It was founded around 1878 by Johnstone Wardlaw junior, who was a modeller at Britannia pottery. His father loaned him £600 to help establish the pottery, which was situated in the North side of Glasgow at Wardlaw Street, Keppochhill.
In February 1900 the pottery was badly damaged by a fire which broke out in the top floor of the three storey warehouse and finishing department, the roof and contents of that floor being destroyed and the lower floors damaged by water. However, the fire was contained to that building and the costs of rebuilding of £1,500 were met by insurance.
In March 1903 a fire started in the packing and gilding shop and the rebuilt building was totally destroyed. An adjoining three storey office and store was badly damaged along with another smaller building, damage amounting to £4,000. In May that year sixty-four crates of ware salvaged from the pottery were auctioned off in Ballymena.
According to Scottish Pottery by Arnold Fleming this second blow was the end of the pottery yet in the 1906-1907 Glasgow Post Office Directory Wardlaw is listed as ‘of the Star Pottery’ while also being described as a Wine and Spirit Merchant.
Initially the pottery produced stilts and spurs for the pottery trade but later expanded its range to include plumbago crucibles for metal smelting, teapots, commercial stoneware in Bristol glaze and identical products in Rockingham glaze.
Tea, breakfast, dinner and toilet sets were disposed of at the Ballymena auction. Fleming states that majolica wares were made, however no examples have ever been found.
It was almost certainly producing wares only for the domestic market.
Articles in SPHR
Articles in Bulletin (Members only)
Typical Backstamps & Marks
J Wardlaw, Star Pottery, Star (with a star), “Wardlaw” (impressed) – all very rare.
- No patterns were used