History of Jersey Pottery – Part Two, 2000 to 2016
We’re celebrating 70 years of Jersey Pottery by looking back at the history of the company. We’re also inviting you to celebrate with us by entering our 70 Years of Jersey Pottery competition. Find out more.
Part two of the History of Jersey Pottery picks up where we left off from part one, in the year 2000.
Jersey Pottery needed to reinvent itself – the business was faced with a disappearing customer base. The decision to return to its origins was made and a business exporting to trade customers was recommenced. It was expensive to produce the export-ware and hand-made ceramics required to compete on the world stage, so the company focused on high quality porcelain, bone china, earthenware and stoneware decorated with decals. While the manufacturing of new and old ranges continued at the Gorey site, Jersey Pottery also started to manufacture outside of Jersey and worked with a range of external artists and illustrators commissioned to work alongside the in-house design team.
In the winter of 1999/2000, further alterations were made to the Gorey site and a museum was created to explain more about the pottery and show items from the vast range that was produced by Jersey Pottery during its first 60 years. So many items have become increasingly collectable and the diversity of what was produced never failed to take visitors by surprise.
Jersey Pottery had already begun to look beyond Jersey as a market place. One area for development was porcelain tableware and as the factory in Jersey was unsuitable to produce porcelain, the work had to be outsourced to specialist manufacturers outside the Island. Production capabilities were also significantly increased, as these factories manufactured tableware by machine. The creativity, design and control has always remained in Jersey.
The noughties saw the introduction of the classic Fruits de Mer range, showing mouth-watering illustrations of seafood. As the range continued, the range of porcelain tableware and giftware expanded greatly. The factory in Jersey continued to develop many new lines of hand-thrown and hand-painted pottery including Strawberries and Cream, Big Band, Ladybird and Partiri and Helix to name but a few. All of these ranges were designed and produced locally using traditional hand crafted techniques, from casting and throwing to glazing, dipping and hand painting.
In 2009, Jersey Pottery attended trade shows around Europe and the export business started to grow steadily again with Jersey Pottery ceramics now being stocked by hundreds of retailers in over 30 countries around the world.
After many years deliberating the future direction of Jersey Pottery, and faced with declining sales at the Gorey site along with increased manufacturing costs, the company made the very difficult decision to close the factory in Gorey in 2010. The headquarters were moved to a temporary office in St. Helier and as the restaurant business was already operating from multiple sites around the Island, the move had little impact on this part of the business.
Jersey Pottery also opened a factory in the United Kingdom and all production was moved from Jersey to the new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.
Dominic, the eldest of the Jones brothers, joined Jersey Pottery after a 25 year career in law, banking and finance.
Jersey Pottery’s management, design, marketing and finance teams moved to a new home at 8 Beresford Street, St. Helier, in 2010. Over the past four years, the focus has been on refining and concentrating on a smaller number of ranges made from high quality porcelain, earthenware, stoneware and new bone china. Ranges include Neptune, Faunus, Helice, Cremona, Seaflower, Harlequin and most recently, Blue Tit.
Expansion continues with the incorporation of Jersey Pottery USA Inc. which acts as the business’ North American sales office. Warehousing and shipping facilities are set up in New Jersey to serve trade customers in Canada, USA and South America.
Jersey Pottery has indeed changed a great deal since Clive and Jessie Jones bought it in 1954 and since their children Carol and Colin threw themselves heartedly into everything from design to sales. However, it is still very much a Jersey firm. Today, Dominic, Jonathan, Matthew and Robert Jones steer the daily development of Jersey Pottery, ensuring it retains its original ethos of outstanding quality and design. The overall business, including JPRestaurants, is now bigger than any time in its history and employs over 180 people.
Jersey Pottery are committed to evolving and producing new ranges and look forward to the next 70 years!