Poole Pottery

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Poole Pottery
Poole Pottery logo.png
Owner Denby Pottery Company
Country Dorset, England.
Previous owners 1999 – 2001 Orb Estates Ltd
2002 – 2006 Peter Ford
2006 Zemmel & Symonds
2007 – 2011 Lifestyle Group Ltd
Website www.poolepottery.co.uk

Poole Pottery is a pottery brand and former manufacturer, based in Poole, Dorset, England. As a company, it was founded in 1873 on Poole quayside, where it continued to produce pottery by hand before moving its factory operations away from the quay in 1999. Production continued at a new site in Sopers Lane until its closure in 2006.[1] Historical products from Poole Pottery are displayed in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. The pottery has recently restarted production at its new factory in Burslem, Staffordshire, and the Poole Quay pottery studio and shop has reopened.


Poole Pottery was originally "Carter's Industrial Tile Manufactory" and it was this company that provided the financial foundation for the later "Poole Pottery". Carter (Jesse) joined forces in the 1920s with designers Harold Stabler and Phoebie Stabler, and potters John Adams and Truda Adams (Truda Carter) to form "Carter Stabler Adams", who produced Art Deco pottery.

The Carter company produced much of the ceramic tiling used on London Underground stations built in the 1930s and, of particular note, made the relief tiles, designed by Stabler, showing symbols of London–some of these can still be seen on stations such as Bethnal Green.

"Carter Stabler Adams" eventually became "Poole Pottery", and during and after World War II produced many lines, including Twintone and Traditional. Much of the traditional range was based on the work of the chief designer in the 1920s, Truda Carter; her original designs were interpreted by "paintresses" who added their own individuality to the pieces, all of which were handmade.

Design by Robert Jefferson

Robert Jefferson joined in the 1950s, and alongside such artisans as Leslie Elsden (designer of the "Aegean" Range), Guy Sydenham, thrower and designer of the "Atlantis" range, Tony Morris, developer of the early "Delphis" Studio wares with Jefferson, and paintresses such as Carol Cutler, Diana Davies, Ros Sommerfeld, Ann Godfrey and others, including the three Wills sisters, Laura, Julia and Carolyn, produced two lines which are probably the most famous of all Poole's output: Delphis and Aegean.

Delphis is easily recognised: it is psychedelic, with vibrant colours and designs inspired by artists such as Mondrian, Warhol, Matisse and Pollock. Aegean is more subtle, with the sgraffito technique used to create the "silhouette" patterns that make this range so recognisable.

A new company trading as Poole Pottery was later formed and produced many of the old designs and styles of the original pottery.


Poole Pottery (Carter, Stabler and Adams) produced two-coloured tableware from the 1930s, but had to stop production during World War Two. When they re-launched the range in the late 1940s, they named it Twintone. Twintone was used on three shapes of tableware, many table accessories and a whole host of decorative ware right up to 1981.


Poole Delphis no.49 pin dish Jean Millership

The Poole Delphis range, launched in 1963, was initially conceived by Guy Sydenham and Robert Jefferson and later developed by Jefferson and Tony Morris. Every piece is pretty much unique, with designs created by the decorators themselves.


Introduced in 1970, Aegean utilises spray-on glazes in a wide range of techniques (sgraffito, silhouette, mosaic, flow line and carved clay) and patterns (from pure 1970's abstraction to more figurative images of fish, leaves, boats and pastoral scenes). Initially thought of as a replacement for Delphis, it was never as successful.

Living Glaze[edit]

Poole Pottery giftware is currently created using "Living Glaze". This involves the application of different glazes which react with one another to achieve unique results on each piece.

Closure and re-establishment[edit]

Leonard Curtis were appointed administrators in 2003, and sold the company as a going concern to Dorset businessman Peter Ford. They also raised funds for creditors by selling historic artefacts from the Pottery's museum.[2]

On 15 December 2006, it was announced that the shop would close, due to non-payment of debts mounting up since new owners took over in August.[3] The company, including the factory, went into administration on 20 December 2006, owing £1 million to over 300 creditors.[1]

Poole Pottery came out of administration on 10 February 2007 and was under the control of Lifestyle Group Ltd, which also owns Royal Stafford Tableware.

The pottery shop remains open on Poole Quay, selling Poole Pottery giftware (first and seconds), lighting, tableware and studio ranges. Along with Royal Stafford tableware ranges and the Lifestyle Products ranges. There is also a studio on site, which is where a large amount of design work is done for new and future products. It is also where limited editions and one-off pieces are produced by a studio team led by master potter Alan White, and designers/paintresses Jane Brewer, Nicky Massarella and Lorna Whitmarsh.

The main Poole Pottery factory is now at the Royal Overhouse Manufactory (sharing with Royal Stafford) in Burslem, Stoke on Trent where production is now carried out following the closure of the Poole factory.

In June 2011, the Denby Pottery Company under the ownership of Hilco bought Poole Pottery.[4]

On 8th July 2017, It was announced that Denby were considering closing the shop at The Quay. <https://planetradio.co.uk/wave-105/local/news/disappointment-decision-close-poole-pottery-shop/>


  1. ^ a b Prestigious pottery maker closes, BBC News, 20 December 2006
  2. ^ Poole Pottery sells its history to safeguard firm's future, The Independent, 22 March 2004
  3. ^ Town pottery shop forced to shut, BBC Regional News, 15 December 2006
  4. ^ "Denby bolsters empire with Poole Pottery buy". The Independent. 18 June 2011. Retrieved 7 March 2016. 

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