In the Garden: Emma Bridgewater
We explore the inspiration behind Emma Bridgewater’s new collection, exclusive to LibertyRead more
Long-time Liberty favourite and leading pottery-maker Emma Bridgewater has been flying the flag for English-made earthenware since her brand’s inception in 1985. Still produced in Stoke-On-Trent, Emma Bridgewater pottery continues to inspire the colourful, mismatched kitchens we’ve come to know and love. Working alongside Liberty Home Buyer, Bryony Sheridan, she found herself captivated by the richness of blooms one finds in a British garden; the final round of wild geraniums peeping through, and the last bursts of late Hollyhocks. The all-new and exclusive collection celebrates these staple British flowers in all their glory, slightly overgrown and a little wild. Here, we talk early inspiration and design-making with the founder.
Talk us through the moment you decided to design pottery…
I was looking for a birthday present for my mum, and knew that a cup and saucer for her dresser felt right but couldn’t find what I wanted on the market; always quite a good recipe for a new business.
What’s your design ethos?
I think this is quite easy, I only design things I would like to have myself. I think this is really the only way to design, I try to be unfussy and engaging in my designs.
What do you think Liberty means for British design?
I think it means a lot of the best creativity under one roof in the middle of Europe’s cultural capital. Over a century of British buying means customers can be sure of finding something exciting and new on every visit.
What does Liberty mean to you and your business?
Liberty has been an important part of Emma Bridgewater since the very early years, this has become more relevant as English manufacturing has become more identified with the store.
How do your surroundings at home or in your workshop help inspire your collections?
Emma Bridgewater is so much about home. Many of our designs are directly inspired by our garden, my husband Matthew is a fanatical vegetable grower whose giant marrows need to be seen to be believed, they were genuinely shocking.
What has kept you producing in Stoke-on-Trent, and do you think you always will?
I think Stoke is definitely the place, it is a city with a resourceful population and an amazing established expertise. So yes, Stoke on Trent forever!
How do you see the future of British pottery?
Britain’s expertise in making pottery is unbeatable and despite news to the contrary we all eat off plates, drink tea out of mugs and eat cereal out of bowls, so I feel confident that British pottery is set to thrive.