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Moorcroft Heritage Visitor Centre

         
Stoke-on-Trent Staffordshire England
Description : 

Hayley painting - MoorcroftMuseum

The Moorcroft Museum enables the visitor to look back in time: you can let your imagination run wild and absorb the fascinating history of this unique company and its hand-crafted pottery. The Moorcroft Museum display sparkles in cabinets made by Liberty of London in 1924, enabling the visitor to look at past examples of the very first pieces designed by William Moorcroft at the end of the 19th century. You move forward into the fascinating renaissance of Moorcroft's art ten years ago, before passing through the millennium to the present day. Themed exhibitions relating to Moorcroft's history are an ever-changing feature of this vibrant and colourful Museum display.
 
Shop and Bottle Oven
 
Steeped in history, massive yet gracious, the Moorcroft Bottle Oven stands in the centre of the factory shop. Although its final commercial firing took place in 1962, the bottle oven is now one of the few remaining in Stoke-on-Trent. As a Grade Two listed building, shop visitors have the opportunity to step inside, and there experience the mood of a bygone age.
Described as the world's best-kept Moorcroft secret, the shop offers a comprehensive collection of pottery and table lamps.
 
Moorcroft pottery, is displayed to breath-taking effect on oak stands. On hand will be Moorcroft's highly knowledgeable and friendly sales advisors. You can browse at your leisure without obligation.
 
Factory Tour
 
Why not book a factory tour and witness the highly skilled craftsmen at work.  The method of making Moorcroft has remained virtually unchanged for over 100 years.
 
You are looking at the making of a piece of Moorcroft Pottery, the ancestors of which first appeared in 1897. 
 
Today, Moorcroft is as alive and vibrant as it has been at any time in its long and colourful history.  Old pieces now fetch substantial sums in the major salesrooms of the world while many pieces sold less than five years ago have more than doubled in value. 
 
Christies the international auctioneers, hold two specialist Moorcroft sales each year.  Another remarkable fact is that for a hundred years Moorcroft employed only four full-time designers.  This changed in early 1997 when the Moorcroft Design Studio was formed.  The Design Studio now comprises of no less than nine designers with Rachel Bishop at the head.
 
Every piece of Moorcroft is individual and made entirely by hand.  The method of production of Moorcroft pottery originated by William Moorcroft is almost exactly the same today as it was a hundred years ago.  Most pieces are still turned on a lathe to perfect the shape.  Designs are applied by Tubelining or Slip trailing as it is sometimes called, a process by which the raised outline is applied to the pot in the form of a fine extrusion of liquified clay or slip squeezed through bag held in the hand.  The colours are based on metallic oxides, and are applied entirely by hand, with one colour gently washed over another to enable them to blend together at high temperatures, firstly with the clay pot then the transparent glaze.  It is a second firing which produces the brilliance and depth of colour which has become the unique hallmark of Moorcroft Pottery.
 
The Greatest Moorcroft Design of All Time - no Moorcroft collection is really complete without a Moorcroft Queens Choice Ginger Jar.
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Designs of Rarity
MOORCROFT have now introduced a Designs of Rarity page to their website, containing a carefully scrutinised collection of special and rare pieces of art pottery. Usually Moorcroft editions can be anything from 15 to 100 pieces. On these Designs of Rarity www.moorcroft.com/designs-of-rarity pages, the pieces often come in minuscule limited editions of only 2 pieces and occasionally, are one-offs!
At the world famous art pottery, limited editions can sell out quickly when there are thousands of Moorcroft collectors worldwide. In truth, pieces of art pottery will come and go, inevitably rarely available for long, so time is of the essence when you see a design that you desire, as it may disappear in Moorcroft's historical archives before too long. A visit to Moorcroft Museum, housed in original Liberty cabinets, allows you to journey through the history of the applied arts over the last century due to the simple fact that Moorcroft is still made just as it always was (although now without dangerous lead glazes and without a colossal bottle over belching toxins into the atmosphere) from Art Nouveau, Art Deco to the Broad florals of the 1960's and 1970's, the bold designs of the 1980's and the return to their Arts & Crafts roots in latter- years.
Designs of Rarity include designers' trials, very small limited editions, original designers' watercolours, flambé painted pieces recreating the red colour palette of yesteryear and unique connoisseurs' pieces, in some cases with only one of each piece in existence. These truly are the pieces for the collectors' collections!
Among these pieces is a mushroom tea set limited to only 2 sets. The tea sets comprise of: Tea pot, creamer, sugar, tea cup, saucer and side plate. A feast of toadstools and mushrooms appear on Moorcroft designer, Vicky Lovett's, quirky and cheerful tea set. On the teapot is Fly Agaric; on the cup and saucer is Mycena Rosea; on the cream jug is lilac bonnet; on the sugar is Firerug Inkcap; on the side plate is Leaf Parachute.
One vase is particularly eye-catching, and aptly named Swing. Broad florals, have the power to bring colour, cheer, gest, and a whimsical freedom into an interior design and none more so than Swing which sees Mary Quant-style broad florals in a bold apricot and raspberry fusion with ditsy Rock Daisies and warm coloured Mediterranean peonies all bursting into life together. The connection to Moorcroft and broad florals is a historical one – the 1970's saw Walter Moorcroft sweep the Potteries brown and avocado-green, not unlike the bathroom suites of the time, as he hit the applied arts at a similar time as Mary Quant did in the fashion industry.

Entirely hand painted in a multitude of metallic oxides reminiscent of the paisley tones of the 1960 and 1970's, but without the teardrop motif, Emma Bossons FRSA uses a colourway that will bring a smile to many and will certainly be a statement piece of art in any room. These are Moorcroft colourways that display with prowess the superiority of Moorcroft's phenomenal palette and wonderful raised design image. Each flower and leaf is painstakingly outlined in liquid clay slip with decorators who train for at least 2-years in the heritage craft skill of tubelining. Hand-painting designs of rarity is a privilege given to only the most experienced of Moorcroft artists – many of whom have worked for Moorcroft for over twenty-years.
Another unique design is Factory Flowers Blue, which sees Moorcroft designer, Kerry Goodwin, displaying Moorcroft's iconic grade II listed bottle oven, which has just celebrated its hundredth birthday amidst the flowers that have inspired generations of Moorcroft design and that surround the unique factory in the heart of Burslem, Stoke-on- Trent, with only the use of blue glazes. The beds and borders are lovingly tended to by Moorcroft collectors, including a couple who work at Kew Gardens, when they visit and are filled with spring flowers which appeared on pieces from 1936 until the late 1950s under the stewardship of both William and his son Walter. The design (pictured immediately below) was launched as part of Moorcroft's History in the Making Collection in a colourful burst as a numbered edition and is still available to order.

Once the new 1919 bottle oven was up and running, production continued at a pace throughout the 1920s. Flowers were still used as the main source of inspiration and at least ten new designs were launched during this period, featuring both domestic and exotic flora. In 1956, Moorcroft's world was to change with the introduction of The Clean Air Act. Coal-fired bottle ovens were no longer used and instead, electric kilns began operation.
In 1956, the first Moorcroft bottle oven was demolished following the installation of an electric tunnel kiln for glaze firing. The second bottle oven was demolished once the changeover to electric firing had been completed in 1960, and the third, and youngest, bottle oven remained alone, destined to become the historic feature of the factory that it is today.
In the 1970s, the brown brick factory was white-washed and has remained so ever since. Kerry's vase shows the factory as it is today. The beds and borders that some of our dedicated Club members lovingly tend when they visit us, are filled with Spring Flowers which appeared on pieces from 1936 until the late 1950s under the stewardship of both William and his son Walter. Kerry's bottle oven has smoke billowing from it – a figment of her imagination for the very good reason that by the 1970s, it lay silent and dormant, enjoying a well-earned rest, after so many years loyal service
As part of the highly revered new DESIGNS OF RARITY pieces, Kerry's design has been carefully transformed into a blue-on-blue design for an unusual alternative in a limited edition of only 2 sets! One day someone will turn the base such pieces over and delight at such rarity. The blue-on-blue colourway also has connections to Moorcroft's past. The hallowed 'blue-on-blue' colourway which first appeared in 1897/8 has been frequently used to colour Moorcroft designs since that time with some collectors just building up Moorcroft collections of their own using only this colourway. Visit the Moorcroft Designs of Rarity and discover for yourself what Moorcroft connoisseurs favour.

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Opening Hours : Monday to Friday - 10am to 5pm, Saturday 9.30am to 4.30pm (Inclusive of Bank Holidays)
Car Park and Admission are Free. Coach Parties are Welcome.
Closed Sunday.Closed Christmas to New Year for annual holidays.
Telephone 01782 207943
 
IMG 0057Fantastical FriendsPaul Pickard 33Collectors in MHVC

 

 

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Description : 

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Description : 

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Description : 

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Wolverhampton Staffordshire England
Description : 

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