EDITORIAL - STAFFORDSHIRE LIFE MAGAZINEPosted on - 3rd May 2017
THIS ARTICLE FEATURED IN STAFFORDSHIRE LIFE magazine (May 2017 Ed).
A historic Staffordshire pottery firm, renowned as one of the UK’s leading fine art manufacturers, has launched a new range to appeal to younger customers. LEAH CASSADY spoke to lead designer Emma Bossons to find out more
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HAVING worked for Moorcroft for more than two decades, Emma Bossons recently helped forge a new brand – with a new way of thinking – to the well-established and traditional pottery of Moorcroft. designconsort is an independent entity from Moorcroft, which was established in 1897, and yet the team of creative designers behind the new brand come with a wealth of expertise from the renowned manufacturer.The lead designer of designconsort, said: “I’ve been designing for Moorcroft for 21 years, although it doesn’t feel that – I must be enjoying myself.
“With designconsort I wanted to create something fresh and more contemporary, aimed at a different market to Moorcroft. “The items are made with more of an interior angle, they’re crisp and clear yet use the same traditional skills to make them. Obviously, we have fantastic skills here at Moorcroft and so it made sense to keep those going. A few staff members were thinking along the same lines, and so creating this brand was a natural step for all of us.”
Each piece of designconsort is made in Staffordshire, with the design outlined by the hand-application of liquid clay, before being hand-painted and tinged with delicate amounts of gold or silver lustre. Emma, pictured above, lives in the Staffordshire Moorlands with her partner. She said: “Each piece of handmade ceramic is fired three times. The whole process from start to finish takes around two to three weeks for an average size piece, and even longer for bigger items.”
The 40-year-old added: “It’s all hand-painted so every piece varies slightly, which I think is part of its appeal.
“We worked out that each item goes through around 15 different pairs of hands, from making the mould to decorating it and those who do quality checks.”
When asked about what gave her inspiration for the new designs, Emma said: “designconsort is a different way of looking at things, it doesn’t see things literally like Moorcroft.
“For Moorcroft I do the whole landscape, but for this I look at just parts of it, like the bark of a tree or detail of a feather. It’s a nice change to do things differently. “For example Flock, Shoaling and Herd are just reduced shapes made to look like something, in Flock that is a flock of birds. And Town is the idea of houses going up into the distance landscape.”
“With these patterns we can change the colours used to create a different version of each item. You can’t do that with Moorcroft, and that’s one of the reasons I love working with designconsort.”
The photoshoot location used to launch the brand was chosen to show how a design that was created for fashionable urbanites also works well in a country interior. It took place at a home in Whiston, near Cheadle.
Emma said: “I am an odd mix in that I love period properties and also the contemporary, so the location fitted me perfectly. “The home owners, Gary and Adrian Stevenson, are close friends of mine and have created the most beautiful, stylish home together. “It’s often a little awkward moving things around in properties to get the right shot, but Gary and Adrian were totally open to us moving furniture from room to room. In fact Adrian has worked in interior design so has a fantastic eye and gave great input into making some great shots. “The photographer, Andrew, is also a good friend and is very similar in character to Gary. They were chatting away throughout and we all had a great time at the shoot. “It took a full day to do the shoot, but as you can imagine, time flew by.”
Emma does have a favourite piece of designconsort. “One of my favourites is Town. When I was young I used to fall asleep in the car and always asked mum and dad to wake me up near Mow Cop, as I liked to look at the lights in the night sky. “It’s the memory of this within that pot that makes it special to me.
“I also thinks it sums up designconsort well, as it’s made of shapes and not drawn literally, yet you can still see what it is.”
THIS ARTICLE FEATURED IN STAFFORDSHIRE LIFE magazine (May 2017 Ed). The article within the magazine featured an array of other images not featured above.