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This is the latest Topical Talk update, Sept 09:- Changing Times
Within the UK fine china industry, things have been happening fast. I'll try to keep it brief on this one.
2009 has been quite a momentous year within the English fine china figurine industry
.... starting with the big names Wedgwood, Coalport and Royal Doulton going into administration in January (and, in fact poor old Royal Worcester in the autumn, last year!)
For a few years now, these big name players, all of whom I work with, have all been outsourcing their products (getting their stuff made abroad), with minimal development work actually taking place in the UK (only sculpting & design). This was kept very hush hush.
Wedgwood, Coalport and Doulton are out of administration now but their UK workforce is just a fraction of what it was - mainly admin staff.
Worcester's name has been bought by Portmeirion, who are a great company based in Stoke-on-Trent, but the workforce has all gone from the city of Worcester, itself (sadly, after an unbroken tradition of 259 years! - personally I am gutted as Worcester is my local factory).
Times are certainly changing!
With regards to my 'Gallery' page on my big site www.figurines-sculpture.com - you can see all the items are shown as 'sold out'.
This is because (apart from the fact that all these items are, in fact, sold out) I have moved away from the famous big three Worcester, Doulton and Coalport for now. I am not comfortable with the situation of practically everything being outsourced to the Far East. It somehow seems a con, to be honest.
I do not wish to be associated with this type of stuff at all.....
AND HERE IS THE BIG NEWS ..... you may have read..... I have formed a company with my friend and colleague, John Bromley (one of the greatest figurine sculptors working today) to carry the torch for the English Staffordshire tradition of bone china figurines. This backstamp is now known as 'The Figurine Collective'.
We are doing everything in our power to keep the traditional skills from dying out - maybe a rear-guard action, but someone needs to do it! .... and when we looked around, there was only us... SO we stepped up to the plate!
Its all quite new, so I would be grateful if you could find time to take a look at our newly developing 'Gallery' website here: www.figurinecollect.com http://www.figurinecollect.com which shows the development of our new pieces, and let me know your thoughts.
I respect your opinion, <>, and know you as a steadfast person, so it would be a great favour to me. Feedback, feedback and more feedback please. Your honest comments will help me and The Figurine Collective to develop a website in a way that works.
Sorry to ramble on so! All the best
Peter Holland www.figurinecollect.com