Sunday, 3 May 2015

Emma Bridgewater Red Letter Day

A while ago I received a Red Letter Day voucher and after going through all the spa days and London tours, I decided on the Emma Bridgewater pottery tour, afternoon tea and decorating class which I thought was right up my street. The Emma Bridgewater potteries are based in Stoke-on-Trent so it was around a 120 mile drive from where I live but it was well worth the trip. To start, we had a tour at 11.30am around the potteries, showing the making of Emma Bridgewater products from start to finish.
The clay is created in a slip and then poured into the moulds and then the excess is tipped out before leaving to dry for around 2 hours. Once the pot is set, it's becomes a lot lighter in colour. Before the items are fired, the pot is rubbed over with sponges and water and edged with a knife to create a seamless finish. Being a fan of the Emma Bridgewater pottery and especially her designs, I was really intrigued to find out that the pottery is actually stamped with sponges which have been cut out with each pattern. For certain patterns like the Rose and Bee, the workers have to follow instructions as to where to sponge the pattern on but for Emma's more iconic design like the Pink Hearts or Polka Dot, they can place the pattern where they like so none of her pottery is identical. Each worker writes their initial on the bottom of each item so they can identify their work. Once the pottery has been painted, it's goes to be glazed. The glaze has a colourant added to it so it's easy to identify that the whole item has been covered. The purple colouring burns off in the kiln. We finished our tour and headed to the quaint little cafe for a delicious afternoon tea all served in the Emma Bridgewater pottery, the scone with clotted cream and jam was my personal favourite.
Later on in the afternoon we had chance to decorate our own item of pottery, I chose a dinner plate and decorated it with a simple heart design (you may have seen this on my instagram @BethBlogsBeauty) to go with the Pink Hearts half pint mug I purchased from the gift shop. The plate will be glazed and fired and then sent to me in the post so I have a keepsake from the day out, which is a lovely touch. I took my mum along with my for this Red Letter Day and we both really enjoyed it, if you're into your homeware or are at all crafty/arty then I highly recommend this trip, it's a great day out.

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