The Tain Pottery, now firmly established as one of the largest Scottish ceramic manufacturers offers a range of products created by traditional craft technique and skill. The ware has been developed by a team of artisans including two potters who between them have more than 50 years experience creating craft ceramics. The products cover quite diverse methods and techniques, from hand built and thrown through jiggered and jollied to extruded and pressed. The principal clay body used is stoneware first formulated in 1981. It is fired to vitrification at 1280 degrees centigrade, to eliminate porosity and can be used in microwaves, ovens, freezers and dishwashers. The range of glazes used revolves around a tin glaze first concocted in 1978 and then modified to fit the white stoneware body, tried and tested!
The original designs, all hand painted; continue to evolve wit the passing of time…subtle changes effected in pursuit of excellence. New designs added to broaden the range of colour and hue. It is easy to see where the inspiration comes from when you look at Tain and the surrounding area. An area of such natural beauty, each season offering a fresh collage of stimuli.
The designs are all inspired from local scenes. Balintore and Shandwich inspired by local seaboard villages. Cromarty depicts the local bottle-nosed dolphins arcing through the waters in the nearby firth, which is the deepest natural harbour around the entire British coast. Kirksheaf takes it name from the fields around Tain’s ancient St Duthus Chapel which was once a well-known place of pilgrimage, and where the wife and daughter of King Robert the Bruce sought sanctuary…the ruins of the chapel still stand and the colours are inspired by the crops of barley which grow around them, and the scarlet of the poppies which spring to life in their midst.
Artist Dorothy Ferguson at work
on a vase in the Kirksheaf collection
Commissioned work is also undertaken for various Clans and the National Trust for Scotland. As a result of the success of the National Trust work the Trust has also commissioned Tain Pottery to design a range exclusively for it and an interpretation of the Trust tartan has been designed. Recently also completed was a commission to mark the Silver Jubilee of a South African school which prides itself on its Scottish links. Pupils at The Glen High School, Pretoria, wear tartan ties, have a gold thistle as the badge on their forest-green blazers and sing their school song to the tune of “Scotland the Brave”.
Kirksheaf Collection: Charger, Teapot, Large Jug,
Breakfast Cup and Large Saucer and Casserole
Over the years their headmaster Anthony Wilcocks has built up a complete tea set of the Tain Pottery Glenaldie range to use when entertaining visitors. During a recent visit to the area the school commissioned Tain Pottery to produce a set of 200 plates depicting the floral symbols of the four clans, Campbell, Gordon, McDonald and Stewart, in which the pupils compete in sports and other events, rather than in the more usual school houses. The plates are to be used to present to guests at the The Glen’s Silver Jubilee dinner.
The Tain Pottery showroom is situated at Aldie
Cromarty Collection: Large Flan Dish, Wee Jar,
Large Vase Round and Wee Vase Round
on the A9 south of Tain. Look out for the brown and white Scottish Tourist Board sign, which says “Aldie Watermill & Tain Pottery”. Visit the pottery and see the ware being made and decorated. The shop stocks a complete range of products, from ‘one off specials’ to a vast array of seconds at bargain prices (many of which you will find difficult to fault). Commissions for both design and manufacture area also undertaken.
You can also shop on line by visiting the website >>
April – October
Monday to Friday 9.00 am – 6.00 pm
Saturday and Sunday 10.00 am – 5.00 pm
November – March
Monday to Saturday 9.00 am – 6.00 pm
Sundays be appointment only
For more information: tel: +44 (0)1862 894112 fax: +44 (0)1862 893306 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Tain Pottery, Aldie, Tain, Ross-shire, IV19 1LZ