Brown Betty teapot

The V & A Museum in London have created a lovely five minute film explaining the design process and heritage behind Ian McIntyre’s re-imagined Brown Betty Teapot, which features in the exhibition Food: Bigger than the Plate, on display at the V & A until Sunday 20 October 2019. McIntyre, who is undertaking a PhD at the Manchester School of Art, used trade catalogues from our collection as part of his research and we acquired his teapot for our New Materials and Processes Collection in 2017.

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.