Dating bridgewater pottery
“My mother wasn’t driven and she certainly wasn’t a career person,” Bridgewater says.
“I think we’d all have been a bit more restful if she hadn’t had her accident.” When Bridgewater, who read English at the University of London, began experimenting with sponge-painted ceramics in the bedroom of a former squat in Brixton, her grand plan was to build up a business for a few years and flog it, rather like Tie Rack and Sock Shop.
I thought, 'This is so irresponsible.’ ” It was her husband, Matthew Rice, the illustrator, who calmed her down, reminding her that nobody wants to hear that heart-patterned mugs have been created in anything other than a good mood. “The truth is that no one wants to hear that it’s not like that.” The editor of her new book, Toast & Marmalade and Other Stories, which documents the ideas and inspirations behind the 29-year-old ceramics label with whimsical family snaps and pictures of her homely crockery and bakeware, was equally keen for her to leave out the tears and the heartbreak.
But Bridgewater, 53, who decamped to Paris to write the book (to avoid the pain of sitting in an empty family home when her youngest son, Michael, started boarding at Bedales last September) was adamant that it should give an honest impression of the struggle.
A studio fee of £6.99 is charged per person, per session, to cover all materials (paints, decorating sponges and a short demonstration if needed) plus glazing and firing of all items decorated that session. The cost of the pottery is then added at the end of the session.
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“It’s not surprising that millions of the good ideas born ever day don’t turn into companies.
Emma wishes she had invented the Jaffa Cake Biscuit or cake? Emma grew up in north Oxford and, after living in London and Norfolk, finally settled in Bampton, Oxfordshire.She called her company Bridgewater Pottery, which gave the impression it had been around for ages with no hint of the inexperienced 25-year-old behind its cheery polka-dot patterns.When she married Matthew – they met at a trade fair – and had daughters Elizabeth, now 24, and Kitty, 23, she stepped away from the business, allowing it to tick over for six years under hired managers while she got on with family life.I wait for her to start back-pedalling but she simply lowers her voice.
“I listened, fuming, to the lovely Cath Kidston on Desert Island Discs who was making out that you stroll out and start a business like it’s a walk in the park.Her business turned over £11 million last year, but for all her success Bridgewater, whose childhood heroine was Laura Ashley, and who is good friends with fellow middle-class tastemakers Kidston and Johnnie Boden, insists she never planned to be a working mother, running a business empire in her fifties.