Portmeirion Pottery

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Portmeirion (pottery)
Type Private company
Industry Pottery
Founded 1960
Founder(s) Susan Williams-Ellis & Euan Cooper-Willis
Headquarters Stoke-on-Trent, England
Website http://www.portmeirion.co.uk/

Portmeirion is a British pottery company based in Stoke-on-Trent.

History[edit]

Portmeirion Pottery was founded in 1960 when pottery designer Susan Williams-Ellis (daughter of Sir Clough Williams-Ellis) and her husband, Euan Cooper-Willis took over a small pottery decorating company in Stoke-on-Trent called A. E. Gray Ltd.. Susan Williams-Ellis had been working with A.E. Gray for some years, commissioning designs to sell at the gift shop in Portmeirion Village, the items bearing the backstamp "Gray's Pottery Portmeirionware". In 1961 the couple purchased a second pottery company, Kirkhams Ltd, that had the capacity to manufacture pottery, and not only decorate it. These two businesses were combined and Portmeirion Potteries was born.

Susan Williams-Ellis' early Portmeirion designs include Malachite (1960) and Moss Agate (1961). In 1963 Susan launched Totem, an abstract pattern coupled with cylindrical shape.

'Mayflower' commemorative tankard

Susan Williams-Ellis later created Magic City (1966) and Magic Garden (1970), but arguably Portmeirion's most recognised design is the Botanic Garden range, decorated with a variety of floral illustrations. It was launched in 1972 and is still made today.[1] More recent designs have included Sophie Conran's Crazy Daisy and Dawn Chorus.

On 23 April 2009 Portmeirion Potteries Ltd purchased Royal Worcester and Spode brands, after they had been placed into administration the previous November. Portmeirion Potteries has since changed its company name to Portmeirion Group to reflect this acquisition.[2] The purchase did not include Royal Worcester and Spode's manufacturing facilities. The manufacture of much of Spode's ware was returned to Britain from the Far East, to the Portmeirion Group's factory in Stoke-on-Trent.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jenkins & Mckay Portmeirion Pottery (2000)
  2. ^ David Johnson, Article in The Staffordshire Sentinel on 16.12.10, The Sentinel
  3. ^ "Stoke kilns fired up for Spode again". Staffordshire Sentinel (Nortchliffe). 2009-04-24. Retrieved 2009-04-25. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Jenkins, Stephen, & Mckay, Stephen 2000. Portmeirion Pottery. Richard Dennis. ISBN 0-903685-78-7.

External links[edit]