Named after the Italianate village in North Wales, Portmeirion Pottery was founded in 1960 by Susan Williams-Ellis and her husband Euan Cooper-Willis. Trained in Fine Art, Susan was asked by her father, Sir Clough Williams-Ellis, the architect and creator of Portmeirion Village, to develop some ceramic gifts for the Village Shop.
Expansion soon followed, as further designs were added to the portfolio; allowing Susan to design both shape and surface decoration. The iconic Totem design was launched in 1963, bringing creative acclaim and financial reward to Portmeirion. Its bold, abstract pattern of embossed stars and spirals, set against striking cylindrical drum-like shapes, across a breadth rich, warm glaze colours fitted the mood of the 1960's generation.
All Portmeirion Patterns
The 1970's saw the birth of what is considered by many to be Portmeirion's most definable design, Botanic Garden. Inspired by a chance finding of an antique botanical book, Susan set to work designing a new series of china based on these unique and colourful illustrations. It became an instant success and has become a classic of British design, hailed as one of the world's most popular casual tableware designs, with a vast array of items across table, cook, serve, décor and gift items.
Portmeirion remains true to its original philosophy of designs to fit comfortably with everyday life, whatever the era, and is the foundation of the ranges designed more recently by Sophie Conran, as well as Eden and Dawn Chorus. Longevity and quality of design are core principles that are reflected in children's ranges The Snowman and The Very Hungry Caterpillar. The Portmeirion Group has emerged a giant in the British Ceramic Industry, with the recent acquisition of Spode and Royal Worcester to its portfolio of brands.