Discontinued Collectibles Guide

Lorna Bailey Pottery Collectibles

The creation of collectibles in china and porcelain seems to come naturally to those born within the sound of factory hooters in Staffordshire, particularly in Stoke-on-Trent. The gift seems to manifest itself to greatest effect in the girls born there. However, this time we have a daughter of Newcastle-under-Lyme to celebrate rather than Stoke-on Trent itself. Lorna Bailey was born and raised in the Porthill area of Newcastle. She was educated there up to leaving High School before taking a BTEC course at Stoke-on-Trent College leading to a BTEC National Diploma in Design (Ceramics).

Alumni of this college, formerly the Burslem School of Art include many of the best known names in pottery collectables, such as Clarice Cliff, Susie Cooper and others. Lorna’s own interest in ceramics had already been nurtured long before going to college in Stoke.

Her father Lionel was a keen collector who, together with a friend, attended all the antiques and collectables fairs all over the Midlands and as soon as she was old enough Lorna invariably accompanied them. As a small child they would often give her small collectibles. Though they were usually damaged examples it was enough to encourage her interest and names such as Clarice Cliff, Wade and Susie Cooper became as familiar to her as those of her own family. Lorna started collecting in her own right by collecting Wade Whimsies before moving on to the Art Deco ceramic collectables particularly those produced by Susie Cooper and Clarice Cliff.

Collecting and handling these particular designers’ work gave rise to Lorna’s own enthusiasm for innovative shapes and bright, bold colours which became so much a part of her own original work. The opportunity to create her own designs came early for Lorna. She was still at college when her father bought up many of the assets of a local pottery which had gone into liquidation at about the same time as the owner of the Old Ellgreave Pottery wanted to retire. Lionel took over the premise from him and launched L.J.B. Ceramics to produce Toby Jugs and other traditional hand painted ware.

Right from the start, Lorna spent all of her spare time from college working with her father in the business, earning pocket money by hand- painting wares and also trying out her own ideas. As time went by, the trade buyers who came to the works began to recognise the potential in Lorna’s work and buy items of her design along with the traditional pottery the originally came to buy.

By early 1998 Lorna and two hand-painters were working full time producing collectibles designed by her. The business moved from one location to another several times as it grew and the name of Lorna Bailey became familiar to collectors of fine porcelain everywhere. Rather like her predecessor, Clarice Cliff, Lorna branched out into a series of different ranges, each in her own distinctive style.

In March 2002 Lorna’s marriage to Tim Proctor was marked by a limited edition of a small ceramic model of a wedding cake. All members of the Lorna Bailey Collectors Club received one as a gift. The fact that such a club existed after so short a time speaks volumes for the rapid rise in popularity of Lorna’s collectables.

That year too Lorna and Tim attended a garden party at Buckingham Palace. The lass from Newcastle-under-Lyme really had arrived! In February the following year, LJB Ceramics became Lorna Bailey Artware with Lorna at the helm.

More new ranges of collectibles were added with great success and the business continued to prosper. Then, to the dismay of collectors everywhere, in January 2008 it all came to an end. Lorna decided the time had come to concentrate on family life and retire from the ceramics industry. In May that year, Lorna Bailey Artware went into voluntary liquidation. Seven people lost their jobs and overnight Lorna Bailey collectables became more collectable than ever as no more were ever to be produced.

Whether you want to collect Lorna Bailey designs in general or concentrate on a specific range there are still plenty out there for you to find. They really are all rather special so it’s well worth the effort.

On each of the pages within this section dedicated to Lorna Bailey collectibles we have included links to live and current online auctions dealing in each theme. In addition, where known, we have added details of collector clubs, forums and websites. We wish you every success in tracking down the missing pieces of your discontinued Lorna Bailey collection and hope you will become a regular visitor to Accumulations. Remember it’s an ever-changing scene so it is always worth a return visit!

If you are interested in a specific type or genre of Lorna Bailey collectible, click on one of the following links:-

AnimalsCatsCruet SetsFigurinesJugsTeapotsVases

Please also check out the Lorna Bailey Books, Related Dealers and Useful Resources listed on this page.

Useful Resources

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