History of Ceramics in Scotland

It is not possible to say when the first piece of Scottish earth was shaped by human hand and then dried or heated to produce a form for daily use or for artistic or ritual purpose. Archaeologists are constantly unearthing earlier and earlier examples of such ware. As a Society of collectors and researchers with members all being volunteers, it is natural that the areas, we have most researched and most collected, are in the fairly recent past where examples of wares are reasonably easily found and affordable to most pockets.

From the mid-eighteenth century until the mid-twentieth century, Scotland had in excess of forty industrial potteries. These were concentrated in Glasgow and the Clyde basin also in Kirkcaldy and district, in Bo’ness and Alloa and in Aberdeen. The coastal fringe of Mid-Lothian and East-Lothian also supported several early potteries.

In addition to this, there were innumerable individuals and small groups who either produced their own unique pots in their own style or who bought in blanks of china and pottery to decorate and fire. Many of these ‘studios’ produced highly colourful pieces to a really high artistic standard and still to-day there are thankfully many craft potters at work in Scotland.