Wow! Guardian names Rye Pottery one of the UK’s top Ten Indie Shops


A bit late to the party, what with the run-up to Christmas and all that, but we were chuffed to bits to be named one of The Guardian‘s Top Ten Independent Shops in the UK at the start of December. And the reason it’s a particularly big compliment is that all the shops featured were voted for by the newspaper’s readers.

They were looking for, ahem, quirky places, so our totally bonkers approach to working and making a living finally came good.

Do take a look here to see the other fab places for shopping inspiration. And if you like the look of our Mid-Century Modern lamp base in the photo then click here.

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Christmas & New Year Opening Times

As ever the timings and days below are subject to the ‘Rona and generally the uncertain times we’re all living in, but in principle our Opening Hours are as follows:

Rye Pottery 2021 2022 Christmas and New Year Opening Hours
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Homes & Gardens – Five Star Hotel Style Feature

Homes and Gardens 2020 Rye Pottery LB1 Mid Century Modern Ceramic Pottery Lamp Base - Soho Stripe In Denmark Green

Our thanks as ever to the Homes & Gardens team for giving us a great boost by featuring our Mid-century Modern lamp base in their September issue. Particular thanks go to Jo Bailey.

H&Gs “How to Emulate the interiors of some of the world’s chicest hotels” saw our LB1 lamp suggested as a way to recreate the amazing five-star style of the Four Seasons Hotel in Hampshire, originally designed by Martin Brudnizki Design Studio.

The exact design they featured is ourLB1 Medium featuring our Soho Stripe Design in Denmark Green with a natural linen drum shade. This is a genuine shape from our Mid-Century archive given a contemporary twist with a new decoration bringing the 20th & 21st centuries together. A bold, sculptural statement light.

Click here if you’d like to see some more pics or order one.

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July to 5th Nov – Rye Pottery Shop Opening Hours

Rye Pottery is Now Open Social Distancing and Hygiene protocols are in place to keep customers and staff safe. Appointments, curbside pick-up and mail order all available. Masked Pottery Figure Features

From Saturday 18th July 2020 we are OPEN again, with slightly different hours to allow for the Corona Juggle.

So our current guaranteed hours are 11am – 4pm every day & we’re also happy to offer appointments or curb-side pick-up alongside our usual mail order service. Just give us a ring or an email to arrange it. There are days that we’re open earlier and later so if time is critical, please give us a ring or drop us an email.

We’ve done a lot of work on our Risk Assessments to make sure we keep our talented team and customers safe. We have buckets of Hand Sanitiser, regular cleaning of public and private areas and social distancing in place.

We’d also like to say thank you to all those who are able for wearing a mask when in our shop.

It’s great to finally be open again and Rye & 1066 Country is as busy as ever. Pretty much all of our independent colleagues are open – Shops, cafes, restaurants, bars and an incredible array of local attractions and places to stay. Rye and the surrounding area is well and truly open and making enormous efforts to put customers at ease & keep them safe.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

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June 2020 – Mail Order Open

We are open for Mail Order as usual, shipping via courier, and our shop in Rye reopened in mid July.

We were a little behind some other companies & shops because of Biddy Cole’s death (we’re a family firm and she was Josh & Tabby Cole’s Mum). So we wanted to take our time and make sure we opened as safely as possible for our amazing team and of course our customers.

We hope to see you soon – Tabby & Josh

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RIP Biddy ~ 1937 – 2020

Biddy Cole Rye Pottery

14th May 2020

Yet another apology for our radio silence. We hope you are all safe and well.

During these unpleasant & insane times we’ve had our own little micro crisis to deal with and are very sad to announce the death of Biddy. The face of Rye Pottery for many, many years and the epitomy of a colourful character. But also a devoted, skilled & much loved wife, mother, grandmother, sister and friend.

Sudden illness (non Covid) and then grief have spanned the last two months, so we haven’t felt very social. Even virtually. Sorry. But Rye Pottery is still open online, our team are safe and we’ll be back in full force soon.

We are holding a necessarily tiny family cremation this Friday lunchtime and hope that those that wish can raise a glass at some point in the day, wherever you are in the world.

To a truly inspirational woman.

Rest in peace Bid.

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January 2020 Opening Hours

Do note that we’re closed on Sundays in January but remain open Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm.

Normal Sunday hours will resume in February.

Happy New Year!

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Christmas Baubles anyone?

Suitably Bonkers for Rye Pottery … and suitably last minute!

What started as a few baubles for a window display has quickly escalated. These are fun one-offs at the moment, hand-painted and individually singed by the decorator – we’ve been having some fun with them if we’re honest and the whole team has taken part.

Pick n mix from the tree in store, or order here from our seven favourites so far. £25 each plus £2.95 UK p&p.

Please click through here to see more pics and order or email us at and say which you’d like by using numbers from left to right!

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Country Living Modern Rustic

Rye Pottery Mid Century Modern ceramic Lamp featured in Country Living Modern Rustic Magazine

Lovely shots of our Mid Century Modern Lamp the LB1 in Country Living’s quarterly Modern Rustic Magazine 13. Our thanks as ever to @abinksstylist for the thoughtful styling (wonderful textures) and also to photographer @natowelton for the fab pic. The LB1 is featured here in our hand-painted Cascade decoration in Denmark Green. Click here to see the full range of decorations we produce.

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Darwin & Wallace – No 35 Mackenzie Walk

This was the eighth unique bar & restaurant crafted by the award-winning boutique group Darwin & Wallace. Based on the waterside in Canary Wharf, No 35 was designed to continue the group’s tradition of creating a comfortable sanctuary away from the fast pace of urban life. Detail and quality craftsmanship is key to everything this group creates – if it’s not good enough for your home, it’s not good enough full stop.

Our mid-century Modern LB1 lamp base is featured throughout the space adding a soft, cosy glow with the natural linen shades, while the Denmark Green of our hand-painted Soho Stripe and Cascade decorations tie in with the gentle palette of greens, greys, dusty pinks and natural wood with fresh vegetation used throughout the space.

Do check No 35 out if you’re in town and need a relaxing place to stop, it’s a lovely bar and we were thrilled to be involved.

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Tarquin Cole Des RCA

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of a man very significant in Rye Pottery’s continued existence. Please follow this link to the Hastings and Rye Observer or click on the picture below to read a concise little obituary printed about Quin – a man we will miss dearly both as a family and a business. May 2019

Image of Hastings Observer news story of Tarquin Cole Obituary
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Living Etc

Chuffed to have The LB1 Mid Century Modern ceramic lamp base picked for the Living Etc Agenda pages.

Do check out the June 2018 edition.

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Country & Town House

2018 Country & Town House May 2018 -Rye Pottery Mid Century Modern Lamp Base

Our thanks to Country & Town House magazine and The Insider team for featuring The LB1 – our Mid Century Modern Ceramic Lamp base in their May 2018 Edition.

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Rye Pottery at White City House

Rye Pottery Table Lights at Soho House's latest venture White City House in the old BBC Helios HQ Mid Century Modern

We’re very pleased to see Soho House’s latest venture unveiled publicly and even more pleased to see our specially commissioned Mid Century Modern Lamp Bases in situ!

Their latest hotel and member’s club is in London’s Shepherd’s Bush, housed in the former BBC HQ that used to flash up on the telly.

You know – the iconic round 60’s “doughnut” building with the famous sculpture of Helios in the centre.

Shown here: The LB1 Medium in Black Tracery

Choosing our medium LB1, we were asked to create 92 table lamps, 2 for each bedroom.  The Soho House interiors team of Daisy Bere & Linda Boronkay first picked one of our own revamped 1960’s patterns (Black Astrakhan) and then complimented it with 2 further mid century-esque designs alongside one specifically developed for the project – the all new Soho Stripe.

You can view our full range of lamps by clicking here, but for now here’s another pic of one of the cosy White City House rooms.  Oh and did we mention there’s a swimming pool on the roof. With a bar…..

This picture: The LB1 medium in Denmark Green Cascade and Denmark Green Soho Stripe

All images courtesy of White City House

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Food service now open at Gusbourne Vineyard












Anyone for Cheese?

We’ve just finished a great commission for one of England’s finest wine makers – Gusbourne.

They’re just over the border in Kent and on top of producing delicious booze they’ve now launched a new Discovery Tour & Tasting. So if you visit their new restaurant “The Nest” at Appledore, you may well find yourself supping something delicious, while nibbling something local … from one of our beautiful terracotta plates.

Do pop in to see us if you make the trip & check out Gusbourne and their wines by clicking here. 

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Prince Harry & Meghan Markle

Traditional Souvenir Mugs or tankards by Rye Pottery to mark the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan MarkleContinuing Rye Pottery’s long tradition of marking significant Royal occasions, we’ve produced a limited-edition run of commemorative tankards to mark the upcoming wedding of Prince Harry & Meghan Markle.

Hand-thrown & hand-decorated in soft Cobalt Blue on a simple white glaze, they are 8-8.5cm high.

These little mugs have been designed to tie-in with previous pieces produced, particularly those made for the wedding of Prince William & Catherine and Prince Charles & Princess Diana, for whom we were official suppliers to St Paul’s Cathedral.

Available from stock or to order, or in our shop in Rye where you might like to emulate Princess Diana’s late Mum and snap any seconds we might have.

£ 24 each – Please CLICK HERE to buy one. 

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White City House

Rye Pottery Design Decoration Development phase 2 for Mid Century Table lamps and Hotel Project

Our last few tweaks to the final of four majolica decorations chosen by the Soho House Interiors team for their Mid Century White City House project.

Practice makes perfect.








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“Reload” Screen Printed Kitchen & Bathroom Tiles

Screen Printed Tiles inglaze faience by Rye Pottery Cobalt Blue on White Reload
New screen-printed tiles from our own archive designs.

These are some of Tarquin Cole RCA’s most notable past tile designs – albeit in a slightly different inglaze medium.

Suitable for kitchens, bathrooms, fireplaces and worktops.

Currently available to order in Cobalt Blue on a White glaze, with minor variations and imperfections reflecting the tricky hand-made nature of the technique.

Repeat one design or use all 12, it’s up to you.


£8 ea – £288 per square yard (inc VAT)

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Rye Pottery very pleased to meet Soho House

After a visit from the Soho House interior design team, Rye Pottery is looking forward to working with them on a grand new Mid Century Hotel opening for 2018.

Shapes agreed…Pattern Development pics to follow soon …







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Mid Century Modern Lamp Base


Welcome to the formal unveiling of our Mid Century Modern LB1 Large Lamp Base.

An iconic shape from our archive redesigned with a contemporary decorative twist in six different designs.

Collection designed & conceived by Josh Cole.

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Jamie Oliver Magazine

Jamie Oliver’s foodie mag “Jamie” included Rye in their recent guide to the best Gourmet Getaways in the UK – and quite right too we say.

Many thanks to journo Claire Nelson for including Rye Pottery and a pic of one of our decorating team hand-painting one of our sheep.

It’s not the kind you can eat though Jamie…instagraminstagram FacebooktwitterpinterestmailFacebooktwitterpinterestmail

Margaret Howell

Margaret Howell Mid Century Ceramics with Rye Pottery We’re very pleased to say that Margaret Howell in London are stocking our Mid Century Modern LB1 large Lamp Base in two different decorations- All White Tracery & Black Astrakhan.

Do TAKE A LOOK at the full range of designs here

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Telegraph Magazine

Telegraph Magazine British Independent Potters Feature - Rye Pottery Aug 13 2016

The Telegraph Magazine. With many thanks to journos Jessica Doyle and Talib Choudhry for including us in their piece about three British, family-run ceramics companies.




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Country Living Magazine

Country Living Emporium Sept 2016 Rye Pottery JPeg

Thanks to Country Living Magazine and Deputy Home Design Editor Alaina Binks for including our Cottage Stripe Little Bowls in their latest autumnal Emporium section. For more details click here instagraminstagram FacebooktwitterpinterestmailFacebooktwitterpinterestmail

HM The Queen’s 90th Birthday

Commemorative pottery ceramics to celebrate the Queen's 90th Birthday - Rye PotteryTo commemorate Her Majesty The Queen’s 90th Birthday Celebrations Rye Pottery are producing a limited edition hand-made & hand-painted 10 inch plate.

Designed by Tarquin Cole this piece is intricately hand-painted in our classic Blue-Green. The result we believe is an elegant plate that works well as a standalone piece but also ties in with all our designs over the decades for those of our collectors who have them all!

New Collectors do note that Blue Green is a traditional Rye Pottery colour that’s been mixed & by us for over 60 years. This colour produces incredible results & allows us to add immense depth and delicacy to the design using just a single colour. That also means each piece reacts differently in every firing of the kiln so all the plates we paint are guaranteed to differ slightly to this photograph!

These beautiful plates are £145.00 each with free p&p and will be painted to order for each customer. Our order schedule is currently running at an estimated 6-8 weeks until delivery.

Please email us at or give us a call on +44 (0) 1797 223038  if you would like to order one.

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Landscape Magazine

Landscape-Magazine-Jan-Feb-2016-Rye-Pottery-Sussex-Pigs-Hand-painted-Pottery.jpgLandscape Magazine were kind enough to interview one of us for a feature in their January/February 2016 issue.

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Our Dragonfly Tiles & Striped Pots Go Global & Local!

Sussex Life - Feb 2016 With James Strangeways from Grand Designs showing our hand painted Dragonfly Tiles and Striped ceramics

We’ve been very touched to hear from our Collectors around the world of sightings of our Dragonfly Tiles and Cottage Stripe Tableware  – courtesy of telly show Grand Designs and James Strangeways’ simple but stylish new build on Romney Marsh. So far we know our work has been seen in Denmark, France, Germany, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, please do let us know if you spot us anywhere else – we’re small enough that keeping tabs is hard as we keep up with making pots. And our talented paintress Julia Catt is enjoying her global fame!

We’d also like to say we were very pleased to see a wonderful interview with James Strangeways closer to home – in Sussex Life Magazine. It’s well worth a read, not least because the interview was after the television programme actually went out on Channel 4. You can read the piece if you click here.

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Grand Designs Magazine

painted Dragonfly Tiles and striped Bowls in James Strangeways Grand Designs home on Romney Marsh















Our hand-painted Dragonfly Tiles and striped bowls featured in Grand Designs Magazine as part of a wonderful feature on James Strangeways’ unique waterside house on Romney Marshinstagraminstagram FacebooktwitterpinterestmailFacebooktwitterpinterestmail

Grand Designs & Channel 4

Grand Designs Tiles Handpainted Dragonflies By Rye PotteryChannel 4’s Grand Designs 


Rye Pottery & our Dragonfly Tiles were featured on an episode of Grand Designs on September 16th. It was a Godsmark Architects build for James Strangeways next to a Romney Marsh Canal. Our hand-glazed & hand-painted Tiles were used as a stylish backdrop for a woodburner in the living room. And yes, our Cottage Stripes Stripe Bowls were in the kitchen too.

Our thanks to Director Ned Williams & the team for beautiful sequences showing our techniques and talented paintress Julie Catt. And thanks also to Kevin McCloud Esq not least for describing our tiles as “charming”.

You can catch-up and watch Grand Designs Series 15 – Episode 2 on All4 by clicking here

Grand Designs Rye Pottery hand-painted tiles - Dragonflies

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Rye Pottery, Paddy O’Connell & the Beeb

Paddy O'Connell Interviews Josh Cole at Rye Pottery

BBC South East Today & Paddy O’Connell – 29 August 2015

Josh Cole was interviewed as part of a special series fronted Radio 4’s Paddy O’Connell for BBC South East Today. Our section was a pre-filmed part of a whole programme dedicated to Rye and the town’s wonderful Jazz Festival.

Jane Davies and Rebecca Rhodes from our painting team were also featured painting our Chaucer Figures and Cottage Stripes.

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Our latest 1066 figure – Bishop Odo

Rye Pottery - Hand made hand painted 1066 Bayeux Tapestry Inspired Series - Bishop Odo - Earl of Kent Bishop of Bayeux2 Featured picNew for 2015 is Bishop Odo – the latest addition to our 1066 Battle of Hastings Bayeux inspired range.

William the Conqueror’s Half brother and the former, some say tyrannical, Earl of Kent, Bishop Odo was also Bishop of Bayeux.

He’s a key figure in the 1066 story.

In production terms Odo is one of the most complex and intricate pieces we’ve ever made, with almost 20 hand-made stages involved to bring him to life. Odo is also the first figure in this range commissioned by siblings Josh & Tabby Cole – the third generation of the Cole family to run the company.

Do click the photograph to see him in more detail.

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Liniere (リンネル) magazine

Liniere リンネル February 2015 - Visit London and Rye - SmJapanese women’s magazine Liniere リンネル has published an article suggesting readers consider a trip to Rye when visiting London. Thanks to Sayaka Hirakawa and Atsuko Chiba for including us.

Click here to read the Liniere article, in addition to great suggestions for places to visit in Rye, there’s also a great feature on places to visit in Londoninstagraminstagram FacebooktwitterpinterestmailFacebooktwitterpinterestmail

Rye Pottery christened “Best Stand” at Wealden Times Midwinter Fair

Wealden Times Best Stand MidWinter Fair Christmas 2014 med1It’s fair to say that it takes something of a long time to put our Wealden Times stand up … and down!

So large thanks from all at Rye Pottery to Wealden Times Editor Lucy Fleming & Harpers and Hurlingham’s Jane Beard for naming Rye Pottery as this year’s “Best Stand” at the MidWinter Fair.

The Wealden Times MidWinter Fair  is a hugely popular Christmas Market held at the charming Victorian Walled Garden at Bedgebury Pinetum. Visitors come from far and wide but it’s a “must” in the Kent & Sussex calendar for locals too.

Whatever the weather the event is staged in warm marquees with wonderful food and lunch stalls making it a great way to get going on your Christmas shopping.

It’s a huge compliment to win given such strong competition, so we’re all very chuffed indeed.

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Rye Pottery named one of Coast Magazine’s Top Ten Potteries

Ten Best Potteries by Coast MagazineWe’re very pleased to say Rye Pottery has been selected as one of Coast Magazine’s Ten Best Potteries” in the UK.

The team at the glossy mag have designed a stylish 4-page feature with evocative pics of life potting and showcasing, well yes us, but also nine other talented potters and firms, not least The Leach Pottery in St Ives, Cornwall. If you love all things ceramic it’s well worth a read and may well give you inspiration about other potters and potteries to visit while you’re out and about in the UK.

Many thanks to the journo Alex Reece and the rest of the crew at Coast. As soon as we get our hands on a PDF we’ll add it in here, but in the meantime, see if you can spot our paintress Karen in the screen grabs below…. she’s painting Cottage Stripes onto one of our mugs.

For more on this monthly magazine about the seaside click the following link

Coast Magazine - Ten Best Potteries - November 2014

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Finally, we’d like to introduce you to Miss Simplicity!

Rye Pottery - Miss Simplicity - Low res5Those Collectors who visit the shop in Rye will know if they’ve been lucky, over the last 2 or 3 years they’ve been able to pick up the occasional one-off design sample of this Mid-Century Rye Pottery Classic as we worked out how, and indeed if, we could incorporate a contemporary version of this wonderful, popular figure from days gone by.

So, drum roll please, here is Miss Simplicity fit for the 21st Century, but retaining all her 1950s charm. Modelled by our post-war co-founder Jack Cole, this piece was originally designed as an oil & vinegar bottle. Now with her head firmly in place, and with totally fresh decoration and design, we gave her a suitably demure “soft” launch at the Wealden Times MidSummer Fair in June … and promptly sold out! So now we’ve managed to make a few more, we thought it was time to re-introduce her formally back into British Society.

Ladies and Gentlemen, we’d like you to meet Miss Simplicity.instagraminstagram FacebooktwitterpinterestmailFacebooktwitterpinterestmail

Our stand at the Wealden Times MidSummer Fair

Rye Potterys stand at the Wealden Times MidSummer Fair 2014We thought it would be fun to share a pic of our stand at The Wealden Times Midsummer Fair.

June 2014 was our first time at the show, which is staged at Hole Park in Rolvenden, and we’re pleased to say we had a fun and busy three days.

Our tent was packed full of other stylish stands and we met lots of charming visitors, and from a selfish point of view the reaction to our pots, not least our new lines, shapes and colourways, was very uplifting.

So the next step will be planning the stand for the MidWinter Fair at the Walled Garden at Bedgebury Pinetum in November, once we’ve recovered from three days on our feet that is!

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Etc magazine interviews the third generation of Coles who’ve just taken the helm …

ETC June 2014 DPS

The June 2014 issue of etc Magazine  Click here to read the article









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Dogs & Puppies now available in three new colours

Rye Pottery - Ceramic Dogs & Puppies in New COlourways 2014 - Low res1

We know lots of our customers like to group these little fellas together, so this spring/summer we’ve produced a limited edition run of our popular Ceramic Puppies & Dogs in three (oh yes) new colourways. And collectors will be pleased to know this is the first time they’ve been painted in these colours.

They’re designed to compliment our focus this season on Flamingo Pink, Cobalt Blue and our fresh new Paris Green.

Click here to find out more.

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Mid Century vibe as RP featured by GPlan in their new vintage collection

Gplan with Rye Pottery Mid Century vase - composite for web April 2014These  photographs show one of Rye Pottery’s 50s style little vases in GPlan’s latest collection of sofas, designed by Red or Dead founder Wayne Hemmingway. It’s a Mid-Century inspired collection, a period we’re very still proud of in our history, and one highly sought after by our collectors.

Rye Pottery was one of a handful of Ceramics exhibitors chosen to show several pieces in the legendary post-war design hall of fame that was the 1951 Festival of Britain. We’re not sure if G-Plan were there too …

This shape has just been brought back into production and is called the Mid-Century Modern v11 vase, click here to see them.

And now we’ll let the pictures do the talking.

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Wealden Times picks Rye Pottery Jugs & little bowls

Wealden TImes features Rye Pottery - Ceramic Jugs April 2014.jpg

We’re very pleased to see two of our tableware lines featured in the latest issue of the Wealden Times.

Our stripey Jugs and Little Bowls have been picked for a “Get the look” feature to accompany a fab interiors shoot. We call this pattern Cottage Stripe and it’s been in constant production since the 1950s. The little bowls are the newest addition to the range. They’re a great size that we use at home variously for jam, cream, sugar, olives, tapas … and they also make charming little weaning bowls.

Thanks Wealden Times!

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English Tourist Boards’ “Best hand-crafted products in England”

Visit England LogoThe English Tourist Board – Visit England – has published a select list of some of the best hand-crafted products still being produced in England.

And we’re thrilled to say that Rye Pottery has been included. As a company we’re incredibly proud that all our pieces & Collections have been continuously Made in Britain (we’ve never “re-shored” because we never offshored in the first place) and it’s wonderful to have been chosen.

We’re alongside a handful of other great names, so do look them up:

Barbour – Wax Jackets,
Pashley Cycles – Incredible Bikes
Debbie Bryan Heritage – Lace
Norfolk Lavender Company

Do take a look at the list on the Visit England website here too.

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Farmers Weekly Christmas Gift Guide

Farmers Weekly - Christmas Gift Guide 2013

Many of our customers are English countryside lovers, with a fair few involved in the land one way or another.

So it’s a huge compliment for us that the Friesian version of our Bull & Cow have been chosen for the Farmers Weekly annual Christmas Gift Guide.

The Bull & Cow part of our English Animals Collection and are also available in other colourways, including soft Jersey or Sussex, which are painted in our classic Chestnut Brown.

Click this link to see the full range of our hand-painted animals.

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Jade & Pink and Fabulous Cockatoos!


Ok, so we’re singing our own trumpet, but if we didn’t love them, well, we wouldn’t decide to include them formally in the Rye Pottery Exotic Animals Collection now would we?

So, new for Autumn/Winter 2013, we’d officially like to introduce our new colourway for our Cockatoos – Jade with Pink Wing or, Pink with Jade Wing.

Like all our animals, while these are sold singly, we think they’re great fun as a “Mismatched Pair”. And of course they’re still available in Charcoal & Radiccio too.

Click here to find out more.instagraminstagram FacebooktwitterpinterestmailFacebooktwitterpinterestmail

Win a limited edition “Sussex Boar”



To celebrate Wild Boar Week in Rye, we have produced a limited edition run of our famous Sussex Pig – “The Sussex Boar”.

This new design has been hand-decorated in an exclusive colourway and the head features a unique pair of painted tusks. Each of this small batch will be numbered and signed by the paintress.

Extremely popular as both a collectors item and as a traditional Wedding present, Sussex Pigs have been hand-made in Rye for more than 200 hundred years.

We love Wild Boar Week and are expecting restaurants in Rye to come up with even more delicious dishes this year.  So, to support this popular event we are offering one lucky person the chance to win a Sussex Boar by voting for their favourite dish via the contact form below.

Boar ParadeThe winner will be chosen at random on November 4th and will be contacted to arrange complimentary delivery of their prize, which retails at £46.50.  A great opportunity for collectors to own a really rare piece of Rye Pottery!  All you have to do is come to Rye and choose where to eat…

To see more of the planned menus & other events coming up during Wild Boar week visit

To tell us your favourite dish from Wild Boar Week in Rye – fill in the contact form below.

Please be sure tell us the tastiest dish and importantly at which Rye restaurant you enjoyed it  – the restaurant with the most votes will receive a certificate from Wild Boar Week organisers.

Boar Painted_sm_sq









The competition is now closed.instagraminstagram FacebooktwitterpinterestmailFacebooktwitterpinterestmail

Prince George it is then

George Tankards 3His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge – A great name choice from our perspective. Not only was it on our list of favourites, but it’s also short, which from a potting, lettering, design perspective is a jolly useful thing indeed!

So that means our beautiful hand-thrown tankards are now available. Our long-term collectors will spot that this latest Rye Pottery Royal Tankard features a design based on the pieces we produced to mark Prince William’s own birth back in 1982.

Our Prince George Tankards feature our two most popular colourways for our Royal Commemorative pieces – Cobalt Blue and Blue Green.

These charming little mugs are decorated with hand-printed (not digital) transfers and additional hand-painted banding and they are £18.00 each plus p&p

Do let us know soon if you would like to order one or if you pop into our shop in Rye you might even pick up a second.

Having said that our seconds don’t hang around long. Back in 1982, William’s maternal grandmother – Princess Diana’s mum – bought a second from our London shop in Connaught Street. So you see, it’s official, Rye Pottery seconds are fit even for a (future) king!

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The Prince of Cambridge – Finally here but for us no name means …

Hurrah - Cermaic comemmoration to the new Prince of CambridgeWe all send The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge our best wishes on the birth of their first son – The Prince of Cambridge.

But please may we beg the happy parents not to keep us all waiting too long to hear what he is to be called. We – alongside countless other British companies around the country – are all waiting primed and ready to fire our hand-made and hand-decorated commemorative ceramic tankards in the kiln, but, when, and only when, they reveal the last piece of the puzzle. Like many other British firms, we have the additional problem of summer holidays, as if they delay the naming for too long some of our talented but small team will be away on their well earned holidays. HM the Queen was not the only person wanting everything to be sorted before the holidays arrived!

In the hope of being as prepared as possible we’ve worked through a host of different designs to allow for different months, long names, short names and so on. Not that it’s useful to anyone but privately some of us reckon it won’t be a Richard (pre-Tudor), or even a William (too close to his dad), and definitely not Cnut! But we quite fancy George or possibly Albert. If it was a girl we were quite sure Alexandra, Elizabeth or Victoria had a very good chance – but alas, that’s for the next one, and fortunately our business is making pottery not bookmaking!

Rye Pottery - Welcome to the Prince of CambridgeOur hand-thrown tankards will be produced just as they were when Prince William was born back in 1982.  Featuring the two most popular colourways for our Royal Commemorative pieces, Cobalt Blue and Blue Green, these charming little mugs will be decorated with hand-printed (not digital) transfers and additional hand-painted banding. All very traditional and quintessentially Rye Pottery.

The waiting list for these limited edition tankards commemorating the Birth of the Prince of Cambridge is already growing from our band of dedicated collectors, so do let us know soon if you would like one. The mugs are £18.00 each plus p&p.

As soon as we have a name we’ll hope to provide a sneak peak here of the design.

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VIVAT REGINA! – The 60th Anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation

Rye Pottery_Commemorative ware_Queen's Coronation - A one-off hand-painted bowl
Hand-painted Rye Pottery Commemorative ware to mark the anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation Click to enlarge

This year to mark the 60th anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation we have produced a very limited number of hand-made and hand-painted bowls and tankards.

June Woolley, who started work as a 15 year-old in 1953 and still comes in voluntarily to act as archivist and layout magician for us, painted some of the pots and bowls while Julie Catt, who came out of retirement to help us, has also produced one or two pieces not least the striking 12-inch bowl featured here.

We are planning to make a small transfer mug for William and Kate’s new baby when he or she finally makes an appearance; the timing looks as if it should coincide with the special Coronation weekend of celebration in mid July, which means we will hope to manage two Royal windows through the summer.

Rye Pottery Commemorative ware - A detail from the large bowl celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Queen's Coronation
Close-up of the intricate, hand-painted crown – Click to enlarge

Searching for display material to help decorate our Shop Window here in Rye has produced all sorts of royal memorabilia. Tarquin, who was still in the Navy back in 1953, won 2 tickets to watch the whole procession from a very comfortable spot within Admiralty Arch.

All of which means we’ve had several newspapers from the period stashed away as well as 2 copies of the Official Programme. We’ve also saved a wonderfully evocative 1953 edition of British Vogue.

Do come and have a look at our window if you’re passing.

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Rye Cricket Club celebrates 260th season

Rye Pottery's The Rye Cricketer - The Bowler James Lillywhite

The Rye Cricketer – The Bowler James Lillywhite

Rye Pottery is delighted to share in the 260th year celebrations for Rye Cricket Club.  There’s a whole season of events, not least the First Team hosting a special match against the LASHINGS WORLD XI on May 26th at 2.30pm on the Rye Cricket Salts.

We are very pleased that one of the prizes at this important fixture will be the presentation of a Rye Pottery Cricketer – The Rye Bowler – James William Lillywhite. As aficionados will know, he not only played for Sussex and England but Rye as well. Hence the fact that we paint him wearing the Rye Club colours!  He was also one of the founders of the famous Lillywhites Sports store in Piccadilly.

The figure will be presented to the Man of the Match – but will it be a big-hitting former superstar or a local Rye hero?!

The internationally renowned LASHINGS XI  always produce a very entertaining and exciting day’s cricket. The Harlem Globetrotter’s of the cricket world are picked from a squad of past & present greats – expect to see a host of star names including West Indian legend Gordon Greenidge plus Phil Defreitas, John Embury, John Lever, Saqlain Mushtaq and Yasir Arafat amongst others.

With a hosted lunch event in a marquee from 11.30 and live music after the game this promises to be a day not to miss.

If you are coming to see us in Rye, why not double up and catch some top class cricket too? Play starts at 2.30.

To find out more please contact Club secretary Martin Blincow or follow the links  &

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Edward Burra & Wally Cole at Rye Art Gallery

Wally Cole's "Swan" sculpture - photograph by David Crew
Wally Cole’s “Swan” – photograph courtesy of David Crew – Click to enlarge

Rye Art Gallery has a wonderful exhibition on at the moment featuring the work of printmaker Norman Ackroyd RA. Entitled The Furthest Lands – A journey round the British Isles, the exhibition runs until 30th June and is well worth a visit, with cheque book in hand!

We’re also very pleased to say that running alongside the main exhibition, Gallery 5 is featuring work from its permanent collection by renowned 20th century British painter Edward Burra and Rye Pottery’s own post-war co-founder, sculptor and potter Wally Cole.

Celebrating what would have been the Centenary of Wally’s birth in 1913, the show features Wally’s striking sculpture “Swan”, which the Cole family donated to the Rye Art Gallery’s Permanent Collection. There are a handful of other examples of Wally’s work on show at the moment, not least a powerful studio ceramic bowl which is on loan from painter David Crew. Wally was a regular exhibitor at the gallery during his lifetime and since his death in 1999 the gallery has also staged a number of retrospectives there too.

Do take a look at all the work on show at Rye Art Gallery whenever you’re visiting, there’s always a tempting array of contemporary arts and crafts to be seen and bought as well as work on show from the gallery’s permanent collection. Find out more on the Rye Art Gallery website here.

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Rye Pottery’s Sussex Pigs on the BBC

Sussex Pigs - ceramic pigs painted individually to order and waiting to be fired in the kiln
Sussex Pigs – ceramic pigs painted individually to order and waiting to be fired in the kiln

Now nearly the end of April and we’re still very busy hand-crafting, painting and packing our Sussex Pigs.  We have been thrilled to find ourselves mailing our charming traditional Sussex wedding presents all over the country –  and indeed the world – since our appearance on the BBC’s Flog It Trade Secrets back in February.

We’ve also been delighted by how many Sussex and Kent residents spotted Quin’s television appearance, and have snapped up pigs for their own mantlepieces or to give to friends and family for weddings and anniversaries. It’s been wonderful to have so many people so keen to support a 200 year-old tradition and a ceramics firm that still decorates AND produces in Britain.

Obviously the idea of one as a wedding present instead of a real live pig has reminded us all of the more rural and leisured way of life in the 18th century – though no doubt we’d all have been thrilled to be given a real pig 200 years ago.

In our Sussex Pig archive files we have some black and white pictures of two early 19th century Sussex pigs that are owned by the Museum at Williamsburg Virginia; unfortunately when visiting ourselves, the curator on the day was unable to tell us how they had acquired their pigs. So if any of our collecors on the other side of the pond ever visit the museum and can find out more we’d love to know.

Back in Rye it’s wonderful to still be talking to customers every day who spotted our appearance on the Beeb. Many of them it seems have been waiting for the good weather so they can not only visit us, but enjoy a full day in Rye, not least lunch in one of the many great places to eat here.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Click here for more information about our Sussex Pigs

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Rye Pottery & Canterbury Cathedral go way back …

Rye Pottery_Chaucer's Canterbury Tales_Ceramic Figure_Wife_of_Bath - Gift

The Wife of Bath

Here at Rye Pottery we have a special interest in the enthronement of the new Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, to whom we send our very best wishes. We’ve supplied the shop at Canterbury Cathedral with our ceramic figures and tiles based on Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales for more years than some of us like to remember! We also produce a special tile of the Thomas a’ Beckett Tomb for the Cathedral.

But what some of our collectors may not know, is that Rye Pottery’s figures from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales were born from a request by Canterbury Cathedral for its gift shop in the early 1970s.

Mr Steele who launched the shop, introduced us to sculptor and painter Gordon Davies and suggested we should work together to produce something featuring one of the pilgrims – The Wife of Bath. Discussions and then work ensued, and lo the Wife become the very first in a what is now a series of 38 ceramic figures based on Chaucer’s Pilgrims. And the rest as they say is history!

Gordon went on to design our Rye Nativity too and in the year 2000, then Archbishop George Carey took a complete set of the Rye Nativity to Jerusalem as a gift to mark his Millennium visit.  We recently heard from a Rye Pottery collector who had seen it on display out there but sadly his camera had failed him at the crucial moment.

So we’ll always be grateful to Canterbury Cathedral and its inhabitants, not least to Mr Steele for introducing us to Gordon, who did a great deal of wonderful work at Canterbury over the years, as well for us here at Rye.

Click here to take a look at the full range of Rye Pottery figures based on Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales

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Exciting, nay award-winning, news from Crufts

Willie Wicking & HarveyCongratulations to our paintress Karen Wicking who’s become the proud wife and mother to an award-winning duo at Crufts! Karen is one of the brilliant paintresses who hand-decorates our figures, not least our animals and the recently returned Rye Pottery Hounds!

Karen’s husband Willie and the family’s 4 year-old Labrador Harvey scooped top prize in the the first ever BASC Chudleys Invitation Scurry at Crufts, after clocking up the fastest time in their class.

For the uninitiated, a Scurry is a time event for Gundogs and their handlers where the animal has to retrieve a hidden object as fast as possible. To make it even harder, the object itself is hidden and various distractions are then deployed to put the poor dog off the task in hand.

Organised by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC)14 dogs were competing, but fortunately there was no distracting Harvey or Willie and they secured the top slot.

"Rye Pottery" Hounds Crufts Winner

Karen paints, among other things, our Rye Pottery Hounds

The pair are regulars on the Scurry circuit in Kent and Sussex – often winning we might add – and also competed in the Mitsubishi Motors World Series Gundog Championships in 2012. More than that, Karen and Willie’s 14-year-old daughter Alisha has amassed over 90 Rosettes working with Harvey at a host of country shows and fairs.

And it’s all the more impressive when you know that Harvey is the first dog either Willie or Alisha have ever owned or trained, and Karen says that if it hadn’t been for Alisha, who begged them to get a dog in the first place, none of this would have ever happened.

Next stop is a Cabinet to display all those trophies and Alisha’s Rosettes.

Well, after they’ve fulfilled all their media commitments that is, not least in the latest issue of the The Rye and Battle Observer (click here for more).

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May we proffer a Mother’s Day tip?

Rye Pottery Pastoral Figures - Mother's Day - Hand-painted Ceramic Figure

Mother’s Day

Well what a busy a week – on all kinds of fronts! We hope half term has been good for all our customers who are parents, grandparents and other lucky ad-hoc child-carers.

So given many mums and grannies are already shattered, we can’t help but point out that Mother’s Day is fast approaching.

We reckon our sweet Naiive Mother’s Day figure has some pointers on what might go down well as a reward for all that hard-work that goes on during the year.

ye Pottery - Hand-painted Mother's Day ceramic Figure

Breakfast in Bed

Tarquin designed this figure so we can attest that a bit of lie-in followed by breakfast in bed used to go down a treat with Biddy
– ‘specially with the family dog serving as hoover as all of us
piled in to their beautiful bed.

Well, back in the day when we were actually small enough for a morning cuddle that is!

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Rye Pottery on BBC tribute to ceramics expert David Barby

Rye Pottery on Flog It - Paul Martin discusses our highly collected Cottage Stripe pattern, still produced after 70 years

Paul Martin with Tarquin Cole

In a new series on BBC2, Flog It Trade Secrets‘ presenter Paul Martin has been revealing the tricks of the trade and surprising things he has learned over his 11 years in television.

Rye Pottery was pleased to be picked for inclusion in the latest programme, which was a touching tribute to the late antiques expert David Barby who died in July 2012, and was a pioneering television antiques expert, not least on Flog It. In the programme presenter Paul reveals: “I didn’t know a great deal about Ceramics [when I started in television], but what I do know now, David taught me”. It was because of David that Paul says he was first introduced to Rye Pottery.

Interviewing Rye Pottery’s Tarquin Cole, Paul discusses the heritage, value and collectability of Sussex and Rye Pottery, not least Hopware, Sussex Pigs, and our Mid-Century Modern classics, contemporary versions of which are still produced by us today. Tarquin took over Rye Pottery from his father Wally Cole MBE in 1978 and is widely regarded as an expert in valuing and dating early Sussex Pottery.

In the programme Paul also discusses Rye Pottery’s Rye Pottery's collected Cottage Stripe being paintedMid-Century”Cottage Stripe” pattern, which has been in constant production since 1950. Examples of this design are included in the Ceramics Collections of both the V&A and the British Museum’s Geffrye Museum.Finally Paul braves an attempt at painting another of Rye Pottery’s pigs himself – one of our Sows! We use a very difficult technique that our accomplished paintresses spend years mastering, as the glaze has only just been applied and the slightest touch of a finger or too heavy a brush and the piece can be ruined.

 Flog It Trade Secrets featuring Rye Pottery aired on February 15th 2013 at 18.30 on BBC 2. You can watch the film on the BBC’s iplayer by clicking this link. The section about Rye Pottery starts at 42.15 and ends at 48.07.

Click the following link to see Rye Pottery’s current ranges

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Roses are red …

Rye Pottery - Hand-painted valentines dish "With Love"
To be honest most of the roses we do here at Rye Pottery are more pink’ish actually. But well, our point is that there’s no getting away from it now we’re in February, Valentines is officially fast approaching.

While we’re always prepared for the last-minuters among our collectors with Rye Pottery vouchers, we also have two charming themed window displays here at our base in Rye if you’re looking for inspiration.

We have pieces to suit all budgets – not least this charming little one-off dish…

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Walter Cole

Walter Vivian Cole with mid century Rye Pottery samples

Walter Vivian Cole with Mid-Century pieces in hand!

We are celebrating our own little anniversary here, as one of the founders of the current Rye Pottery – Wally Cole – would have been 100 today  January 21st 2013.

Whilst we reminisce, here are links to a couple of his obituaries so you can see how the national press remembered him in 1999.

And a picture that even some of us have never seen.





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A sneaky peak of a new Rye Pottery design

Rye Pottery Ram Part of our new all-white collectionWhilst you are wrapped up in your winter woolies here’s a sneak peak of a new design we are working on for 2013.

Part of our new all-white collection, this cosy coat is achieved with a decorating technique we call Tracery.

Now for a black face…


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January already!

I simply cannot believe I am already writing about January 2013,  whatever  happened to last year?  Tarquin and I thought we were about to retire and here we  still are~ me in the office and him packing the kilns and painting tiles!

Still the good news is that officially Josh and Tabby have almost taken over. They do a huge amount of the hard work now, while their vitality and enthusiasm is visble throughout the building, the shop and shop windows have really taken on a new lease of life with all their fresh ideas and thoughts. Wonderful for us oldies ~ especially in this centenary year of Wally Cole’s birth ~ to feel the third generation’s vibes and energy pulsing through everything,  from where we  make the coffee to what colourway shall we try next!


Talking of anniversaries and special dates ~   January 4th was the anniversary of Harold’s accession to the English throne in 1066, see our Bayeux Tapestry figures for more information.

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We’re on Facebook

Well who’d have thought it? 143 years later – Rye Pottery is on Facebook.

Heads are spinning.

Go on click here and give us a “like”, it’s Christmas!

Rye Pottery is on Facebook!
Rye Pottery is on Facebook!


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Christmas Opening Hours & our very own “Pop-Up” shop

We’re extending our opening hours in the run-up to Christmas and we also have a guest appearance in the form of a stylish “pop-up” shop from Josh Cole and his successful online gift company – Green & Present.  (Click here for more).

Everything in Josh’s shop is on its second life – Recycled, Reclaimed or Reused.

Why not “pop in” and have a look – we’re even  open on Sundays at the moment for the first time in umpteen years!

Monday-Thursday 9.00am – 1.oopm and  2.15pm – 5.00pm
Friday & Saturday 9.30am – 5.00pm
Sunday 11.00am  – 4.30pm

If in doubt, do ring us on 01797 223038.

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Christmas – it’s never too late at Rye Pottery

Our First Vouchers!

It is nearly Christmas and we are working our socks off to keep the kiln firing and make sure everything we have promised has gone out in time!

We have this year also been asked for Rye Pottery Gift Vouchers, which we think is an excellent answer to those folk who really have left it too late. Do please call us for one of whatever value you choose and we will be delighted to help.

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Rye Pottery on BBC Radio

Well I fear we are not as quick as the Neapolitan Potter who already has his pregnant Kate & William figure on sale by Wednesday, but we are thinking hard of what designs we will  decide on in due course.

First and foremost though I feel we should all wait a while and give the poor girl time to overcome the dreaded morning sickness. I have huge sympathy with that problem having suffered from it for all of my darling children!

Radio Sussex rang up on Tuesday morning to ask what we would be doing, which caught me on the hop a little, though I am sure we will do one of our collectable small transfer tankards when next June/ July actually comes!

Biddy Cole 

We’ll hope to add the audio of Biddy talking to morning show radio host Danny Pike soon but in the meantime you can listen via the BBC iplayer here.

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November and no Downton Abbey to watch!

So the third Downton Abbey series has finished, what are we all to do I wonder, on dark winter Sunday evenings?  At Rye Pottery we are busy planning all the changes involved in the next Cole generation of Joshua and Tabitha taking over from Tarquin and me.

There will be lots of changes with all their new ideas and energy, but I am very pleased that they still want to go on making the lovely Neal French Country House figures, which fit so well with the Downton Abbey lifestyle.

Elegant and stylish the Rye Golfers, Gardeners and Cook all blend into the Downton story, perhaps in the next series they will even employ a Male Chef rather like our Escoffier Chef!  I was pleased to realise that we already have 2 Rye Cricketers for the anuual Downton versus the village match, though our Batsman and Bowler are from a rather earlier cricketing period they make quite a good match for Mr Carson in his whites I felt!

The Rye Bowler: James Lillywhite  played for Sussex and England, and also had a few games for Rye, before retiring and helping his family found the famous Lillywhites sportswear shop in Piccadilly.

Biddy Cole

Presents for Downton Abbey fans

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The end of a lifetime!

Eileen-Cole-Small-150x200On October 9th Eileen Cole widow of Wally, died in her hundredth year. Tiny – barely 5 foot tall – blonde and very feisty, Eileen was Wally’s strength and support over 30 years at Rye Pottery.  They first met in 1930 as students at Woolwich Art School and never looked back.  During WW2 Eileen, plus small son Tarquin, found digs wherever Wally was posted in England, ending up finally in Farnham while he was with Army Camouflage based at Farnham Castle working on deceptions for the D Day landings.

In 1947 Wally was teaching part time at The Central School &  they moved into a small cottage in Winchelsea (by now with new baby daughter as well as teenage son), this allowed Wally with brother Jack to re-open Rye Pottery. Eileen soon found herself having to make pottery trugs, small vases and silk lampshades as well as manning the “Seconds shop”. After Jack’s retirement in the early 1960’s. they moved in to live over the Pottery and Eileen she took over most of the everlasting paper work as well.  In 1978 although officially retired, Eileen stayed on to man the shop on Saturdays so that Tarquin and Biddy could have week ends with their young family.

Once retired Eileen was able to give more time to her other great love – gardening.  She created a wonderful oasis of cool and calm behind the untidy Pottery development which had grown like Topsy over the years in Ferry Road. Active in Inner Wheel until well into her 90’s,  Eileen always loved a visit from old  friends & customers happy to have a cup of tea and discuss the good old days of Purchase tax and 3 day weeks!   We wish her peace and rest.

Our local paper ran an obituary, which you can read here.

Biddy Cole

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September and at last some real sunshine.

I know that here in the South East, we have been luckier than  a great many areas this summer , at least  since the beginning of August.  We were fortunate to be close to London and obviously benefited from the Olympic sunshine and feel good factor;   Napoleon always asked his prospective generals if they were lucky before he promoted them. We certainly were lucky  to share in Lord Coe’s luck with the weather!

Now we we are all back at work painting pots, firing kilns and making changes and decisions about the future. Keep an eye on this space ~ when we know ourselves we will let you all know too!

Biddy Cole

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Pamela Goddard 1933-2012

Pam Goddard painting Sussex Pigs at Rye Pottery mid 1950's

The late Pam Goddard, painting 1950s Rye Pottery Sussex Pigs

We are just back from a funeral, Pamela Goddard, who worked at the pottery from 1948 until she took early retirement in 1984, died at the beginning of June.

Pam was taken on by Jack and Wally Cole to help with decorating the ever increasing range of pottery they were developing in the early post-war years. The country had been starved of pretty things, but now as long as the pottery was for export they could put patterns everywhere! The home market was still restricted to decoration which only used different coloured clay slips, but export allowed total freedom of expression.Pam worked on the Cottage stripes and all their variations and was involved in the introduction of the very popular Multi floral range of tableware (click here fore more), which was exported both to the United States and to several Northern European countries throughout the 1960’s and 70’s.  From the mid 60’s Pam moved from painting to throwing ware and, as more semi-automatic tableware making machinery was introduced,  she  concentrated mainly on thrown dishes, bowls and jugs.

Her thrown ware is identified by the pressed metal P on the base of her pots, identifying her painted work is more of a problem as Rye Pottery standard ware were patterns that were copied from a master original and pieces were not signed until the initialling of each piece was introduced by the younger Coles in the mid 1990’s.

Biddy Cole

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Midsummer now past

Hard to believe half the year has gone and we are now  running downhill until December.  We seem to have one, or if we are amazingly lucky two,fine days followed by enoromously damaging winds and rain. A poor friend who runs a local nursery said after a while their customers just give up on gardening and decide to leave it all until next year.  We are so lucky that pottery does not go off or turn brown  in the wet and wind, and we have seen a lot of our regular summer visitors from overseas,  though they won’t be having much fun looking at the gardens on the  Kent and Sussex borders, in particular Great Dixter and Sissinghurst, both of which make great outings when spending a few days in Rye.

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June but still raining!

So the Jubilee weekend is over but we are still receiving orders for our mugs so that should keep us busy for a while yet.  Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves despite the weather or maybe, like true Brits, because of the weather!

I was interested to hear another firm –  interviewed  on Radio Sussex  on the same morning as we were – remark on the expense of trying to do anything to mark the Olympics. Like us they had decided NOT to risk any production that could possibly bring the power and wrath of the Olympic committee down upon their rather small and unprotected heads. We think we will not  even draw attention to ourselves by continuing to fly the Union Jack after this week; luckily the sporting figures that we do make, are not exactly hugely popular Olympic sports anyhow.

So we can safely have a window of our Rye Pottery Golfers and Cricketers with no danger of a writ, I might even include the Rye Gardeners or the Rye Chef as so far I have not heard  that either gardening or cooking are included in the 2012 line-up!

Biddy Cole

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Rye Pottery in the Local papers

Hot on the heels of Biddy’s appearance in the Mail on Sunday, a great piece about our Royal Jubilee Commemorative pieces in our supportive local paper – The Rye and Battle Observer.

“Rye Pottery is the original and also the last remaining pottery in Rye, but it is also one of just a handful of English potteries to have consistently manufactured  commemorative items for all the major Royal Events throughout the reign of Queen Elizabeth II…

Biddy Cole, from Rye Pottery, said: “One long-established local family recently came to buy Rye Pottery’s Diamond Jubilee mugs for their grandchildren, because they had such fond memories of their own children being given Rye Pottery Silver Jubilee tankards while attending Rye’s primary school back in 1977.

“It was a wonderful symbol of support for both the Diamond Jubilee and our long-standing local manufacturing business, and particularly so in the current economic climate.

”The charm of a hand-decorated mug is still so great and so particular to Rye Pottery that yet again we are struggling to keep up with demand.”

>> Click here to read the whole article and to find out all the latest local news!

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Rye Pottery on BBC Radio

Rye Pottery will be on local radio tomorrow Thursday May 31st.  We have been asked to join in a telephone chat about The Diamond Jubilee helping small Sussex firms in these difficult times. We should be live on BBC Radio Sussex 95.3 FM or 105 FM and also on DAB at about 8.40am.

It is always fun to be involved,  but a bit nerve racking doing live pieces. Last year we did a live interview outside the Pottery as the reception was better, but the local train went through at the same time, which meant all the cars were stuck in the road behind us waiting to move while the Rail Crossing gates were shut!

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News round up

Although this seemingly endless rain has prevented some of the regular April visitors from making the dash from London to Rye this year, we have been very pleased to receve a great many compliments from all the ones who have braved the April showers. So many people seem surprised that we have managed to avoid using the standard Royal photograph as  decoration on our Jubilee Pottery, instead we have continued working with images from our very good collection of Royal Heraldry artwork to produce a souvenir that people really appreciate. We have let one customer down though, she really wanted a thimble and somehow Rye has never trodden the souvenir thimble path!

We have struggled to find out exactly how Rye Town plans to spend the Jubilee week end, but so far have found a rather large hole in the information available; however I am sure something will be happening then, and in the meantime we have looked out our Union Jack flag so it will be ready to fly from our flagpole on June 2.

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Spring has sprung!

leaf-corners-and-flowers-4cropped-Small1-250x246At last we can feel that whatever the weather now does it will still be spring, the trees are all in bud and the birds are singing at least when they are not fighting. Rye is thankfully back on the railway map, and one set of roadworks on the East of Rye has been completed and we are promised the Western approaches will be finished by March 30th.

Here at Rye Pottery we cannot seem to  make enough of our little Diamond Jubilee tankards, almost all the current batch we have in production are already ordered, but we are not grumbling about that!

I am often asked why we do not sell directly from our web site; this is because we do not seem to have a lot of stock or inventory, as its called in the USA, and rather than annoy customers by being unable to fulfil an order, at least  if we are in personal contact with them  I can explain the problems. I will always email a price list so please email me if that is what is needed.

We have  finally managed to get round to taking a lot of hand painted tile photographs as we are planning a proper Rye Tiles page;  so while we organise that here are some Rye Tiles to whet your appetites as the nesting and spring cleaning season really gets going.

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What excitement! Not only is March 1 St David’s Day ~always a very special day in my life as I spent my childhood in a village in North Wales;  but even more importantly for Rye Pottery,  I have also discovered that  March 1st  1360  is the day that  King Edward 111 paid £ 16 ransom to free a young Geoffrey Chaucer then fighting  as a  soldier in France during the Siege of Rheims. It is difficult to imagine what English Literature would have been like today without the writings of Geoffrey Chaucer, so we should all be grateful to King Edward for paying off this ransom so early in his career .

DIAMOND JUBILEE UDATE –  We are gradually building up a small quantity of stock of our smaller Jubilee pieces, but it is good news to see how quickly things are selling as soon as we put some on display ~ GOD SAVE THE QUEEN!

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Even more Diamond Jubilee.


We are working very hard trying to produce lots of our popular little tankards, but as with all very special things it is quite a process to have one ready to display for sale in the shop.

All the tankards are hand thrown on the wheel by Steve Russeell, who works to carefully pre-set measurements, but of course with anything totally hand made there must always be room for a little variation in width and height!

This clay mug is then bisque fired and brought down to our decorating workshop in Rye, where Julie Catt glazes it,  then paints the bands around the top of the mug and puts the dash onto the handle then it is back into the kiln again.

Finally Betty Sayer  having printed up a  folder full of transfers will apply the transfers carefully, including the Rye Pottery backstamp and it is ready for the final firing in the  kiln.  So as you will appreciate we really do sell a Diamond Jubilee  Tankard which is both hand made and hand decorated here in Rye.

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Rye Pottery DIamond Jubilee Hand-painted, 10in diameter plate, blue- green


Although the first week end of June will be the time for the  main Diamond Jubilee celebrations, February 6th is the actual date of Her Majesty’s accession in 1952.  We have been working hard to have some special pieces ready, we had already sold our first handpainted plate sample to a regular customer who is involved in various civic celebrations, fortunately we have painted a  few more which we have now fired!

We are planning to  have a display in our shop  of some of our Commemorative Jubilee pottery which we will hope to change as and when  new pieces appear!  Our current problem is that somehow we have managed to only put one of the 2 relevant dates on the first trial batch of little tankards. At least this is a fault we can easily put right,  just need to stay awake while putting the transfer onto the tankard;  unlike the plate we painted for the Queen and Prince Philip’s Silver Wedding in 1972 when we managed to write PRICNCE (sic) instead of prince and did not notice it until it was fired and ready to go on display!

STOP PRESS  correctly dated tankards with the right dates just  starting to come through the system.

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Living etc

Living etc March 2012

So we’ve just had a call from the folks at interiors magazine Living etc, asking for a number of our products for upcoming photoshoots.

All in all, three products are being dispatched as we speak, one of our charming Rye Rabbits in London Grey Sponge, a pair of our Charcoal Cockatoos and last but not least, William the Conqueror from our 1066 Bayeux Tapestry inspired series.

So keep those eyes peeled!



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Christmas and New Year!

Small engraved Christmas dish by Wally Cole c 1960

So we have finally arrived, last parcels sent off  and the last kiln fired!

Our shop will be open until 3.00pm on  Friday December 23rd 2011 and then we are closed until Tuesday January 3rd.

We would like to thank all our Rye enthusiasts for continuing to support us, and we wish you all, wherever you are in the world, a happy and enjoyable Christmas and a healthy and peaceful 2012.







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Wedding anniversaries

Rye Pottery's Prince Regent designed by Neal French

The Prince Regent or Prinny as he was sometimes known

Years ago we were asked by Brighton Pavilion to produce a pair of Regency figures based on some of their wonderfully vicious James Gillray cartoons.One of the figures was The Prince Regent and the other was Maria Fitzherbert.

Rye Pottery's Mrs Maria Fitzherbert designed by Neal French

Mrs Maria Fitzherbert

Their unrecognised morganatic marriage took place on 15th December 1785, but sadly, despite his genuine love for her, his increasing debts and extravagance meant  he had to to agree to King George III’s terms and in 1795 he  married his cousin Princess Caroline of Brunswick.

This royal alliance was  a disaster from day one, resulting in an official separation a year later, and producing such dislike on both sides that as George IV in 1820 he even forbade her admittance to his Coronation.

>> You can find out more about them both by clicking this link which will take you to the Royal Pavilion’s website.

>> Or to see more pictures of the actual figures themselves, click here

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Our poor kiln here is working so hard it hardly has time to cool between being unpacked and repacked and switched on again.

For safety reasons the kiln is on the ground floor here, but the heat comes up through the floor boards and keeps my feet pleasantly warm. The other useful byproduct of firing the kiln is that over the years it has caused the floor boards to warp a little so that customers simply cannot come in and out without us hearing – so much easier than keeping a dog to bark at them!

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Panic stations for December

So December has arrived and the cold weather with it, our fingers are well crossed that we do not have a  repeat  of the cold and snow of last December.

The general feeling of panic and chaos in our building would no doubt keep us warm however cold it was outside,  as we frantically try and make sure that we have all the right figures for the last minute mail order customers, who  somehow over the years, have never quite understood that in a small pottery it is not always feasible to carry large numbers of every single piece we produce.  We hate to upset or disappoint any customer,so we work very hard to second guess all the last minuters,  but sometimes it just is not possible. So if you are one of the unlucky would- be -buyers, we apologise in advance. Why not give them an IOU and we will send it in January as a pick-me- up for the post Christmas blues?

Rye has now switched on the Christmas Tree lights  and on Saturday 10th  Father Christmas is arrving at Rye Station with his reindeer and then will be  driving around Rye to the Christmas Market on the Strand Quay to hear the Victorian carol singers !

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Christmas Decorations!

It is the last week of November and we finally managed to remember where we had  put the Christmas decorations last January!  June & Betty  had a very busy day  sorting everything out  and we are now as festive as the proverbial Christmas robin. As usual the moment we started to dismantle the previous window display we had a a run of customers  all wanting to buy  something fron the things we were carefully putting away. This  had been a seaside theme, using our various  donkey figures with or without riders, along with The Netmenders and The Fisherman’s Tale.

To add a little scale to the nautical scene, we had included some very nice nesting boxes made from reclaimed wood and modelled on the iconic  Hastings  black timber fishing sheds, which  are sold by our son Josh via  his on line shop  and suddenly from no sales of the boxes in 2 months we found we had sold  all five of  them  as we tried to pack them  away!

With our  windows now shining and twinkling we are all set for Rye’s Christmas Festival which starts on December 3rd with  the switching on of the Lights and the High Street Christmas Tree followed by a firework display.

More about the Rye Christmas Festival plans next week.

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Rye’s weekend of classic cars



Every November Rye hosts a spectacular Classic Car event.

This year in warm sunshine, the  carefully preserved and polished cars with drivers and passengers similarly shining and glowing, processed around the town before lining up to be judged by the Mayor of Rye, the winners receiving a hand painted Rye Pottery plate to mark the occasion.







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Potting as pain or pleasure

Listening to the Today programme this morning while  potter/ author Edmund De Waal was being interviewed, we were delighted to hear him describe potting as “A tremendous art which we should all take seriously.”  It is always amazing and indeed rather off putting to be told by a customer looking at a one-off hand painted pot or tile ” Ooh that is very expensive”  while telling you of the lovely “art print” they have just  bought for a much larger sum of money! We have always felt that not only is a pot just as beautiful as a painting,  it often has the additional advantage that you can use it as well as look at it.

Here at Rye Pottery we produce a considerable number of one offs at, what we think, are remarkably low prices, especially when you have just opened the kiln to find that 3 or 4 pieces have decided to shatter during the firing cycle.  The flip side of the coin is the joy and excitement that opening a good kiln brings to all of us. Better than Christmas – is how Wally Cole used to describe handling a newly fired perfect pot which had come through its ordeal of  fire with the final result excelling anything you could have possibly imagined.  De Waal perhaps should have added this morning, that Potting is also a disease for which there seems to be no known immunisation!

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A Mid-Century Rye Pottey Cassic – Miss Simplicity

Miss-Simplicity-bottles-b-w-Small-150x200We’ve been looking on the web and spotted there’s one of our popular Mid-Century Classics for sale on ebay – a vintage MISS SIMPLICITY bottle. These bottles in 2 sizes were originally used for Oil and Vinegar.

They were designed by Wally’s brother Jack Cole in the early-mid 1950’s, not as stated in the text for the one for sale on ebay, by Marjorie Cole. Marjorie was Jack’s wife and she produced some very collectable Pottery dolls in the 50’s – just not this one!

A very, very few were made and production had stopped by the early 60s, but we have traced about 20 of these very charming one-offs. Sadly Marjorie in later years destroyed any she could lay her hands on. Miss Simplicity Sm Rye Pottery 2011Jack did not really like his Miss Simplicity, (we have this in a letter on file in the archive) but despite his artistic misgivings she was without doubt a very popular piece at the time and still with collectors today.

We recently rediscovered the long-forgotten moulds for Miss S while trawling through our Mid-Century archives. We’ve been working on plans to revitalise and refresh some of our classic pieces and designs from this period, and Miss Simplicity is such a favourite for us that she’s certain to be part of that. So far, we’ve decided she will be reborn in the 21st Century with a fixed head that faces in a different direction! Next up is the decoration development stage. To the right you can see some samples we’ve been working on – absolute one-offs that a handful of collectors have been lucky enough to snap up in our shop in Rye.

But there are lots more decoration ideas we’re working on, so watch this space, because her outfit’s not finalised yet. When we decide on the first design to officially enter production we’ll be sure to let you know here.

If you want to be one of the first to find out when Miss Simplicity is available to buy, visit our shop in Rye every, single day … or alternatively just sign up for our newsletter at the top right corner of the site.

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Rye has a special feel in November, like a great many East Sussex towns and villages it has a thriving Bonfire Society  whose hardworking members stage a flaming torch lit procession around the town, with a magnificent  firework display and huge bonfire  down on The Salts-this year’s date is Saturday 11th.

The whole day has a special excitement with the scent of smoke & darkness  and members of other Bonfire Societies marching around the town most of the day in full costume. Rye’s tradition goes way back beyond Guy Fawkes to medieval  days when our local  fishermen and their opposite numbers across the Channel in France were continuously raiding each other and setting fire to the fishing boats. There is always a “ Burning boat” bringing up the rear of the procession to this day, though its more mundane task now is to collect the burnt out torches. Grown-up children who have long moved away from Rye make a point of trying to be back for Bonfire Night.

>> To find out more visit the Rye & District Bonfire Society website here!

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Vintage Sussex Pigs

Vintage Sussex Pigs

Today (31st October 2011) Tarquin has been asked to help identify an early 20thcentury “Sussex Pig” for a collector, but the consensus from all the local experts was that it was nothing to do with Rye. Too many things did not match up, colour of the glaze, the lettering technique and of course no basemark at all. It looked as if it was cast from a mould so beware there could be more about!

Note to the wary: Pre war Sussex Pigs were all thrown by hand & not made in a mould.

Here at Rye Pottery we do not reproduce pre-war pieces and any post-war designs we do introduce always have our current Rye Pottery mark, or “back stamp” as we call it in the trade, to make sure there can be no confusion.

>> We hope one day to add more about the various marks used to identify Rye Pottery in the future, but in the meantime, click here to find out how our backstamp and initialling systems work – both now and in years past.

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More from October

We had a wonderful  family outing yesterday. We went up to the King’s Head in Islington to see our son Josh Cole who is in Kvetch, which is running there until November 4. Lovely as ex-Londoners to be back there even if only for half a day, the weather was perfect, but seeing all the shops full of Hallowe’en things did make us quite glad that witches, ghouls and ghosties are all a bit spiky and not really suited to our sort of pottery! We think we will stick with October 25 marking  611 years since Geoffrey Chaucer died.

>> You can read some of the reviews and book tickets here.

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OCTOBER seems to be a month full of important dates for Rye Pottery.  First The Battle of Hastings to remember on the 14th while  October 21st  is the  Anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805,  as a former naval officer Tarquin  felt Rye had to have its own  NELSON figure to mark the 200th anniversary in 2005!, Last but not least October 25 1400 marks the death of GEOFFREY CHAUCER.  Chaucer should be remembered not only for his wonderful literature including THE  CANTERBURY TALES,   he was also Clerk of the Works to Richard 11 from 1389  and as such he is thought to have been responsible for the building of Westminster Hall;  he is the first poet to be buried in Westminster Abbey.

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Rye Pottery - Bayeux Tapestry Collection - William the Conqueror



Today is the Anniversary of the Battle of Hastings in 1066, I wonder how many figures in our Bayeux Tapestry series we will have to mark the 950th Anniversary in 2016!

>>  This is an ongoing series with new pieces to be added in regularly, to take a look at the current beautiful figures in our Bayeux collection click here. instagraminstagram FacebooktwitterpinterestmailFacebooktwitterpinterestmail

Japanese Television

I wish you could have seen us her