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Historic Moorcroft Pottery launches centenary celebrations at at Ironbridge (27th March 2013)

Historic Moorcroft Pottery launches centenary celebrations at at Ironbridge

Moorcroft, said to be the finest art pottery in the world today with each piece made entirely by hand in Burslem, Staffordshire, is celebrating the hundredth anniversary of its inauguration in 2013. The centenary year will officially begin with a special exhibition and amazing re-creation of its world famous factory in situ at Enginuity, one of the Ironbridge Gorge Museums, over the weekend of Friday 19th – Sunday 21st April.

There will an exciting array of displays and activities including 100 pieces of Moorcroft Art Pottery, paper archives from the last century, craft demonstrations, a chance to meet two designers, free lecture and even a book launch, plus an exciting new Legacy collection complete with a unique Centenary backstamp to drool over.

A highlight will be the highly acclaimed limited edition Ironbridge vase designed by Kerry Goodwin, which will be available to purchase at £565 each. Only 50 will be created to celebrate the area’s industrial heritage and beauty of Moorcroft.

The Moorcroft event is entirely free and members of the public wishing to join with the world’s best loved art pottery, W. Moorcroft Limited, as they celebrate their first century and colossal impact on art and design can apply to Moorcroft for tickets by calling 01782 820510 or emailing  enquiries@moorcroft.com. Tickets will also be available on the door over the three day event.

Everyone coming along will be given a voucher enabling them to acquire a free 3-inch vase with a special centenary Flamminian ware design in 36 different colour combinations and shapes from William Moorcroft (first registered in 1905).  A minimum spend of £100 net of all discounts on Moorcroft Pottery is required to redeem this voucher for the Flamminian vase (RRP £90). The voucher can only be used during this three day event.

Further information about Moorcroft Pottery can be found on www.moorcroft.com    and for Enginuity and the Ironbridge Gorge Museums visit www.ironbridge.org.uk; The Gorge is easily reached via the M6 and M54 motorways exiting at Telford (M54 junction 4 or 6).

This unique three-day event will include:
• A stunning exhibition of 100 pieces of Moorcroft, including paper archives proudly displayed at the heart of the Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site in the Engine Shop, Enginuity
• A free lecture on Moorcroft Pottery from Managing Director, Elise Adams (book your place now to avoid disappointment by calling 01782 820510
• Free ceramics and glass identifications from Eric Knowles, antiques expert
• Meet two of the famous Moorcroft designers, Kerry Goodwin who designed the acclaimed Ironbridge vase, and Nicola Slaney, responsible for a very special Coronation Collection. Both have contributed to The Legacy Collection
• An opportunity to acquire a piece from the Moorcroft Legacy Collection which will be launched at this Ironbridge centenary event and demonstrates the current Moorcroft designers’ astounding contribution to the applied arts. Each piece will be marked with a centenary backstamp
• Visual demonstrations of some of the Moorcroft craft techniques
• Everyone who buys a limited or numbered edition from The Legacy Collection is   entitled to have a free copy of a new Moorcroft book about William Moorcroft by Neil Swindells

Moorcroft - Historic Burslem Pottery Company
A visit to the historic Moorcroft factory allows members of the public to witness for themselves over a century of inspired designs using techniques first tried out by William Moorcroft over a hundred years ago. 

Visitors can quite literally step inside the historic grade II listed bottleoven that soars into the Burslem skyline. In the Moorcroft Museum at Sandbach Road, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, not only does surface design reflect each design generation, but the shapes of Moorcroft quite literally come to life in factory tours and through the stories unveiled.  Interestingly, new Moorcroft shapes are continuously added.  Over the last twenty years, more than 200 new shapes have been created or historic shapes re-issued, many of which originally came from William Moorcroft’s own hands.

Centenary celebrations are now in hand to commemorate this momentous anniversary with a special collection entitled Legacy, created by Moorcroft designers to pay homage to the founding father of Moorcroft, William Moorcroft. 

Not an astute businessman admittedly - a man who notoriously agreed with the original Moorcroft stockholders, Liberty of London, (brought out by the Moorcroft family in the 1960s) to contract his services to W Moorcroft Ltd for life.  And what a life this brainchild has had, starting with trans-Atlantic awards from St Louis, USA, and leading to huge collector followings in America, Australia, Canada and New Zealand.  Historic pieces like Waratah sell today for phenomenal prices on the secondary market, not to forget a corporate Royal Appointment, an honour bestowed on the company by Queen Mary in 1928.

Moorcroft’s senior designer, Rachel Bishop, has already had a Staffordshire University Hall of Residence named after her as well as some national gold and silver awards of her own.  The head of the Design Studio is highly regarded in the world of Moorcroft for her outstanding contribution to the art pottery in the 1990s when she introduced a plethora of designs reviving the Arts and Crafts movement in ceramic design.  In turn, these allowed the art pottery to intrigue and excite collecting in Moorcroft again as it moved towards the Millennium.

In 1997, the Moorcroft Design Studio was formed, and the likes of local designer, Emma Bossons FRSA, (made a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts after the Millennium celebrations for her contribution to Moorcroft design) with her Design Studio colleagues, saw Moorcroft displayed in the Mansion House, London, at the time of the Olympic celebrations for Heads of State and visiting dignitaries to admire. These prestigious pieces are now on display at the Mansion House in perpetuity. 

Nicola Slaney, another Design Studio star born and bred in The Potteries brought fresh blood into Moorcroft, now acknowledged to be a globally-renowned brand.  Other members of the Moorcroft Design Studio have undertaken work for national charities including the RSPB and Born Free Foundation to name but two, whilst during this Moorcroft centenary year, the Douglas Macmillan Hospice is also a beneficiary. 

All Moorcroft designers push forward the boundaries of ceramic design in keeping with the prestigious name that the art pottery now carries worldwide with literally thousands of collectors on their database.