One of our unique retail items, made especially for the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, is the Alison Gardiner bone china mug. It comes in two designs, Shakespeare’s Birthplace and Anne Hathaway’s Cottage, and are hand-crafted and made in England.
The mugs feature colourful designs, created by Alison herself, rich in detail and with the name of the location shown on the handle. There’s also an image within the mug – on the Birthplace mug this shows William Shakespeare.
Creating the product is a labour of love. First, Alison designs and illustrates the mug artwork in gouache and ink; gouache is like watercolour but with more opacity, and was used by the Egyptians and was also popular with Rococo artists.
Mugs are fired and glazed in the Stoke-on-Trent potteries, after which they are decorated with a lithograph print (an authorised copy of the original work). It takes over five years to learn this craft. Mugs are then fired again before being despatched.
More Mug Facts:
- It takes seven days to make each mug
- Handles are separately cast and attached
- Mugs are dipped in glaze and fired three times
- Each mug has a mark on the base which identifies who decorated that mug
- At each stage, mugs are checked for flaws and consistency to ensure they meet very high standards
Mugs are a personal and affordable purchase, ideal for a gift or to enhance the home. Every purchase supports the vital care and conservation of the Shakespeare houses and collections.
Visit our online shop to purchase your very own Alison Gardiner mug, or to browse through our range of other Shakespeare-related books and gifts.