Emma Bridgewater is a British ceramics manufacturer founded in 1985, owned and run by Emma Rice née Bridgewater and Matthew Rice. Noted for their polka dot design among others, Emma Bridgewater specialises in pottery with motifs drawing on techniques stretching back over 200 years. The company is one of the largest pottery manufacturers based entirely in the UK, with all of its products made in its factory in the city of Stoke-on-Trent, England, where it is one of the largest employers.
The company was founded by Emma Bridgewater in 1985, when she was looking for a birthday present for her mother. Wanting to buy a cup and saucer but being unable to find any she liked, Emma created her own. Drawing four shapes, a mug, a bowl, a jug and a dish, samples were created in Stoke-on-Trent. Matthew, Emma's husband, also designs for Emma Bridgewater. He indulges his passion for birdlife in the Birds range. In its first year the company had a turnover of around £30,000. By 2009 this had increased to almost £8 million, and £11 million in 2010, employing 180 people.
Emma Bridgewater's cream earthenware pottery designs are also adapted for application onto textiles, glass, tin, stationery, and melamine. Her designs include patterns such as Black Toast, Polka Dot, Union Jack, Starry Skies, Pink Hearts and Figs. During the visit of Prince Andrew, Emma discussed the brand's launch of its biggest ever collection of Royal commemorative ware to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012.
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