Beloved around the globe as much for its practicality and versatility as its eye-catching designs, Denby Pottery is the epitome of Great British ceramic design. Produced using a combination of modern techniques and traditional handcrafting, Denby Pottery is well known for its quality and distinctive designs.
Due to the handcrafted nature of Denby Pottery, slight colour variations may occur as each item is skilfully hand-dipped and therefore unique. On early hand-painted designs such as Gypsy and Chatsworth these variations can be significant, our Essential guide explains more (The Essential Guide to Buying Replacement China)
Also see the products we have listed as Denby Langley (Denby – Langley pattern list)
How Denby is Made – The Story of a Teacup
Denby Pottery was established in 1809 in the village of Denby, in the heart of Derbyshire England. The factory remains at this site today, and still uses the local clay for its pottery.
The local clay is mixed with water, washed and filtered to remove any impurities, and is finally extruded into pugs or “sausages” which are stored in a steamy room to stop them drying out before moving on to the next step.
The pug is then cut into slices. Each slice is put into a plaster of Paris mould and a metal forming tool forces the clay into the mould, helping to form the inside of the teacup.
The outside shape is finished by turning, which removes the excess clay and the handle is then applied to the finished shape by hand. Liquid clay is used to attach the two parts which forms a strong bond when fired
Once the teacup shape is fully completed it is ready to enter the kiln for the first time. Here it is fired for 12 hours at 960ºC. During the firing the product shrinks and leaves the kiln as a fragile ‘biscuit’.
The inside of the teacup is precisely glazed with a rinsing machined, and the outside is hand dipped into one of Denby’s unique colour glazes. His hand dipped process required extreme skill gain over a minimum of five years training. The speed at which the teacup is dipped must remain constant because one-hundredth of a cm difference in colour could alter the colour of the finished glaze.
The teacup is now ready for the second firing lasting another 12 hours, but this time at 1175ºC. Once again the teacup shrinks.
Om leaving the kiln the teacup has taken its distinctive Denby colour and is now extremely durable. If any additional decoration is being applied, then a litho is applied by and the teacup fired for a third time.