days out

The Emma Bridgewater Decorating Studio

Today we treated ourselves to a trip to the Emma Bridgewater Decorating Studio at her factory at Hanley, Stoke on Trent. I have a few pieces of Emma Bridgewater pottery and have always wanted to know more about how the pieces and decorated and made. Unfortunately all the experiences we wanted to go on, such as the factory tour and afternoon tea experiences, were sold out. Thankfully we found we could visit the Decorating Studio and paint our own pottery keep-sakes.

The Emma Bridgewater Decorating Studio

We booked our tickets to the Emma Bridgewater Decorating Studio online and turned up this morning. There is a free car park onsite before you enter the factory but the local train station is only a short walk away. The factory is housed in a site first opened by the Meakin brothers in 1883.

Emma Bridgewater Decorating Studio

As we entered via the car park we went through the door into the shop. From there we walked across the courtyard where we could see the cafe and decorating studio.

The Decorating Studio is a really colourful space, set with tables, with a lovely atmosphere. We were shown to our table which was set up with basic supplies – two bowl filled with water, paint brushes, a plate with pencils and sanding blocks, and printed instructions.

Emma Bridgewater Decorating Studio

A member of staff came over and explained how the Decorating Studio works. You chose the piece of pottery you wanted to decorate from the display cabinet.

Emma Bridgewater experiences

This was then brought over to our table. You pick your stencil (if you want to use one from the display).

Emma Bridgewater stencils

Then you fill your paint palette with paint, using the handy plate guide on your table.

Emma Bridgewater experience.

Our session lasted for 90 minutes and it took up a while to decide what we wanted to paint, and how we wanted to decorate. Big Brother chose a large mug, Little Sis opted for the dog bowl, and my husband and I opted for 1/2 pint mugs.

There was lots of choice of stencils and we all chose something different. Big Brother painted his own design based on The Great Wave off Kanagawa (not very Emma Bridgewater!) whilst Little Sis decorated the dog bowl with our dogs name and a dog stencil. We had a lot of fun creating our own pieces of Emma Bridgewater inspired pottery. It was fun to add paint to the stencils before decorating the mugs and bowls.

The Emma Bridgewater decorating studio 

The time passed really quickly as we were all so absorbed in our own creations. I enjoyed making my garden-themed mug, Little Sis had so much fun she decided to make a mug too! When we were finished our creations were left on the table to be glazed and fired. We should receive them in 2-3 weeks.


  • Reply
    Laura le Roux
    April 8, 2024 at 5:20 am

    What a fun, creative family activity! We have something similar here, I think we need to give it a try.

  • Reply
    April 8, 2024 at 5:25 pm

    This is SO cool! It looks like such a fun time for everyone! I love this idea!

  • Reply
    April 8, 2024 at 7:30 pm

    My daughter would absolutely love this place! I’d love to have her exercise her creative skills here!!

  • Reply
    April 9, 2024 at 11:12 am

    Ohh wow …if I’m there for sure I will sign up & learn to this creative skills as my me time pampering. Thanks for sharing this. Cheers SiennyLovesDrawing

  • Reply
    Five Happy Things {Week 498} -
    April 28, 2024 at 10:49 pm

    […] the Easter holidays we all decorated mugs and they came back from the Emma Bridgewater Decorating Studio. They look totally different now they have been glazed. The dog got a new bowl and we all have […]

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