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The Burleigh Story

From Clay to Cup...Pure English

Burleigh has a rich heritage of design and craftsmanship, and a fascinating story of collapse and revival. Generation after generation has produced works of ceramic art from our model Victorian Factory - Middleport Pottery in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent.

Burleigh products are still hand made using the timeless skills of Stoke-on-Trent, such as the decorating method of underglaze transfer printing from engravings. This was once a common process in the English pottery industry, but is now extremely rare.

This beautiful English product comes to you from our Middleport Pottery built in 1889 next to the Trent and Mersey Canal. The tradition of making English earthenware “from clay to cup” continues. A renaissance in ceramics from the heart of Stoke-on-Trent.

Patterns include Calico, Asiatic Pheasants, Arden, Bluebird, Willow, Burgess Chintz, Felicity, and many more. Although blue and white is Burleigh’s speciality they also print in many other colours following contemporary trends and an echo of the rich history of transfer printing, which goes back to the 18th century. Burleigh’s latest colours are red and black.

The Burleigh Process

At Burleigh they make the antiques of tomorrow

Burleigh has a rich heritage of design and craftmanship. Generation after generation have produced beautiful earthenware from the Victorian Middleport factory.

They process the clay from raw ingredients, giving a special control in the fine quality of the earthenware product, and are still using some original 19th century machinery to do this.

Underglaze transfer printing is our speciality at Burleigh. This labour intensive decorating method has been in use for over 200 years. Burleigh are now the last English pottery company that still continues this traditional and highly skilled hand decorating process.

After the clay piece has first been fired to “biscuit”, the decorating process is then as follows:

1) The tissue paper is printed from a hand-engraved copper roller. The tissue rolls off the printing machine and is then carefully cut out by a transferrer.

2) The tissue is applied to the biscuit ware, and is rubbed on with a brush and soft soap.

3) The tissue paper is then finally washed off leaving the pattern transferred onto the biscuit piece.

4) The piece is fired again to harden on the pattern. It is then dipped in glaze and fired for a third time, leaving the pattern under the glaze, thus ensuring that the pattern will never fade or wear off.
Burleigh believe that, in this age of transitory mass-produced machine products, it is reassuring that this skill survives and the product is highly sought after.

Burleigh are proud to still make a unique and beautiful pure English product in the 21st Century, using the timeless skills of Stoke-on-Trent.
Product care

All Burleigh products are made from English earthenware, and are dishwasher proof and microwave safe.

To look after your Burleighware we recommend that you keep your dishwasher regularly filled with rinse aid - this will keep it in good condition. For very large items we recommend that these should be washed by hand.

Burleigh products are not oven or freezer proof.

Burleigh ceramics are still hand-made in their Victorian pottery in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, England. Famous for their blue and white china, Burleigh has been creating unique English designs since 1851.

Burleigh products use the 200 year old decorating process of underglaze transfer printing from engravings. This was once a common process in the English pottery industry, but is now extremely rare.

A family business with a rich heritage of design and craftmanship, Burleigh is still manufacturing a pure English earthenware product in the 21st century, using ball clay from Devon and china clay from Cornwall.

Using their experience and insight Burleigh has gained the best of both worlds - from their rich archives and traditional decorating skills to their up-to-date country living look, they have achieved the fullest potential from the beauty of their English products.