Buyer's Guide

A Buyer’s Guide to Denby Pottery

Established in 1809, Denby are the pottery experts to know about. Renowned for its exceptional ceramics Denby provides authentic, complementary designs made to last a lifetime.

Based on the outskirts of the village of Denby, Derbyshire, this heritage British brand has been perfecting the craft of pottery for over two centuries.

Take a look at our buyer’s guide featuring a Q&A with Denby to answer everything you need to know about the brand…

Denby pottery

What is Denby’s story?

Here in Derbyshire, we have an extensive history of raw materials and local craftspeople. The resources from this area played a  huge role in the industrial revolution. To meet the demands of transporting goods to market in Derby a turnpike road was built, passing through Denby. During this process, a seam of clay was discovered. William Bourne, a local potter, recognised the potential for this seam and by 1809, he had established a pottery on the clay bed at Denby. In those early days, we made salt-glazed bottles and jars to hold essential liquid commodities of the day. Things such as Ink, Ginger Beer, Medicine and Pickles. Over the generations, we have continually developed looking at changes in lifestyles, trends and events to inspire our designs. Our collections epitomise the Denby values for craftsmanship, beauty and versatility.

Where are Denby products made today?

All of our stoneware ranges are proudly made here in our Denby, Derbyshire pottery. Our factory is still on the same site where the pottery was founded, our rich heritage can be seen in the fabric of the building and the knowledge that generations of craftspeople have been making ceramics here since 1809. Nestled next door to the seam of clay which our founder originally worked with, many traditional hand-crafting techniques have been preserved and are still used in our factory today.

Denby Factory

How are Denby products designed?

Modern lives require products that are durable enough to withstand daily use whilst looking beautiful for all types of occasions. Ceramics need to be multi-functional and have a purpose in every room of the home, both indoors, and outside and be tough enough to withstand the busiest kitchens. We have a very talented design team who take inspiration from lots of different sources including colour trends, interior trends and lifestyle trends. By observing real-life needs, we are able to design our products and collections with true purpose. Mugs that fit under coffee machines, oven dishes the exact width of a lasagne sheet, multi-functional bowls for all occasions. With every item safe for use in the dishwasher, oven, microwave and dishwasher!


What is your hero product?

The Halo Cereal Bowl. Halo is a beautiful artisan range with a studio pottery feel that uses the uniqueness of our Denby reactive glaze to produce a two-tone collection. The magic begins in the kiln where our special glazes are expertly fused together. Each piece in the range, including the cereal bowl, is brought to life using challenging techniques to create a captivating effect. Crafted in our Derbyshire factory by our team of skilled craftspeople, every piece has been designed to last.

Denby Halo Bowl


Are Denby products versatile?

They are designed for everyday purposes and special occasions. Every piece can be used in the oven, freezer, microwave and dishwasher (so you can cook, serve and store in it). The mugs double as plant pots, bowls as candles or trinket holders and jugs as vases. Designed to add a stylish touch around the house, from your living room, hallway, bedroom to the kitchen and dining room.  

Are Denby socially/sustainably responsible?

Since our beginning, we have only used locally sourced clay and secret glaze recipes to handcraft our designs. With every piece passing through 20 pairs of hands before it’s finished, we ensure attention to detail and quality in all our production. One set of Denby can be used every day and for special occasions. It’s made to last and can be used instead of disposable plates or cups.

We pride ourselves on being a sustainable and conscious brand. The first UK tableware manufacturer to claim zero process waste to landfill which helps to save 600 tonnes of CO2 emissions every year. We also recycle our moulds, clay waste and glazes and have our own water treatment plant where we purify and return to the water cycle 20 million litres of process water. We’re always evolving and looking at ways to improve our sustainable approach.

What didn’t we know about Denby?

Our designs are very popular in Korea and are growing in popularity in Asia. In particular our small and shallow bowls.

Bowls are the new plates! Bowls now seem to be the shape of choice as people choose more informal eating and dining.

denby pottery

How do you care for the pottery?

We try to make sure all of our pieces are practical and can withstand the rigours of modern life. Every stoneware item can be used in the oven, freezer, microwave and dishwasher. So you can safely cook, serve and store in your Denby items, then add them to the dishwasher. 

Now, if you are still wondering whether Denby pottery is for you, we wanted to share a few more questions after having had the privilege of visiting Denby village. (A highly recommended day out if you are in the area) Here are the questions we wanted to answer for you, from our time at Denby. 

How durable are the products?

Each piece is made in Denby’s Derbyshire pottery from the teapot handles to printed platters. 

One lady wrote to Denby to tell them that her house had unfortunately been in the path of Hurricane Katrina and had been completely flattened. When she was going through the rubble she found some of her Denby set which was the only thing that had survived. 

denby pottery


How does Denby check the product is of the highest quality?

Any fault picked up through the process means the product is added to the recycling pile. However, they are rigorously checked at the final stages by specialists who examine every product. They check for any inconsistencies in the designs and tap the ceramics to listen to the ring it makes. If the clink doesn’t sound the way it should, they reject the product. They use sound to indicate a fault with the product.

How do they create their designs?

They have a specialist in-house design team with their Design Director actually coming to them as a student. He was the first student to have his designs manufactured on their products.

Using a mix of traditional techniques – hand-throwing, line drawing, mood boards and experimenting with glazes. Alongside new technology such as CAD, the design team’s ideas are handed over to our factory to bring to life. The whole process from creating the concept to producing the new tableware range takes up to 2 years. 



Written by Holly Thompson

Featured Image Credit – @denbypottery

Holly Thompson

Holly Thompson

Writer and expert