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Emma Bridgewater have a pottery decorating studio at their factory in Stoke-on-Trent and there is a franchise called the Pottery Cafe owned by Chessell Pottery that uses the Bridgewater bisque shapes with I believe 3 studios - one in Fulham next to the Bridgewater shop, one in Richmond and one at their main factory on the Isle of Wight where they also produce their own shapes.

I have noticed a recent spate of pottery cafe pieces appearing on eBay for sale from members who are not regular BW sellers believing these items to be rare or discontinued older Bridgewater pottery.

I do not think for one moment that these sellers are deliberately trying to mislead the buyer as some of these pieces created by random individuals are very professional looking and no less beautiful in their own way, and, if you don't know about the decorating studios or a great deal about Emma's work, then it is easy to assume that the piece was originally part of the Bridgewater range at some point.

However, I am a little disappointed, saddened and concerned that when informed that the piece being sold is a product from one of the decorating studios, some sellers will still not alter their descriptions or titles.

Most of us Bridgewater collectors will be aware of the origins of these items, but some newer, less experienced members may not realise and think that they are purchasing a rarity.

Always ask to see a photograph of the backstamp if there is any doubt as it will clearly state that it is an item from a pottery cafe, but, if you genuinely just like the piece - and some of the examples I have seen are really lovely - just go ahead and buy it if it pleases you because that's what having a collection is all about!

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