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A Potted History

Our story began in 1978, when the pottery was founded by Tony Carter and his wife, Anita. The pottery, originally known as Kiln Cottage Pottery, quickly developed an enthusiastic following for its hand made ceramics. It was soon specialising in quirky teapot designs, and Tony built an international reputation which has been maintained to this day. 2013 was a watershed year for ‘The Teapot Pottery’. Anita sadly passed away after a long battle with cancer, and Brett Hawksbee bought the business, establishing the new operating company of Carters of Suffolk, whilst keeping on the staff and Tony himself. Tony continues to be fully involved with all aspects of the pottery, but now also manages to find just a little more time for sailing and other leisure pursuits, whilst still helping develop the business as it enters a new and exciting phase..

The Pottery has been producing hand made, hand painted novel and collectable teapots since the 1970's. We have in that time produced hundreds of designs, many of which are instantly recognised around the world. In collectors terms our entire production can be described as rare, since each individual item is part of a very limited production run of between 100 and 2000 teapots worldwide. 

The imagination, humour and novelty of our designs continues a tradition which began in the UK with the first pots imported from China along with the new drink, Tcha (Tea). 

By the mid 18th century, potteries here such as Whieldon and Wedgewood were experimenting with both designs and materials, and to a large degree it is the extension of that tradition which we have continued in Suffolk over the last few decades of the 20th century, and carry into our current work. 

We have proudly maintained our position of eminence in the world of novelty and avant garde teapot design, and this has been recognised by the many globally respected businesses and organisations with whom we have worked over the years. Our Harrods 'Delivery Vans' and Harrods 'Shopping Basket' teapots have been popular for many years, and we continue to proudly supply the world's most prestigious department store with these and other products.

Along with our Bloomingdales 'Handbag Counter', and the ocean liner teapots supplied to Cunard, we have a long history of working with the finest stores around the world; Our teapots have graced the counters of Liberty of London, Fortnum & Mason, Paul Smith, Heals, Coin (Italy), Peters of Kensington, David Jones (Aus), TopStyle (Russia) and literally hundreds of other discerning clients. We manufacture with pride, to the highest standards, a fact which has seen us commissioned by the Royal Yacht Britannia, and by many discriminating customers who have regularly selected us to produce bespoke products throughout our history.

It is in the nature of hand made, hand painted teapots, that each item is in it's own way unique, and it is this fact, along with our quintessentially British design style, which makes our teapots so popular and our designs so durable, but most of all it is the quality of our products which set them apart from the competition. Our glassy high gloss glazes, deep underglaze colours, and deep lustres using real gold and platinum, our labour intensive production processes, and unique designs, combine to produce products of an unrivalled quality, and representing almost unbelievable value for a hand made item which has gone through a production process lasting a full week.

Tony Carter

Tony Carter established the pottery in Debenham, Suffolk in 1978

The Future

We are soon to relocate to a new facility a few miles away, at Stonham Barns, Stonham Aspal, Suffolk, Our initial move to Stonham was blighted by an unfortunate fire in May this year, resulting in our temporary return to Debenham whilst the new building is prepared. We are eagerly awaiting our return to Stonham Barns.

In the past year we have been following up on discussions with a number of new potential clients for 2015 designs, including some very exciting opportunities to work with the British Library, The V&A, ITV Consumer products and the Burj Al Arab, Dubai. We continue however, to ensure that our core business is in the production of the highly popular and collectable high quality designs for which the pottery is renowned throughout the world.

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