Emma Bridgewater Pottery

Yesterday we came up to Aston Marina for the start of a cruise up the Macclesfield and Upper Peak Forest Canals. True to form it was raining and very windy! We had intended to leave Aston this morning, but looking at the weather forecast it showed over 40 mph gusts in the afternoon so we decided to postpone our departure and have a day out in the Potteries as tourists. Our choice was a visit to the Emma Bridgewater Pottery in Hanley. We have passed the factory before on our trips up the Caldon.

A riot of spots! - An Emma Bridgewater Aga

The factory runs tours along with a having a gift shop, a factory seconds shop, a cafe and a pottery cafe. It's quite an operation.

We opted for the factory tour but they were busy and we had to delay until the last of the day at 1:30. The tour was led by a knowledgeable guide but she was focused on getting her visitors around the factory and not keen on taking questions. However, it was a really interesting tour and an eye-opener in terms of the skills of the potters and decorators. 

Emma Bridgewater Factory

Making moulds from patterns

Mugs and tea pots drying
Stacking mugs
Tidying up a tea pot
Throwing a bowl
Loaded into the kiln
Those that didn't make it - clay awaiting recycling

Before the visit we had a good lunch in the cafe - Staffordshire Oatcakes. Of course following the visit we just had to visit the shop! Maggie enjoyed adding to our collection of mugs. 

A local joiner was constructing a stage in the courtyard of the factory for their upcoming literary event Hot Air 2015.  Michael Palin, Margaret Drabble and Alistair Campbell (among others) will be treading the boards.