The County of Worcestershire has been linked with fine ceramics for over 200 years. On the banks of the River Severn, an English physician named Dr John Wall conceived a new method of producing porcelain, establishing his first factory in the same location in 1751. This began a tradition of manufacture which remains in Worcestershire to this day.
The name ‘Chamberlain & Co’ derives from one of Dr Wall’s first apprentices, Robert Chamberlain, a highly talented artist and craftsman. Gaining recognition in his own right from connoisseurs all over the world, in 1788, Chamberlain founded his own factory in Severn Street, which became known as the heart of Worcester’s famous Royal Porcelain Works. Globally acclaimed as a ceramic manufacturer of distinction, Chamberlain’s international reputation proliferated due to the flawless quality and beauty of his work. In 1807, Chamberlain was awarded a Royal Warrant, following a visit to the works by the Prince of Wales.
Re-imagined for modern luxury interiors, the way that bone china is made today is essentially the same as it was 250 years ago. Chamberlain & Co was inspired by a desire to preserve the rich heritage of Worcestershire porcelain and the tremendous skills of the artists and craftsmen who create it. At the same time, they aspire to reinvigorate a famous brand name that made an enormous contribution to the county’s leading role in china production.
The vision that inspires Chamberlain & Co is their aim to create fine bone china that reflects the unmatched heritage and tradition of Worcestershire porcelain, while also matching the tastes and aspirations of the connoisseurs of today. The brand wants to maintain the skills of artistry and craftsmanship for which the county is renowned while also pushing at the very boundaries of what can be achieved. Their ranges have been particularly inspired by some of the most outstanding decorative wares that were created in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, brought up to date to match contemporary styles and decorative schemes. At the same time, Chamberlain & Co are always striving for technical innovation, for example in the creation of the breathtaking Witley Vase, which sadly perished on its first run. The magnificent size of the Witley Vase makes it extraordinarily challenging to make, and on this occasion the vase ‘slumped’ severely during its first biscuit fire.
But what did the craftsmen at Chamberlain & Co learn from this?
The structural integrity of bone china can be affected by the use of a stain in the clay at the concentration the craftsmen used on this occasion. The brand has overcome this problem by designing a new firing cycle specifically for their black china pieces.
Chamberlain & Co are committed to cutting-edge development, and inevitably this means that the learning curve is a steep one, with the brand occasionally pushing at the boundaries of what is technically possible.
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