26 May 2013

Spode and Mount Everest

It is 60 years since the ascent of Mount Everest by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay.

What better way to come down to earth than visit a famous pottery manufacturer? Which factory? Spode, of course.

On 16th October 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary (middle) with fellow mountaineer, George Lowe (left) was escorted around the Spode factory and showroom by Spencer Copeland (right) who coincidentally was also accomplished in demanding snowy sports participating in the scary Cresta Run several times as well as ski-jumping. The tissue print in Lowe's hand is for Italian pattern one of Spode's most famous transfer printed patterns. Printed from a hand-engraved copper plate, the fragile tissue is the medium by which the design is transferred from the engraving to the pot by the skilled transferrers, seen here with their backs to us. The tissues have made excellent, give-away souvenirs over the years to thousands of visitors to the Spode factory.

Italian 1932 leaflet