At the Burleigh Pottery factory in Middleport, England,a skilled team of craftspeople have been producing Burleighware since 1851 (over 160 years) . It takes 25 pairs of hands to create a single piece of Burleigh Pottery, and each pot is meticulously hand-finished.
Burleigh is the last Pottery in the world to use the traditional and timeless skill of underglaze tissue printing, which is an English process dating back over 200 years.
At Burleigh we use traditional skills and techniques, the highest-quality raw materials and our dedicated team of craftsmen to create our classic and timeless tableware.
At the start of the process, we produce the clay from raw ingredients using original 19th century machinery. The clay is then given its shape by using either the casting or pressing method. Next, the dried clay is carefully sponged and fettled to smooth over the surface.
The first firing of pottery is called the biscuit firing. At Burleigh, we use gas kilns and fire at temperatures of over 1000 degrees. After firing, the pieces are taken to our specialist biscuit selectors who inspect and brush the pottery and prepare it for decorating. Our pottery has been hand decorated in the same way for 200 years, using the skilled technique of tissue transfer printing (the pattern is transferred to the tissue paper from a hand carved pattern copper drum). We are the last pottery in the world to use this traditional technique, which forms an entirely unique and beautiful finish, attainable only to Burleigh
After firing to ‘biscuit’, the intricate decorating process begins. Tissue paper is first printed from a hand-engraved copper roller and the tissue rolls off the printing machine and is cut out by a transferrer. The tissue is applied to the biscuitware, and is rubbed on with a brush and soft soap, transferring the elegant Burleigh pattern. In order to harden and ensure the quality of our Burleighware, the piece is then fired. Finally, the design is dipped in glaze and fired for a third time, setting the pattern underneath the glaze.
Our wares are handmade in England using these traditional techniques which gives them a unique subtlety and individuality that modern methods lack.