Old Tupton Ware is a collection of unique ceramics, which has origins in the rural village of Old Tupton in Derbyshire, United Kingdom. Old Tupton Ware was designed and first produced in the UK in 2002. The cult following of collectors quickly grew, and the highly collectable range is now available in over 50 designs.The Old Tupton Ware range is still designed in the UK.
Each piece is painstakingly hand-crafted by skilled professionals. It starts out as liquid clay, known as ‘slip’, which is placed into moulds and left to initially set. As the slip starts to dry, excess clay is removed from the centre of the piece. The excess is also removed from the edges of the piece whilst inside the mould.
The next step involves turning the clay whilst manually removing blemishes and seams. No measuring devices are used for this, everything relies on the skill of the turner.
Following this, the piece is ‘sponged’ to ensure the surface of the piece is smooth and blemish-free.
The UK-designed pattern is then drawn onto the piece by a skilled tracer.
The skilled decorator then uses a bag filled with soft clay to painstakingly go over the outline of the pattern, a process akin to icing a cake, known as ‘tube lining’. The decorator uses more ‘slip’ in a bag similar to a cake icing bag, and carefully draws the softened clay onto the pattern drawn on to the piece. The decorator has to ensure the slip outline is fully connected up and even so it can solidify into the appropriate shapes. Any gaps or weakness in the slip would cause the paint to run into other sections of the pattern. It is this process that gives Old Tupton Ware its unique, raised detail.
Each piece is then hand painted, glazed and fired in the kiln for 8 hours at over 1000 degrees celcius, to finish off and create the lovely Old Tupton Ware pottery pieces available to buy today.