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Porcelain goods have been manufactured in Scotland for hundreds of years. Most of the Scottish potteries were located in the centre of the country near the coal fields because energy was cheaper there. Much of the white clay used for making the pottery came from Northern Ireland. The Scottish Pottery Society lists 55 Scottish Potteries which were active in Central Scotland but are now no longer operational.
What Is Porcelain?
Porcelain is a type of ceramics in which the ceramics were fired at a very high temperature to achieve a non-porous, glassy look. Porcelain is made from clay mixed with feldspar, silica or quartz. Bone china has cattle bone ash mixed in as well, for a harder porcelain that can be fired at lower temperatures. The process of making porcelain includes crushing and mixing the materials, forming the porcelain, firing, glazing, and then firing again.
Butcher and Stuart Ceramics
There are several studios in Scotland where porcelain pottery is produced on site. Most of these allow tours and have stores, as well as selling their pottery through other shops. Tom Butcher Ceramics is located in Argyll and Bute in Mansefield Studios and can be visited February to December. Butcher produces functional tableware as well as decorative bowls and sculptures. Stuart Ceramics, founded by Charles Stuart and located in Glasgow, makes porcelain magnets and brooches.
Buchlyvie Pottery Shop and Highbank Porcelain
Buchlyvie Pottery Shop is located north of Glasgow near Stirling. The pottery is designed by Alison Borthwick and hand painted. Buchlyvie produces tableware, tiles, vases and lamps, all of which is sold in the shop as well as in other boutiques. The open design of the shop allows visitors to see the artists at work. Highbank Porcelain Pottery is located in Lochgilphead and is listed as one of the places to visit when touring the area.
Glasgow Ceramics Studio and The Adam Pottery
Glasgow Ceramics Studio, located in Glasgow, and The Adam Pottery in Edinburgh are both cooperative studios in which a variety of artists share space. Glasgow Studio has classes and workshops, allows non-artists to use the firing facilities, and do pottery repair. They have days that are open to the public to visit and buy pottery. The Adam Pottery was started as a studio by Janet Adam in the site of a former Edinburgh bakery. Over the years she began letting space to other artists, and now it is a multi-artist studio.
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