In 1806, William Bourne found a seam of clay at Denby during the construction of a road to link the industrial towns of Derbyshire. He noticed the exceptional qualities in the clay and started a production of salt-glazed pottery in 1809. Realizing pottery was more work than he wanted to handle, Bourne decided to give his business to his youngest son, Joseph.
When Joseph took over the business, the pottery prospered and built up an international reputation for its quality bottles and jars. Salt glazing was a popular method of decorating stoneware during this time. Salt was thrown onto the kiln fires when the embers were at their hottest. The salt vapor combined with the surface of the pot to produce a shiny brown surface coating.
In the late 1800's glass bottles became less expensive and were replaced by ceramic containers. Denby made richly colored glazes which were to become Denby's trade mark.
By 1920, Denby's kitchenware could be found in many homes, along with decorative vases and tobacco jars. Each item was stamped with 'Danesby Ware' which was the generic name given by Denby Pottery to all its decorative giftware.
In 1930, Electric Blue (shiny blue) and Orient ware (matt blue/brown) became classic giftware colors and are popular today among collectors. Other colors that were also popular until the late 1980's were Cottage Blue, Manor Green and Homestead Brown.
In the 1950's Denby took drastic steps to change its design to keep up with new times. Denby continued to hire the best designers to ensure that the transition was successful.
The revolution from 'oven-to-tableware' came around in the 1970's. There was a need for seperate cooking dishes and decorative plates for serving. Denby could withstand oven temperatures as well as gracing tabletops with flair.
By 1980, 'casual dining' became popular and colors such as Imperial Blue and Regency Green could fit a wide range of lifestyles from formal entertaining to family gatherings.
Today, Denby continues to build on its proud heritage with contemporary ranges such as Jet, Azure and Caramel, which reflect todays style.
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