Founded in Stoke-on-Trent, England, in 1960, by the legendary ceramic designer Susan Williams-Ellis, Portmeirion is renowned for its fashionable yet timeless collections of tableware, cookware and gifts. Portmeirion’s philosophy has always been to design exciting, beautiful and unique collections that are practical and of excellent quality to be used and enjoyed every day.
Always at the forefront of contemporary design, Susan Williams-Ellis was renowned for her striking shape and pattern designs that were utterly trend setting – designs that are now seen as iconic.
Born to Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, the architect and creator of Portmeirion Village in North Wales, and his wife Amabel, Susan was taught by creative talents such as Bernard and David Leach, Henry Moore and Graham Sutherland. Keeping such interesting company, her innate feeling for shape, form and pattern flourished. The opportunity to use those skills came along when her father, Clough, asked her to create some ceramic gifts for the shop at Portmeirion Village.
Following the success and increasing demand for this pottery, Susan purchased her own pottery company and in 1960 Portmeirion Potteries was born. In fact, Portmeirion continues to manufacture pottery in the same factory in Stoke-on-Trent to this very day.
The 1970's saw the birth of what is considered by many to be Portmeirion’s most recognised design, Botanic Garden. Launched in 1972, Botanic Garden was uniquely different - inspired by a serendipitous find of antique botanical books, and with a variety of individual floral decorations, it encapsulated the new mood for casual dining, dispensing with the old formalities and bringing a new design philosophy to the marketplace. It became an instant success and has become a classic of British design.
Susan always expected her pottery designs to fit comfortably with everyday life – today a requirement of every contemporary consumer – and her philosophy continues to permeate Portmeirion's design values.
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