An introduction to the enduring creativity of Emma Bridgewater

Emma Bridgewater’s striking polka dot creations are iconic not only in The Potteries, but the world over. 

You’re likely to see Emma Bridgewater ceramics in quirky cafes, in retail window displays, and in the cupboards of inviting family kitchens wherever you go. The Emma Bridgewater brand is almost everywhere you look—and it blossomed in Stoke-on-Trent. 

If you visit The Potteries in pursuit of a memorable ceramics experience, visiting Emma Bridgewater is essential. No compromises. No exceptions. 

We’re going to tell you why, right now. 

Emma Bridgewater: a bit of background 

First of all, Emma Bridgewater isn’t just a collective brand term (a faceless pottery empire)—it’s the name of the person behind the entire brand (you may well already know that, but it’s worth mentioning, nonetheless). 

One day in 1984, Emma Bridgewater was scouring ceramics and homeware shops in London, looking for a birthday gift for her mum.  

She wanted to find something that was personal while reflecting the character of her mum’s North Oxfordshire kitchen. Perhaps two cups and saucers sporting the message, ‘I love you; I miss you.’ 

Emma’s search was unsuccessful—everything she came across was too uniform, dainty, and formal. So, she had an idea: to create a pottery brand of her own; to make creations that were offbeat, quirky, and don’t necessarily have to match. 

Setting out on her ambitious pottery mission, Emma started up her venture in a West London flat, where she handmade a selection of mugs, jugs, and dishes from with a small kiln. After experimenting and crafting those early definitive designs, Emma turned some heads in the ceramics world. 

To expand her venture and immerse herself in pottery culture, Emma found a factory in Stoke-on-Trent (just outside the central town of Hanley), where her empire flourished. 

Now, around 230 people work at the Emma Bridgewater factory, crafting 1.7 million unique ceramics creations every single year. 

It’s in the warmth of this creative hub that visitors can get up close and personal with the latest Emma Bridgewater range, enjoy a spot of afternoon tea served up on the factory’s homegrown creations, and even indulge in a little pot throwing or decorating. 

This standout ceramics brand is now a Potteries institution, and with an unrivalled commitment to creative exploration, it’s likely that Emma Bridgewater will continue going from strength to strength in the coming years. 

Things you probably didn’t know about Emma Bridgewater 

There’s no denying it, Emma Bridgewater is a pottery brand packed with personality. Like Wedgwood (**internal link when content is published**), one of the reasons for this ceramics giant’s success is the founder’s character and vision. 

So, help you get further under the skin (or behind the wheel) of Emma Bridgewater, here are a few things you probably didn’t know about the boss: 

  • As a team, Emma and her husband, Matthew, have designed and created 14 royal commemorative mugs over the years. 
  • Every official Emma Bridgewater catalogue is shot in Emma and Matthew’s home, with the imagery hand-selected to offer an authentic everyday feel. 
  • 30 skilled pairs of hands are involved in the process of creating Emma Bridgewater’s legendary ceramics creations. 
  • If she could have invented or created anything else, Emma would love to have come up with the concept for the Jaffa Cake. 

What’s going on? The latest Emma Bridgewater news 

Recently, Emma Bridgewater celebrated the release of its new ‘Life Is A Circus’ range for National Sons & Daughters Day—striking creations made in collaboration with Lil Rice, the Producer and Cyr Wheel specialist at Giffords Circus

The factory’s special workshops and gatherings have also ramped up a notch once again, with plenty of tours, creative sessions, and seasonal events starting to flood the calendar. 

Check in with the official Emma Bridgewater blog for the latest news, events, competitions, and updates. 

Our top three Emma Bridgewater pottery picks 

There are so many eye-catching Emma Bridgewater creations to choose from, that picking our three essential favourites would be, well, nigh on impossible. 

But, here are three Emma Bridgewater creations that have caught our collective eyes in recent times. 

1. Flying Bumblebees Half-Pint Mug 

Image courtesy of Emma Bridgewater 

A celebration of the world’s most important pollinators, this stunning earthenware mug will look amazing on any display cabinet or shelf. 

2. Game Birds Gallon Teapot 

Image courtesy of Emma Bridgewater 

A classic Emma Bridgewater teapot design clad with intricate game bird designs that stand out from the crowd while capturing the imagination. 

3. Personalised Rowan Serving Plate 

Image courtesy of Emma Bridgewater 

A heart-warming plate design with a wreath-like quality with room to add your very own personalised message at the centre. Lovely. 

How to get there… 

If you’ve been inspired to visit to the Emma Bridgewater Factory, here are some contact details you might find helpful: 


Lichfield Street,  



 ST1 3EJ · 

Tel: +44 (0)1782 201328