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Nicholas Mosse Pottery

Linda Clifford has retired and Scottish Irish Merchant is closed. We are referring our Nicholas Mosse clients to Ann Marie's in Minocqua, Wisconsin. Ann Marie carries an extensive range of Nicholas Mosse and they will be happy to assist you.

Ann Marie's
Minocqua, WI

Nicholas Mosse Pottery Patterns Nicholas Mosse Signed Pieces History of Nicholas Mosse Pottery How Nicholas Mosse Pottery is Made

How Nicholas Mosse Pottery is Made

Animals and flowers are set against geometric repeating borders in delicious blues, browns, greens and reds on a soft white background. Careful throwing and delicate details give the pottery an unusually light and elegant appeal. In these days of slick industrial output, the spontaneity and happy abandon of this antique spongeware tradition gives Nicholas Mosse pottery a unique and appealing charm.

The spongeware tradition in ceramics is ancient and can be found anywhere pottery flourishes. This particular type of spongeware, using intricately cut sponges and colorful repeating patterns and borders, derives from a European technique which began in the 18th century, becoming extremely popular in the 19th. It was always regarded as a folk art technique, but its happy spontaneity strikes a chord in the modern home and its popularity continues into the 21st century.

Nicholas Mosse
Painting and Sponging

Almost all of the pottery at Nicholas Mosse is made using sponges, but we also paint directly onto our pots. By cutting the elements of each pattern into a sponge, separate colors can be applied in complex arrangements and patterns are built up bit by bit. Bands of color, flowers, and the little landscape designs require good hand and eye judgement with a brush and they can be combined with the sponge designs to enrich each pattern.

Spongeware was the cheerful daily pottery of Ireland in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. It was sold in country fairs and farmer's markets in simple shapes for simple needs: tea, potatoes, porridge, jam, milk. The ware was produced in potteries in Ireland, Scotland and Staffordshire, where children and unskilled labour were employed to dab whiteware with colorful cut sponge designs.

Nicholas Mosse has trained his helpers in all the skills he developed as a journeyman potter in his early years, and he is keen to keep the manual craft skills of Western Europe alive and well.

Trimming the Pottery Pieces
Firing the Pottery

With the pride and patience required for making things by hand, start to finish, the potters throw many of the shapes, then turn them nimbly, clean them and handle them and pass them over to the slippers, who in turn dip the still soft clay into a liquid version of the clay to give it a warm, off white background suitable for decoration.

After the first firing, decoration is applied by hand, and the ware is fired again to seal the design. Look on the bottom of each piece & you'll find On average, it takes about 67 hand touches and processes to make the standard mug. Hand Applied Decoration

Hand Applied Decoration

Paint Pots