In Ceramics

Stoke-on-Trent’s Burleigh Pottery has celebrated many jubilees throughout its long history since its founding in 1851. However, there aren’t many that are as special as the one being celebrated in 2018 – Burleigh’s iconic ‘Calico’ design celebrates fifty years in production.

‘Calico’ was first written into the Burleigh pattern book on 1st February 1968 as pattern no. 9086 and has been in continuous production ever since. It began life with a visitor from America clutching a scrap of old calico fabric in one hand and a dream in the other. An agent of a US distributor, he was convinced that this old pattern he had discovered would make a great design on ceramics. He was right!

The fabric pattern was converted in a design suitable for ceramics, hand engraved onto a copper roller and a legend was born. ‘Calico’ did indeed prove very popular in America as testified by the cover of “The Walton’s Christmas Album” which showed the 1970’s TV family behind a table full of Burleigh’s ‘Calico’.

‘Calico’ was launched and retailed in the UK through Sir Terence Conran’s ground breaking ‘Habitat’ and later sold by Laura Ashley and other leading retailers of the time. It was often seen on TV, including regular appearnaces in shows like ‘Farmhouse Kitchen’. Still a strong seller today, it is a firm favourite with consumers around the world and with Burleigh’s stockists.

Burleigh is the only pottery in the world to decorate using tissue transfer printing from engraved copper plates. This 250 year old process takes seven years to master and is just one of many skills that caused HRH The Prince of Wales to step in to save Burleigh’s historic home, Middleport Pottery, in 2011.

You can see this fine art form on a Burleigh Factory Tour at Middleport Pottery. The factory tour is unique and it offers the chance to see pottery being made using the same handcraft methods as in the 1880s. The tour will lead you through each stage of production in sequence, showing how a lump of clay is transformed into a finished piece of pottery. You will also see the steam engine which once powered the whole factory.

Also on site is the fantastic Burleigh Factory Shop where you can browse the world’s most extensive range of Burleigh’s iconic pottery including exclusive ranges in best quality and factory seconds as well as discontinued and special seasonal pieces.

Related

Burleigh Factory Shop
Pottery Factory Shop
A vast selection of Burleigh ware displayed on a dresser in the shop.

Enjoy a warm welcome to the Burleigh Factory Shop at Middleport Pottery. Browse the world's most extensive range of Burleigh's iconic pottery including exclusive ranges in best quality and factroy seconds as well as discontinued and special seasonal pieces.

Middleport Pottery
Pottery Visitor Centre
Middleport Pottery Exterior

Middleport Pottery, home of Burleigh, is an award-winning visitor destination in the heart of Burslem, the Mother Town of the Potteries. World famous Burleigh pottery has been created here using traditional methods since 1889.

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