OUR STORY

Heraldic Pottery was formed in 1998 by the 2 current Directors Andrew Tooth and Jason Simms, friends from football who were both working within the ceramics industry frustrated by the lack of opportunities to forward their careers.  Andy was a decorating manager on a local pot bank Duchess China, while Jason a trained pen and ink engraver at Wedgwood  was working as a freelance artist for small local pottery firms. It was decided after many drunken nights of talking about business and potential opportunities that they would give the idea of running their own business a go, this was pushed along further with Andy losing his job because of a sharp down turn in the UK ceramics industry due to cheap Chinese imports.

The name for the business came from Jason who was at the time working on various ceramic projects for the Navy which focused on re drawing Heraldry crests and insignia . The name Heraldic Pottery quickly morphed with the idea of Jason and Andy focusing on specialised commemorative ceramics for the Army, Royal Air Force and Navy.  A company logo was designed and the business name was registered.  Many more late nights were spent sitting at Jason's kitchen table talking, planning and even decorating mugs, vases and small fancies that could be sold to try and generate sales, these decorated pieces were fired by friends and acquaintances as a stop gap.

Jason carried on with his freelance work during the day as he had a young family to provide for while Andy started the selling and making contacts for the business while also finishing his part time University course in Ceramic Technology.

A couple of local wholesalers started to give Heraldic some regular decorating orders and a financial loan from friends and family allowed Andy and Jason to purchase their first kiln and rent their first property a 600 square foot unit at Imex Business Park. Using a couple of lithographers in their spare time more and more decorating work came along and with a quick turnaround and an eye for quality the infrastructure of the business started to blossom.  A few promotional and commemorative orders were produced and it was decided that rather paying out to other transfer manufacturers for the decals, that Andy and Jason would have a go at printing their own transfers. With help from a couple of friends and contacts within the ceramics industry their first hand printing table was made from an old school desk that they drilled holes in for a vacuum top with an old hoover taped underneath acting as a suction to hold the paper down for printing, two G clamps were used to hold the screen to the table. The screens were made and washed out with a hose pipe outside the buildings drain pipe grid and there was the start of Heraldic Pottery's printing service.  Many late nights printing, making mistakes and continually learning the decals side began to pay dividends and a few local pottery decorators began to order transfers from Heraldic. 

Within a few months a semi automatic printing machine and drying racks were purchased to expand the printing side with this their second premises were moved into at Mink stone Works in Longton and their first full time employee was set on to compliment the demand for transfers, Dylan is still currently employed at Heraldic 16 years later. Andy and Jason took over Hammersley Transfers in 2002 buying out the founder who was retiring, this gave Heraldic a larger customer base and a cylinder automatic printing machine ideal for 4 colour and half tone printing.

The business continued to grow slowly and every new opportunity that came Andy and Jason's way were seized upon enthusiastically as they are at the present day. Two years after moving into Mink stone Works and taking over two more units on site, Heraldic landed an order for 45,000 mugs for Bedford County Council to commemorative the Queens Golden Jubilee, the profit from the order was re invested to fund a move to a bigger 8,000 square unit at Adderley Works in late 2003. Within the new unit a fast fire kiln was purchased to help increase capacity and throughput of decorated items.

By 2005 the staffing levels at Heraldic had swelled to 11 people to help cope with demand for all aspects of the business, this slowly increased year by year. By 2011 Heraldic had out grown their current unit and an opportunity to relocate into bigger premises came along and another move was made to a 20,000 square foot unit in Trentham , their current home. In 2013 Heraldic landed a prestigious and daunting by size project in partnership with Johnson Tiles to reproduce 32,000 individually digitally printed tiles for the Hilton Hawaii Hotel in Honolulu, beating off global competition to win the contract. Again the profit from the project was reinvested back into the business to help fund the deposit needed to purchase the new building.

With 19 staff currently Andy and Jason have the infrastructure, experience, knowledge and the commitment to produce ceramics and glassware for any individual, small businesses and blue chip companies offering the quality, service and turnaround that is demanded within the industry.