Although it’s not widely known (or seen), the Carlton Ware brand has been resurrected in recent years by well-known collectables publisher Francis Joseph.
Examples of the company’s new wares can be found on it’s website, www.carltonwaredirect.com and they also offer a newsletter (free initially, but then you have to make a purchase or subscribe for £35 per year…).
I haven’t seen much of this new Carlton Ware around on the secondary market yet – which isn’t surprising, as it is being made in extremely low volumes. This means you can at least be assured of exclusivity if you do buy any of these pieces.
The designs available are a mixture of licensed version of timeless classics – such as the Golliwog and the children’s designs of Mabel Lucie Attwell – and genuinely new designs, mostly by Marie Graves, a ceramic artist based in Stoke on Trent. Many of the shapes, however, are clearly freshened versions of old designs.
If you’re interested in Carlton Ware then it is well worth taking a look, although to me, these wares don’t seem to be being made or marketed intensively enough for Carlton Ware to take a significant place in the market again.
Poole Pottery’s new owners Lifestyle have confirmed that the company will not be opening a new factory in Poole – under any circumstances. The company currently operates a shop and a small studio – with just four staff – in Poole, but all regular production has been moved to Stoke.
Lifestyle were always open about their plan to move the bulk of Poole Pottery production to their Stoke factory, but Poole fans and former staff had always hoped that there might be some future for volume production locally.
In this article in the Dorset Daily Echo, Lifestyle Managing Director Peter Bello reiterated the company’s position:
“We absolutely stick to what we said to the public, that the bulk of
production would move to Stoke-on-Trent, with the studio continuing
with product development and design and production of limited editions.”
The news will disappoint those hoping for a change of plan, but comes as no real surprise.
To be fair to Lifestyle, Poole Pottery was on a very poor footing prior to its closure and the company had been through more than one bankruptcy and change of ownership in the years preceding its demise.
Lifestyle has invested money in the company and preserved the Poole brand when all else seemed to have failed. A new range is due to be launched in 2008, which Lifestyle says was developed at the new Poole Studio, and Lifestyle have so far shown a firm commitment to turn the firm around.
Let’s hope they succeed – and that Poole Pottery doesn’t lose its unique identity in the process.