With a name well regarded within the porcelain industry with a history dating back to the late 18th century, Worcestershire-based brand Chamberlain & Co offer the highest quality fine bone china pieces in the country, possibly the world. Over the past few months, they’ve been a highlight on the front page of The Foxley Docket as we’ve explored several fascinating aspects of the business.
This month, we explore Chamberlain & Co’s simply stunning Heritage Garden Collection. This features a quartet of quintessentially triumphant creations by the endlessly talented craftsmen and women, including the Broadway Vase, the Croome Ginger Jar, the Spetchley Vase and last but by no means least, the Elmley Bowl.
Utilising a personal and hands-on approach to their art, each piece is lovingly handcrafted and hand painted by the Chamberlain & Co team, and consists of only the finest English bone china. Working as a team, traditional skills are blended with innovative techniques, and the Worcestershire craftsmen often finding themselves pushing the boundaries of what is technically possible, a trait which cements the brand’s unrivalled reputation.
At Chamberlain & Co, no two pieces are ever the same, meaning each customer has a completely unique creation to feature in their home forever. The dedication, skill and meticulous attention to detail poured into each piece sets every Chamberlain & Co creation apart from the rest, and for the prestigious piece de résistance, pieces are proudly emblazoned with the artist’s signature, creating a bond that lasts for centuries between client and craftsman.
Floral designs constrict the surface of the fine bone china, dressed in lively shades of deep blue, vivid red and delicate rose pink, radiating floral life with highlights of 23 karat gold, for a luxurious final touch. To suit the client’s taste and décor, each piece offered by Chamberlain & Co is available in a prestigious fresh white, or a warm shade of ivory.
Although Chamberlain & Co pieces may look simplistically beautiful, their expert craftsmanship hides the depths of technical skill and scientific knowledge required to perfectly produce such pieces. Particularly large ceramic pieces can be troublesome at the best of times – they often want to sink to the bottom of the kiln during the firing process. In order to battle this, creating a piece like the Broadway Vase, for example, takes a huge amount of skill and patience. The body and neck of the piece are cast separately, before being put together so finely and flawlessly that the two become one seamless whole. This is then placed with infinite care into the kiln for biscuit firing. The final step comes in the form of an impressive lid with a fine finial – this consists of three pieces which have been fused into one whilst being fired on dummy neck to ensure shape and size is maintained and it does not sink into the kiln.
Once the firing process is complete, the piece is then spray glazed and it’s ready to be blessed with colour and decorated. The decoration is carried out layer by layer, and after each application, the colour and gold are fused at high temperatures which locks the colour in place within the glaze. More than enough time is taken creating perfection – pieces featured in the Heritage Garden Collection take anywhere between 40 and 120 hours to decorate by hand. Traditional ceramic colours are utilised, which have been specifically handpicked to feature within the collection. Pure gold and enamel detailing is added to specific features of the floral designs to create the perfect aesthetic. Only the most skilled artists are able to create these masterpieces, and it is these artists and craftspeople who are at the very top of their game that Chamberlain & Co are fortunate enough to employ. They in turn produce products that are a match for anything the beautiful world of ceramics has to offer. At Chamberlain & Co, each and every piece is hand signed by the artist who created it, a sign of recognition for their work and their ability. Enclosed is a printed biography. More information about Chamberlain & Co’s endlessly talented craftsmen can be found in a past article, Chamberlain & Co: What does it mean to be an artist?
In today’s world of ceramics, where mass machine production is a leading force, Chamberlain & Co’s Heritage Garden Collection offers clients and customers alike something different and endlessly luxurious, combining the finest bone china with cutting edge technology and only the most skilled craftsmanship.
To summarise, read the numbers for yourself:
• It takes between 51 and 127 hours to create luxurious piece in the Heritage Garden Collection.
• Each piece is fired 10 times to achieve the immaculate glaze, depth of colour and rich gold effect.
• It takes anywhere between 48 and 120 hours to decorate each piece by hand.
• The gold detailing featured on each piece is 23 karat gold.
• The number of years customers will enjoy and treasure their pieces is, well, infinite!
Find out more about Chamberlain & Co at:
Chamberlain & Co