britain. I just heard that Spode has moved their factories to China, and am still grieving that one.

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  5. The mugs are so beautiful and delicately patterned! So ladylike and special. So glad to hear a historical business is still doing well.

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  6. They are beautiful!
    It is sad when our products are made "away from home"...so glad these will keep such a wonderful, rich tradition!
    Looking forward to seeing the next two!
    Congratulations!
    Michelle

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  7. Good for you, Valerie! Thank you for sharing the photos of the factory. It's so encouraging to hear that at least one manufaturer is still working to preserve their company's reputation and heritage.

    Thank you also for your lovely comments on my blog!

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  8. It's good to know there's still at least one working pottery in Stoke-on-Trent. Isn't it sad that all those big names have gone.

    Lovely designs!

    Celia

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  9. I think your mug designs are delightful. I love the shape of those bottle kilns - it is very sad that so many of our industries are disappearing with tremendous job losses, especially when the quality of what they produced was so good.

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  10. Thank you for your sweet note! Thanksgiving is the 27th. Always the last Thursday of November...so many worries in the world today~ we have a lot to be thankful for.
    Wishing you all the best!
    Michelle

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  11. Hrarty congatulations. You certainly should be pleased and proud. It is no more than your talents deserve, but merit is not always rewarded as it should be. Good to see that this time it has been.

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  12. How wonderful to see your work while drinking your tea.x

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  13. Very beautiful designs. I love to buy mugs that are made in England. The quality is wonderful.

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  14. It is so sad there are so very few of these potteries existing today. I would love one day to learn more of their history. It must be so interesting to visit the factory where your mugs are manufactured. You must be very excited at the prospect of production of your new designs. x

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  15. I only don't look old because my photo is so small and you can't see me properly! When my daughter set up my blog for me, every name we came up with was already in use and we were getting desperate. I like making rag rugs as well as other types of textiles so that's where the Ragged Old Blogger came from.

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  16. These are gorgeous!

    Want to play tag? Follow me...!

    (And no problem if you don't Valerie!)

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  17. I shall also be looking out for the new designs. Your work is very special and should only be reproduced on English/British products that match its origins. I relish art and culture from all over the world but don't think having an international appreciation means compromising what's uniquely from this isle. I do happen to know that at least one 'Potteries' painter and designer is from Vietnam by the way! Similar story to glass making in this country which I know a little about. liZZie x

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  18. A cup of tea, taken in the garden, amid the flowers and butterflies,in summertime would be pure pleasure in mugs like these.
    So pretty :)

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