Emma Bridgewater Factory Tour

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In the summer Beloved and I were back in the midlands and decided at quite short notice, to visit the Emma Bridgewater Factory!

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The Factory offers Experience Days, Factory Tours, a cafe and decorating studio! We tried to book onto the Experience Day (£30 pp) which included the tour, afternoon tea and a half pint jug for decorating, however we were booking at short notice and there was not enough room for two of us. So, instead we went for the Factory Tour (£2.50 per adult, under 16s free) and booked a slot shortly after in the Decorating Studio.

The tour was one hour and led by a lovely knowledgable lady who took us through from the mixing machines where the special slip is prepared, through the slip casting room, drying areas, kilns and finally the large decorating area! It was wonderful to see everyone working together and seemingly having a great time – there was a real sense of community and pride in the work they were producing.

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Following the tour and the sneak peak at the new christmas range – Beloved and I headed to the decorating studio, where people are able to use the left over sponges used in the original designs, to decorate all kinds of pots, mugs and plates! We chose two espresso mugs and two plates. Beloved had a great time decorating a little espresso mug for Little One (she isn’t a coffee drinker – YET – but she loves dinosaurs), whereas I decided to have a go at making Little One some colourful plates. Getting an even sponge print is harder than it looks!

The decorating studio was wonderful and for £5 you can post as much as you want to anywhere in the UK! And three weeks later, what a lovely delivery to receive.

Overall we really enjoyed the visit – even Beloved recognised Emma Bridgewater pieces. The Factory Tour was extremely reasonable and the decorating studio was well equipped and reasonably priced. And there were vouchers all over the tickets and bookings for both the seconds shop and the gift shop, so you really could grab yourself a bargain!

If you find yourself in Stoke or the midlands, it’s definitely worth a visit, even at short notice!

PS xx

p.s. Apologies, I wrote a post on this months ago, but somewhere between uploading the photos on my phone and writing the blog post on my laptop, it disappeared?! So As you can see from the date on the plates, we visited in Factory in August, not November!

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Evening all!

I wanted to share with you the results of some of my bowl stamping experiments. I am still getting frustrated by not getting glazes the way I want them, either in terms of coverage, colour or effect. It’s something I hope to work on in coming weeks.

For example the large floral  bowl I made didn’t, in my opinion, come out well. I painted blue glaze onto the flowers and poured on a white dipping glaze, but once in the kiln the blue smothered the flowers and the white pooled at the bottom giving a completely different effect to the rim. The centre of the bowl looked almost clear rather than white.

Perhaps this was a result of my pouring or applying too much blue glaze to the flowers, I don’t know.

The bowl with the geometric stamped rim came out much more even with the green dipping glaze (although still patchy in areas) and even a drip from another item in the kiln seems to have brought it to life. I wasn’t mad on the green glaze tester but actually it is my favourite of the bowls for colour.

I have another bowl to show but this one was done quite differently – I’ll explain more when I take some photos!

As ever I try to view my work as learning opportunities and here are definitely things to be learnt from these bowls.

Beloved looked at me last week and the piles of ceramic dishes piling up and so I selected a number of pieces to go to friends and family. It’s nice to think they have gone to good homes and are being used rather than sat gathering dust. Friends and family are so supportive and of course have a very different view of a pot compared to the potter. Whereas I see primarily imperfections, they might have a more positive overall impression. It feels good to share and sometimes we all need to little positivity and encouragement.

Some things in the pipeline are Christmas related goodies, more throwing practice, working with coloured slip and my big project… a dolls house for Little One!

Thanks for all the likes and comments, it feels great to receive them and I am always appreciative of advice and tips! 

Keep potting 

PG xx