In 1806 William Bourne set up a pottery at Denby, in Derbyshire. A rich bed of fine stoneware clay had been discovered, and Bourne - a member of a well established family of potters - opened the pottery for his son, Joseph, to manage. After nearly two hundred years the company is still going strong.
Originally known only for salt-glazed stonewares in subdued colours, in the early twentieth century more decorative pieces started to be made. In 1931 Norman Wood joined the firm and revolutionized the production methods. He installed high-capacity tunnel-kilns, which enabled the company to employ a new range of glazes. Donald Gilbert joined in 1934, as a designer, and Denby's potential for making decorative wares moved up another gear.
Michael Cardew visited the pottery towards the end of 1944, and was impressed by the production methods which were very much more like his own concept of how pottery should be produced than those of the large companies in Stoke.
The Denby Pottery Company, as it is known today, is still making ornamental and domestic wares of the high quality for which it has always been famous.
|Denby Stonewares: a Collector's Guide by Graham Key|
|Bourne at Denby by Graham Key|
|Denby Pottery 1809-1997 by G. Hopwood, I. Hopwood|
|British Ceramic Art 1870-1940 by John A Bartlett|