The Brown Betty Teapot: re-imagined for the 21st century

The Brown Betty teapot was once in its produced in its millions but in recent decades has been overlooked. The ceramic artist Ian McIntyre is hoping to change this by re-imagining the design of the teapot for the 21st century. McIntyre, who studied 3D Design at Manchester School of Art, is currently undertaking a Collaborative Doctoral Award with the School of Art, York Art Gallery and the British Ceramics Biennial.

His research focuses on how to refine the design of the Brown Betty teapot and create a new version that reinstates the best elements of the original design.  He is also researching the history of red earthenware production in Stoke-on-Trent and is working with Cauldron Ceramics, producers of the Brown Betty.

McIntyre has made use of the Trade Catalogue Collection, held at All Saints Library, to source original images of the Brown Betty for his research. A selection of Trade Catalogues is on display in our Spotlight Gallery on the ground floor of All Saints Library until 20 October 2017. Read more about the collection here.

The teapot will be launched at the British Ceramics Biennial in Stoke-on-Trent, which runs from 23 September – 5 November 2017,  and currently graces the cover of the latest edition of the Crafts Council’s Crafts magazine.

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Mycelium Bowl #2 - Oyster (The Growing Lab) by Officina Corpuscoli, 2015. Photograph © Officina Corpuscoli

Mycelium Bowl #2 – Oyster (The Growing Lab) by Officina Corpuscoli, 2015. Photograph © Officina Corpuscoli

We’re delighted to announce that we’ll be participating in this year’s MAKE:SHIFT conference at the Museum of Science and Industry in November. The conference is organised by the Crafts Council and explores the importance of craft and innovation to the future of making. This year’s themes are: social innovation, sustainability and healthcare and well-being. The practices presented will include robotics, smart materials, bio design, and connected wearables alongside more traditional craft disciplines.

We will be running handling sessions on Thursday 10 November with objects selected from our Design and Process Innovation collection, including a mycellium bowl designed by Maurizio Montalti who will be speaking at the conference.

For more information visit  MAKE:SHIFT