The Woman Behind The Mugs

Today I bathed in Emma Bridgewater gorgeousness. For those of you who haven’t come across this company, owned by – surprise, surprise – Emma Bridgewater, it produces some of the best quality, deliciously designed pottery I have ever come across.

My heavenly Emma Bridgewater experience occurred in the shop of a nearby pottery. There were shelves lined with cream earthenware teapots, mugs and plates sponge painted with spots, hearts and motorcars.


I drooled shamelessly over some strawberry painted tea cups that I’d spotted on my last visit. I gazed longingly at the Union Jack range, which I know Andrew would hate but I have a hot blooded passion for.

Eventually I decided upon four cheerful spotted Bakelite tumblers and snappily purchased them.

Before leaving the shop to eat homemade soup in the pottery café, I noticed a  shabby hardback book propped against the shelf. Picking it up, I realized this was a book all about Emma Bridgewater herself. This is what I discovered …

Emma Bridgewater started her company in 1985 after searching high and low for a present for her mother’s birthday.

She had been after a cup and saucer, but everywhere she looked there was nothing except bone china or chunky earthenware. Realizing that the sort of pottery she sought did not yet exist, Emma set about creating it herself. Sounds like our sort of girl!

To start, Emma created four shapes for a mug, a bowl, a jug and a dish. Next she commissioned a model-maker from Stoke-on-Trent to help her perfect the designs. Once she had decided on the shapes for her pieces, Emma began to decorate her pottery using the simple – yet attractive – method of sponge painting. It wasn’t long before buyers were lining up, orders were flooding in and Emma Bridgewater Ltd was born.

I am always so inspired by creative and proactive women who put their stake in the ground and make a success of their lives. It’s crazy that after all of these years of drooling over Emma’s designs, I have only just discovered the story of the woman behind the mugs!

Who are the artists, makers, creatives and entrepreneurs people that inspire you? 

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