Location and period of operation:
Working at Old Ellgreave Pottery, Crownford Works, Newcastle Street , Burslem until Feb 2003
Then working at Price and Kensington site
[the works renamed to one of its previous names of Price's Top Bridgeworks]
Feb 2003 LJB Ceramics renamed to Lorna Bailey Artware
Old Ellgreave Pottery Burslem England
Lorna Bailey Made in Burslem England
Lorna Bailey Art Ware
LORNA'S PUTTING DOWN ROOTS AT HISTORIC SITE
[The Sentinel Newspaper 31 January 2003]
One of the Potteries' best-known ceramic artists is relocating to an historic city factory amid plans to create a major visitor centre.
LJB Ceramics, led by acclaimed designer Lorna Bailey, is to move into the giant former Price and Kensington teapot plant in Longport. The company, which currently employs 22 people at a site in Burslem, aims to attract other craft-based businesses to the three-acre property as it brings unused buildings back into use.
LJB production director Lionel Bailey explained this could lead to the site employing up to 100 people, with visitors able to see skills such as pottery-throwing, glass-blowing and candle-making. It is also hoped the canalside factory, where an old bottle oven is already being restored as part of a £350,000 project, will be home to an antiques centre, cafe and auction house. Mr Bailey said: "We have outgrown our current place and need a bigger one.
"We have already relocated three times in the seven-year life of the company, and want to stay somewhere for the long-term. "It's going to be done in five stages. "We've obviously put money aside to get ourselves in there in stage one, which should be in the next two weeks.
"What we are also doing is creating a craft village, and are going to have people showing traditional skills. "This will probably happen over a period of two years, and should increase the site's workforce to between 50 and 100."People will be coming in and working for themselves, or employing staff, and we could take on more people ourselves."
LJB's initial move to the Trubshaw Cross site is expected to cost the company £30,000, and will include the opening of a new retail outlet. It aims to win European, Single Regeneration Budget, or National Lottery funding to help bring the rest of the site, some parts of which have four floors, into use.
Some of the Price and Kensington buildings are considered unsafe, while others are historically significant. One such structure is a bottle oven built in the 1930s on the site of another put up in 1777, which is one of 12 dilapidated kilns being restored in Stoke-on-Trent as part of a heritage project.
Mr Bailey confirmed the move will mean the firm giving up the lease on its current base in Newcastle Street. It still owns a nearby shop which was closed because of problems with prostitutes. The company intends to revert the Price and Kensington site to its previous name of Price's Top Bridgeworks, and change LJB's name to Lorna Bailey Artware, to better reflect its founder.
He confirmed the company will lease the property from owner Arthur Wood Group, based nearby in Davenport Street, Longton.
Lorna Bailey Art Ware - History
[from LB Ceramics web site - Jan 2003]
Lorna Bailey was born on 10th February 1978, the daughter of Lionel and Jennifer Bailey and sister of Warren. She was brought up in Dimsdale View East, Porthill, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire. She has lived throughout her life in and around the Wolstanton area of Newcastle-under-Lyme and it is this area from which the majority of the names for her designs are taken.
She attended Oaklands Nursery in Porthill, Ellison Primary School in Wolstanton and Wolstanton High School. From there she attended Stoke-on-Trent College leaving with a B.Tec National Diploma in Design (Ceramics). Stoke-on-Trent College is the successor to the Burslem School Of Art where Lorna`s illustrious predecessors in design, namely Clarice Cliff, Susie Cooper, Charlotte Rhead and Fredrick Rhead and Mabel Leigh amongst others all studied Indeed due to her bold, striking designs Lorna is often referred to as the next Clarice Cliff !
Whilst flattered by this title Lorna prefers to be judged upon her own merits and is certainly not interested in replicating the works of anyone. As all young designers, Lorna left college influenced by great designers of the past but has now certainly developed her own distinct style.
The history of the present business of L.J.B Ceramics has its roots in the friendship of Lorna`s father with solicitor Geoff Stanway. Both Lionel and Geoff have known each other for over 15 years. Both had an interest in antiques, and living in the Potteries, this inevitably meant an interest in collectable ceramics. Both Lionel and Geoff regularly attended at the major antiques fairs around the midlands and Lorna always travelled with them. As a child, Lorna would often be given (mostly damaged!) collectables, and after initially collecting Wade Whimsies, Lorna moved to collecting Art Deco ceramics, notably pieces by Clarice Cliff and Susie Cooper. This collecting gave Lorna a hands on feel for these works and led to Lorna`s love of bold colours and unusual shape design.
The business of L.J.B. came about whilst Lorna was a student at Stoke-on-Trent College. A major Local Pottery, Wood & Sons, had gone into liquidation. Its assets were being sold and at the same time the owner of the Old Ellgreave Pottery (where Charlotte Rhead had worked whilst at Wood & Son) was seeking to retire. Accordingly Lionel purchased a large amount of the Wood & Son Assets took over the Old Ellgreave Pottery and set up initially producing traditional hand painted wares e.g. Toby Jugs & decorated ware. Lorna spent all her spare time, when not at college, working in the business earning pocket money by painting for the business and experimenting with her own works. Over a period of time trade buyers visiting the premises gradually purchased items of Lorna's work in addition to more traditional wares. Slowly sales of Lorna's work increased so that by early 1998 Lorna and two of the hand painting staff were producing work exclusively designed by Lorna.
The above information may
not be available
for all potters - if you have information to
help complete the records then I would be
happy to include it.
email: Steve Birks
1st Feb 2003