Denby pottery is a company that has been in business for almost two hundred years. A man by the name of William Bourne, who lived in Great Britain around the time of 1806, discovered an exceptional clay in the area of Derbyshire and Denby. He recognised that the clay could be put to good use, and thus Denby pottery began. Production of the pottery was started in 1809, with William Bourne's son, Joseph at the helm.
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The pottery that was produced at the factory in Denby was salt glazed pottery. It also came to be known as "Joseph Bourne" pottery in the area. The salt glazing aspect of the pottery was achieved by throwing regular salt into the kilns, while their temperature was at is hottest. This created a glazing effect that combined with the surface of the pottery, produced a brown shiny surface. This salt glazing was a popular method at the time for decorating pottery.
Denby pottery built an international reputation because of its quality and beautifully made products. Many of the Denby pottery items, like bottles and jars were used for inks, toiletries, medicines and beer. In the late 1800s, bottles that were made of glass became less costly, and soon could replace pottery for holding liquids. Denby expanded its line by developing more kitchen type items, as well as creating additional glazes that would become a Denby trademark.
Denby continued to manufacture its line of useful kitchenware, and by the 1920s, many of Denby's products could be found in homes across Britain. Kitchenware that was purchased could range from pie pans to colanders and canisters. In addition, Denby expanded its line by venturing into more decorative items, such as vases and bowls. These items could also be found in many middle class homes, and had a stamp to identify them as being made by Denby. The stamp on the items was Danesby Ware, and was a common name given to all product made by Denby that was widely circulated.
Denby pottery expanded its line by developing more vibrant colours such as Electric Blue, and something called Orient Ware, which was a dull blue/brown. Both of these colours have become classics, and are considered collectable today. Lines that continued to be popular well into the 1980s were the Cottage Blue and Homestead Brown. In the 1950s Denby reassessed its line, and turned its focus to developing more tableware product, expanding this line to include all of the necessary plates, cups and saucers. Highly skilled designers kept the line fresh and new.
The 1970s became a time of further expansion for Denby pottery, with more alterations and addition to the line. With the proliferation of pottery that could go from the oven to the table, Denby embarked on creating new designs to fill this need. Now Denby pottery could be multipurpose and work within the parameters of a modern more casual lifestyle. Casual dining took the place of more formal dining, and soon, Denby designs such as Regency Green and Imperial Blue graced many tables in the 1980s.
Denby pottery continues to build on its tradition of quality and durability, offering timeless design, which reflects its craftsmanship and family heritage.
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