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Factory visit to Stoke-on-Trent

28 April 2017

I thought you might like to find out more about our design process so this is the first in a series of factory visits where you can see how Donna Wilson products are made.

You may have seen on Instagram that I took a trip down to our factory in Stoke-on-Trent last week. This is the place where all our bone china ceramics and glassware is produced.  It’s really great to be so close to our makers, literally a train ride away!

For over 300 years Stoke-on-Trent has been renowned for it’s making of high-quality ceramics and revolutionising pottery making techniques. The factory is one of the last remaining ones to survive after many generations of pottery-making. I hope their skills and traditional techniques continue to be passed down to future master potters. We chat in great depth about potential new products and develop some new ideas with these knowledgeable makers. It’s very inspiring to see how they do everything: building the shapes, hand decorating,  glaze, and then fire our final designs in the kiln. As you can see from my photos, everything is porcelain white!

Factory Visit Stoke Moulds Donna Wilson

These tall white towers are the plaster moulds for bowls, plates and beakers.

Factory Visit Stoke Slip Cast Donna Wilson

Each mould requires a trained worker to fill in liquid clay. The clay forms a layer and sticks to inside walls of the mould. This technique is known as slipcasting.

IMG_3967Factory Visit Stoke Egg Cup Donna Wilson

Here are the beginnings of some Beardy Man egg cups, ready to be to hand decorated.  They look much friendlier when they have faces . . . and beards!

Photo credit: Donna Wilson