Farnham pottery visit – our story of green glaze

Farnham pottery courtyard

Farnham pottery signage

Farnham Pottery was originally built in the Victorian era to manufacture agricultural and sanitary ware but eventually became home to a nationally important art pottery. It is most famous for A Harris & Sons and designer W H Allen who worked on this site from around the turn of the century until 1943. The pots made at Farnham pottery were sold at Heals and Liberty. The company was widely known for its ‘owl jugs‘ which were produced up to the 1950s. We found our own owl on the lintel to this passageway.

Farnham pottery owl

Harris was asked to copy a French vase. After much experimentation he managed to produce an acceptable facsimile using a lead glaze made green by the addition of copper oxide. Once Harris had found a signature glaze this allowed the pottery to grow into an art pottery.

At Eliziain Elements we have gone through a similar voyage of discovery to find a range of glazes. We’ve had dull glazes, crackles, runs etc. in the process of finding our design theme. One glaze that we return to again and again is a deep green gloss that produces a gradient of colour density across texture. Our leaf earrings shows this glaze to its best.


Long green leaf earring

The kiln building

This visit was the first time our daughter had seen a large scale kiln up close and brought to life the kiln shown on the Great Pottery Throw Down. Although this craft kiln is on a much smaller scale than the Middleport affair. This is the last of the five kilns that once stood on the site.

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Farnham pottery bottle kiln

This is somewhat bigger than our kiln in the studio!

Image showing interior of kiln
Our kiln

The best find was a wonderful old sign tucked away in the corner of a room that brought the long history of this site to life. We need a sign like this for our stall!

Farnham pottery signage

The site has changed so much over the years. In the 1980’s the entire courtyard was full of flower pots and chimney pots. They were stacked along the fronts of the buildings, in alcoves and up the stairways. But now everything is very neat and very proper.

Farnham pottery courtyard

It’s great that this wonderful site has been saved and is being used to encourage future potters and ceramists.

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