With BBC Two’s Great Pottery Throw Down proving a huge hit, it seems pottery is on the up. This is great news for the master craftsmen at Chamberlain & Co’s Royal Porcelain Works, who have been creating luxury fine bone china for years. Here, they give us an insight into the secrets behind the creation of one of their most timeless pieces – the Elmley Bowl

The simplicity of the Elmley bowl is a remarkable example of the exacting skills applied to seamlessly create Chamberlain & Co’s magnificent pieces.

Large ceramic pieces want to sink to the bottom of the kiln during the firing process. So to create and maintain the Elmley’s gorgeous curves the bowl and foot are cast separately, ensuring the clay cast is of consistent thickness throughout, then so seamlessly assembled you wouldn’t think it was originally made from two pieces.

Large ceramic pieces want to sink to the bottom of the kiln during the firing process

Simultaneously, a forming ring and clay dump are cast and then the assembled bowl is inverted and placed on the dump and ring – these combined elements shrink at the same rate as the bowl maintaining its circular shape and preventing it from sinking in the kiln, and that’s it.

Once biscuit-fired, the meticulous decoration process begins, firstly the bowl will be spray-glazed, then we start to build the decoration layer by layer. After each application the colours or precious metals are fused at temperatures that gradually reduce from 1060°C to as low as 740°C – in total it can take in the region of 40 hours.

Chamberlain & Co has Elmley bowls in each core design; Imperial Imari, King George III, Chamberlain Black and Heritage Garden. The bowl’s shape lends itself perfectly to a bespoke design  – take a look at the gallery below for some examples:

THE Key Facts

  • 48: The total number of hours it takes to create the curvaceous curves of a Chamberlain & Co’s Elmley Bowl
  • 10: The typical number of times each piece may be fired in order to achieve flawless glaze and the depth of ceramic colour and the rich gold effects
  • 45: The number of hours dedicated to meticulously decorating the Elmley Heritage Garden Bowl
  • 23: The number of Karats in the gold used to finish our ware
  • Authenticated: The finishing touch to each Chamberlain piece is the Artist’s signature
  • Size Matters: The diameter is a remarkable 34cm, and it stands some 12.5 cm tall
  • Infinity: The number of hours that the Elmley bowl can be admired and treasured

Chamberlain & Co, Merebrook Business Park, Hanley Road, Malvern, Worcestershire WR13 6NP; 01684 311 704; chamberlainco.co.uk


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