The sculptural form of the Seven Sisters 1882 Ltd. collection is inspired by the landscape and architecture of Stoke-on-Trent’s potteries, and the now iconic row of bottle kilns which once ran alongside the city’s Caldon Canal.
Working with the designer Bethan Gray, Emily Johnson, co-founder of Stoke-on-Trent-based ceramics brand 1882 Ltd., spotted a large hand painted artwork in Gray’s studio which she knew immediately would translate perfectly across ceramics. Johnson suggested the pair work together on a series of vases inspired by the famous bulbous kilns known in the area as ‘The Seven Sisters’, used by previous generations of Johnson’s famous pottery family. The resulting earthenware vessels are hand-thrown by a single talented potter in Stoke-on-Trent before being hand decorated by Gray using a bright blue ultramarine glaze. The seven vases, ranging in size from 10cm to 50cm, have also been reimagined in 50 carat gold.
“The bottle kilns are a constant inspiration for 1882 Ltd., and we are thrilled that Bethan referenced them for this collection,” says Johnson. “What makes them even more special is the way Bethan hand decorates the vases herself guided only by her expert hand and eye. This was no mean feat, given the complexity of the pattern, the uneven surface caused by the throwing lines, and the absorbency of the clay which leaves no margin for error. Each one is a unique work of art,” Johnson enthuses.