At first I thought it was metal because it was reflective, but it is stoneware with a pewter glaze, actually. On the bottom it was stamped Prinknash Abbey. Having never heard of this kiln, I started Googling and this is what I came up with.
Prinknash Abbey has been around since about the 11th century A.D. The link will take you to their website. According to the Prinknash website, the Abbey is an order of men that live according to Benedictine Rule. Their history is pretty extensive. How did they come to make pottery, though?
Well, turns out that during the year of 1942 the Abbey was undergoing some renovations. During those changes, the monks discovered a seam of red clay that ran through their land.
They decided to use it as a way to earn some extra money for the Abbey’s good works and to support their community. Their pottery was stoneware (thrown pottery on a wheel), slipware (liquid clay poured into plaster molds), and earthenware (clay pressed into molds). Some good information can be found here.
They are well known for their black metallic glazes but they had a number of other glazes, as well. Prinknash pottery can be found in blues, greens and earthen colors, too. The kiln was closed in 1997 when it was sold to the Welsh Pottery Company which has since closed itself.
Interestingly enough, when I was trying to date the piece above that I found, I emailed the Abbey.
They are still there (apparently they also have some technology) and they were very helpful in helping me date the mug to the late 1970’s to early 1980’s. It took a couple of weeks but they researched it for me and kindly emailed me back with a detailed message giving me more information than I had asked for and which I truly appreciated. So a shout-out to the Monks at Prinknash Abbey!
I hope you have enjoyed our foray into a little British history and a pottery that may be new to you. If you have a chance, drop by Vintage Eve’s shop and check out my Prinknash Abbey pottery. Leave me a comment here and say hi. Have a great week!