News & Events
Please note that Personalised Teacups & Saucers and our Pink Figs, Purple Veg and Toy Town patterns will be discontinued on Monday 29th August 2016
Our new Personalised patterns will launch on Monday 5th September.
28th July 2016
On Saturday 13th August we will be closing our Marylebone High Street shop for a fortnight whilst we carry out some exciting improvement works inside the shop - it will reopen on Monday 30th August.
If you’re shopping in London over the summer we still have an Emma Bridgewater shop – our lovely store at 779 Fulham Road – and of course emmabridgewater.co.uk.
Please note that orders can no longer be delivered to our Marylebone store but we will resume this service as soon as the shop reopens.
1st August 2016
Everybody has been getting very excited about our new cat and dog sculptures today - they were modelled by leading animal sculptor Dido Crosby. As it happens, she is running a sculpture course in a delicious-sounding villa in Tuscany belonging to another friend of Emma and Matthew's, Ben Gooder. It's an extraordinary opportunity - perhaps you might end up casting your own dog in bronze. See below for details:
Fancy a week in a beautiful hilltop villa in Tuscany doing a bit of wax modeling, visiting a Carrara marble mine, a sculpture museum and a bronze foundry in Pietrasanta, the historical centre of the sculpture world, this October?
Come to beautiful Casa Berti (Facebook page) for a sculpture course run by Dido Crosby MRBS.
Fly to Pisa, get picked up from the airport and driven through olive groves to stay in Ben’s glorious 17th century Tuscan manor house, fully catered with delicious local food and wine, and learn to model in wax towards later casting in bronze. Visits to nearby Lucca, Pietrasanta and Carrara.
For more information call Ben Gooder on 07973 393 682.
5th September 2016
The most beautiful picture of motherhood and devotion in the natural world is the site of mother hen and her chicks.
This summer Deborah, my Silver Partridge Pekin Bantam, decided at turning one-year-old in April that it was time she sat on her first clutch of eggs. Deborah was one of the first chicks that I hatched in my incubator at the Emma Bridgewater factory, so I’m especially fond of her.
Her breed, the Pekin Bantam, are renowned for their friendly, docile characters and indeed making very good broody hens. They are a true Bantam, meaning that they only exist in one petite size of chicken. Originally they came from China and the first birds to arrive into Britain were said to have been part of the loot taken from the Emperors palace, where the birds puddled about upon the palace stairs. Their foot feathers mean they are a good breed of chicken for the garden – but they need to be kept out of mud, their profusion of fluffy feathers must be checked often for lice and their feet smeared with Vaseline seasonally so their scales do not become deformed.
Pekin Bantams have been bred into a huge number of colours. The most popular seem to be the lavender and buff, but all are beautiful in their own way. A trio of them pecking around the back door looks like a bunch of feathered, fluffy-bottomed cup and saucers!
I allowed Deborah to sit her own eggs. The chicks’ father is a booted cross gold cuckoo Pekin named Charlie, and some of the chicks may not be Deborah's at all as both the Wyandotte hens, Juliet and Victoria all share the same nesting box! After 21 days of tight sitting, 6 eggs hatched. Once the chicks had dried off and fluffed up underneath their mother’s feathers, it was time to gently move the young family from the main hen house to their own cosy and more protected nursery coop.
I commissioned my dad to make me an ark for the garden in the spring. When you’re hatching your own eggs, it's vital to have several coops to contain delicate, growing birds while they are young, because chickens of different ages can’t be mixed safely together. Young birds get pecked and bullied – sometimes quite shockingly by adults – due to the pecking order hierarchy that hens strictly live within.
At this time of year, it's really important to give your hens dry soil or sand to dust bath in, so that they can keep clean and cool. Ensure that the hen houses are kept free of the nocturnal, blood sucking red mite by dusting diatomaceous Earth under the perches and in the nesting boxes. Hens often moult at this time of year too, losing their feathers and growing a new set. Growing new feathers takes a lot of energy for hens, so mix into their layers pellets and corn, spoonfuls of cod liver oil and feed them, as a treat, dried cat biscuits. This extra protein will help keep their energy levels up and their combs nice and red.
Happy hen keeping and thanks for reading – Arthur
29th July 2016
Emma and Matthew will be holding two Open Garden events at their home in Bampton, Oxfordshire in the coming months:
- Sunday 7th August, in aid of the village organ fund
- Sunday 18th September, in aid of the Michael Barry fund
The garden will be open from 2:30-5:30pm, entry will be £5 and there will be tea and cake available too. No dogs please (except guide dogs)
The postcode is OX18 2HG - we hope to see you there!
22nd July 2016
We've created a fantastic Blue Splatter Gallon Teapot and 10 Baby Mugs for Lawrence Home Nursing Team in Chipping Norton, a palliative care charity close to our heart. The tea set is on eBay here - all of the money raised will go to the charity, so make sure to bid high!
There will also be a Cricket Day and Family Fete at Sandford St Martin Cricket Club, Oxfordshire, OX7 7AJ on Sunday 10th July 12.00- 17.00, with more Blue Splatter Baby Mugs in the raffle along with lots of other nice Emma Bridgewater pottery, Giffords Circus tickets and prizes from Hemsley and Hemsley, Daylesford, Feastival and Soho Farmhouse and many more.
Please do come along and support the fantastic charity that is Lawrence Home Nursing Team.
8th July 2016
Oriental poppies are one of my favourite, must- have plants. These are perennials that are native to Turkey, and unlike other poppies – almost all of which are annuals – they can be relied upon to reappear each spring with their hairy, green leaves that are soon overtaken in height by tall stems holding their famous swelling flower buds atop.
When these buds burst open, they reveal one of the blowsiest of all blooms: like silk crossed with tissue paper, large and sumptuous yet still seemingly elegant and delicate. I'd have a garden packed with these, and they certain look best when grown en mass. They will tolerate most soils, but do appreciate full sun as well as a feed of well- rotted muck each spring.
Last year I took root cuttings to create more plants, and now it is the time to repeat the job – the oriental poppies have finished flowering, and their yellowing foliage can be chopped to the ground and their clumps carefully lifted up with a garden fork.
You may want to save their seed heads, as they look impressive when dried and sprayed golden as Christmas decor.
Once you've lifted the root ball, look for a few of the fleshly white roots. Cut a few of them off with a pair of scissors, trying to remember the correct way up of the root – attach some ribbon to the upwards end before you cut it off, as once it has been cut from the root ball, one end looks identical to the other!
With the cut roots, take them onto the potting bench or kitchen table and chop them up so you end up with several bits of root that are 2-3 inches long. Take a terracotta pot filled with a gritty, sandy compost mixture and push each bit of root into it, around the pots edge. Water the pot little and often and in 3 weeks you should start to see little leaves appearing from the pushed in bits of root.
Once they have grown a small rosette of leaves, each new poppy can then be potted up individually so you'll have lots of these fabulous perennials for free! These can be either over wintered in a cold frame or planted out into the garden in September.
Replant the parent poppy back in its spot - as it’s died back, you can plant cosmos or dahlias around it so that you don't have gaps in the border for the rest of the summer. The clumps will grow fresh leaves normally once cut back though and sometimes, if the summer is long and warm, they will give a second flush of blooms (but this will be far sparser than the guaranteed late spring show).
There are lots of varieties of oriental poppy – Goliath is the largest, with flowers of Beefeater-jacket red, but my favourite is the smaller 'Patty's Plum'. The strain I have in the garden at Stoke is especially dark like a blackcurrant sorbet!
Happy gardening and thanks for reading - Arthur
4th July 2016
Emma and Matthew have lots of exciting upcoming events - here's some dates for your diary:
- Sunday 26th June: Emma at Oundle Festival of Literature
- Thursday 8th September: Emma at Liberty in conversation with Fiona McCarthy, 5-7pm
- Friday 23rd September: Emma and Matthew at The Chatsworth Festival - Art Out Loud
- Sunday 9th October Emma Bridgewater at Cheltenham Literary Festival. More details to follow
- Friday 11th November: Emma at Wooten Village Hall Talks
27th June 2016
Our Summer Sale starts online and in our Stoke-on-Trent, Fulham and Marylebone shops on Thursday 23rd June at 9am (GMT).
Our Summer Sale Collectors Club preview started last Thursday at 9am and our Sale pattern Sampler has proven to be very popular with some pieces sold out already. Our Stoke-on-Trent, Fulham and Marylebone shops do have some stock of our Sale Pattern (excluding Teapots) so if you’re keen to get your hands on some Sampler pieces and you can’t find what you’re looking for online, please do head to one of our shops. Please note that our shops are unable to take telephone orders until next week.
20th June 2016
We're proud to have created an exclusive tea set to raise funds for Pancreatic Cancer Action, comprising of an Egg & Feather Gallon Teapot with 20 mugs - you can find out more details and place your bids on the set here.
17th June 2016
People are often surprised to be told that the allium is, in fact, an onion! The game is easily given away, however, if you accidently dig a bulb up from damp earth or slice one in half with a spade – easily done, you’ll soon smell a strong odour more familiar to the frying pan than the flower border. While the tulip gets all the major attention in the autumn bulb catalogues and garden centre displays, the allium proves its worth in several ways, most notably in its perennial habit and its flowering time, filling the lull of the dreaded May time gap. Alliums are also a favourite bloom of the bumble bee.
The alliums begin to bloom most years with the late flowering tulips such as the silky, princess ball- gown-like ‘Blue Parrot’. If your garden is to be filled with tulips, then it’s a good idea to place 1 allium bulb for every 5 tulip bulbs when planting them in the autumn, so that you don’t just have a seemingly decaying mass of gone over tulips – an especially important factor to give consideration to when planting a small garden.
To do well, alliums require a soil of good drainage like most bulbs, and they do like sun too. If your soil is heavy with a large amount of clay, add handfuls of sharp grit mixed with spent compost to their planting hole so that they don’t become soggy and rot during the winter.
The strappy, smooth, leaves of alliums will appear early in the year. They become a bit shabby by the time the flowering stems have risen up from their centres but at this stage you can cut the leaves off without harming next year’s display. Given the mentioned conditions, alliums will last in the garden for decades, with the display getting better each year, while the blowsiest and most luscious of tulips will do well to come back with a decent flower in their third season. You can cut alliums for the vase inside, but their water must have a teaspoon of bleach added to prevent the stems sap fowling the water within hours.
I am very thankful for the alliums at the factory this spring, having picked up the flower baton as soon as the tulips began to shed their petals. The variety we have the most of is the old favourite ‘Purple Sensation’.
The days are getting warmer but the nights are still quite nippy here, so the summer bedding has yet to begin its journey down from the factory’s rooftop greenhouses to the courtyard beds and planters. Hopefully next week, planting can commence with earnest – although the wallflowers look far too good currently to be dug up!
The crested ducklings are eating non- stop and growing at full pelt. They are being allowed total liberty of the garden, as ducks are not as destructive to the plants as the bantam hens. Each day, they get to swim in a beautiful, old tin bath that I have brought here from my mother’s garden in Nottingham. They have yet to be given any names as I am yet to know for sure if they are ducks or drakes!
With best wishes,
24th May 2016
Join us for a fundraising afternoon in Bampton on Sunday 5th June for Horatio’s Garden, Stoke Mandeville and the National Gardens Scheme. Emma and Matthew will host a Big Tea Party, with a talk in their studio on ‘Making a Garden from Scratch – Behind the scenes at Bampton’ followed by a delicious tea and a tour of their garden. For more information and to book tickets, see the Horatio's Garden website here.
20th May 2016