Over the last few months, The Foxley Docket has proudly exhibited a number of products and pieces from Worcestershire-based fine bone china connoisseurs, Chamberlain & Co. This month, we explore the ‘magnificent’ Chamberlain Witley Vases and in particular Chamberlain Black.
Undeniably impressive to look at, the Black Witley Vase stands at a height of 85cm, making a statement in its imposing aesthetic. The Chamberlain Witley Vase is the largest ornate bone china vase to be made in Britain. Embodying the spirit of British craftsmanship, each component piece of this stunning creation is lovingly made by hand by the endlessly talented craftsmen and women working for the Chamberlain & Co brand.
The Black Witley Vase is not something to be merely glanced at in passing; its grandeur demands the attention of the observer and the time spent to examine and appreciate the artistic talent involved in its creation. Chamberlain & Co invite those who encounter The Black Witley Vase to let their eyes wander over the body of the piece. Starting at the top the golden finial demands the observer’s time, as the eyes wander down the curvaceous body Hummingbirds and Passion Flowers are framed by the ornate handles culminating on the majestic pedestal upon which the Black Witley Vase stands.
The elegance radiating from each part of the Black Witley Vase tells a story of the innate skill of the Chamberlain & Co craftsmen, as well as a deep understanding of the science of the ceramic process which led to the piece’s creation. The vase itself consists of 30 individually cast pieces, and in the spirit of the old adage, ‘teamwork makes the dream work’, it takes absolute clock-like harmony and precision across the Chamberlain & Co team to achieve the perfection which The Black Witley Vase demands.
The Chamberlain name dates back to the 18th century, and paying homage to its heritage, the creation of the Black Witley Vase harks back to the Georgian heyday of ceramics. Today, Chamberlain & Co’s endlessly talented craftsmen and women dedicate over 200 hours of their time to creating each Black Witley Vase, in addition to months spent designing and developing the vases shape and surface designs.
Casting, assembling and finishing the 30 components involved in the creation of the Black Witley Vase can take up to 11 hours, before a minimum of 8 visits to the kiln. 140 hours are spent handpainting the glazed surface. For a beautifully burnished finish, the piece de resistance is gilding the piece with 23 karat gold for an ornate, prestigious look which rivals the brand’s prestigious history and notion of perfection.
Just one glance at the Black Witley Vase and its story and the hours spent in its creation are clear to see. An observer could spend a day examining and appreciating each line, each brush stroke, each curve – the artistry involved is truly never ending. Each Black Witley Vase truly tells its own story and many more and guaranteed to be written as it’s passed down from generation to generation.
Find out more about Chamberlain & Co at: