I hope you’re all doing well and September’s arrival has been kind to you. Seriously, where has this year gone? Things have been extremely busy here at Design Sheppard HQ. Work on our utility room has been progressing nicely. The room has been tiled and grouted, the floor has been painted, the new washing machine arrives today and I’m currently trying to sort out storage.
We’ve also just got back from our family holiday to Poland which was wonderful as always. It’s such a beautiful country and I feel so at home there. I’d love to live there one day. Then pretty much as soon as we got back it was our eldest daughter’s first day at school and our youngest’s first day at pre-school. What an emotional roller coaster that was. Who’d be a parent, eh?
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Well, before we jetted off on holiday, the girls stayed over at my parents so me and the Mr had an evening and a morning to ourselves. Convinced that summer would be over by the time we got back from Poland, we decided to have breakfast out in the garden one last time before we have to pack everything away in the shed for winter. This was a perfect opportunity for us to use our new dining set that we were kindly sent by Denby*.
Now I’ve always been aware that Denby is an iconic British pottery, but I wasn’t really clued up on the company’s exceptional history and credentials. I had no idea that Denby has been around since 1809 and that in over 200 years of design and craftsmanship, Denby artisans have developed over 5000 glazes. I wasn’t aware that the clay was sourced from directly behind the pottery in Derbyshire and I did not know that each individual piece is hand turned so no two pieces are ever the same. I also didn’t know that Denby products pass through 25 pairs of hands before being given the Denby seal of approval. It’s no wonder that Denby stoneware is the stuff of legend!
If I’m super honest I have to admit that I’ve always thought of Denby* as a company that produces fancy dinner sets that your parents and grandparents have and keep for best. You know, the ones that only get used once a year, maybe at Christmas? So when I was asked if I’d like to review the new Studio Blue collection I wasn’t sure what to expect and wondered whether I’d find the range a bit too traditional for my more modern and minimal tastes. But when I clicked through to the website to check out the Denby Studio Blue collection* I was really pleasantly surprised.
Studio Blue* is the new hand-crafted range of ceramics that has been carefully created by skilled Denby artisans. It is an informal collection of plates, bowls, platters, mugs and jugs designed with casual dining and laid-back entertaining in mind. This automatically made it more appealing to me as I don’t really like the idea of having a formal dining set. We don’t really have the space for formal dining at our house and I certainly don’t have anywhere to store a second dinner set for more formal occasions.
The Denby Stuido Blue range is inspired by the trend for a natural aesthetic in the home using honest materials. Again this really spoke to me as I’ve fallen hard for the natural materials trend that we are seeing in home interiors at the moment. I’ve been trying to introduce more natural materials into my own home, especially in my living room.
The colours and textures of pebbles and natural stones such as flint, shale and chalk have been the inspiration behind Studio Blue. We have created glazes that evoke the different surfaces found in these minerals, combining them to create a harmonious range.
Nicola Wilson, Senior Designer, Denby
This tactile stoneware collection really captures the essence of Denby’s hand-crafting skills and textural glazes. I really love that each piece is slightly different and that you can mix and match the different shades of blue and grey. All the pieces contrast and complement one another perfectly. They just look so good on the table together. And the fact that the colours vary definitely adds to the laid back feel.
I was also really impressed by the quality, although this didn’t come as a surprise. After all you don’t get to be as iconic as Denby by producing flimsy stoneware. The plates and bowls were lovely and weighty and the mugs felt really sturdy and comfortable to hold. And I just love that speckled glaze.
We had a lovely morning, even though it wasn’t quite as sunny as we’d have liked. And I’m happy to report that since we got back from holiday we still haven’t felt the need to pack away all our outdoor stuff in preparation for winter. It’s still warm enough to dine outside at the moment and there is talk of that elusive Indian Summer which means we may be able to stretch outdoor dining through to October if we’re lucky. Fingers crossed!
If you’d like a quick walk through of Denby products through the ages you can watch this lovely little film.
I’d love to know what your thoughts are on Denby. Do you own any yourself? Would you like to? And do you think we’ll be seeing warmer weather through to October?