In Bennettsbridge in County Kilkenny an early sixteenth century flour mill stands by the River Nore with its ducks and swans and grassy banks strewn with meadow flours. Here, in 1985, local potter Nicholas Mosse set up a factory that now ships pieces hand made by local residents to buyers all over the world. Nicholas Mosse's traditional Irish pottery designs reflect the world around him, decorated with the scenery of rural Ireland. Patterns like Animal Landscape, Forget Me Not and the dainty new Clover bring a bit of Ireland everywhere they go.
Irish Pottery: Heritage
Irish spongeware is a type of folk pottery dating from the 19th century. Decoration is applied to a colored earthenware base with a sponge hand cut into an intricate design. At Nicholas Mosse Pottery, local artisans shape the simple forms by hand and fire and decorate them in the tradition of the plates and bowls used in old Irish cottages using waterpower from the Nore.
Nick Mosse has been fascinated by clay and its potential since childhood. He graduated from England's Harrow College of Art and worked as a journeyman in Scotland, in France and in Japan. In 1976 he came home to Bennettsbridge where he established a pottery in an old byre. The studio prospered, and by 1985 Mosse relocated it to the disused flour mill. The pottery now employs local residents to produced hand made pottery which is sold in all parts of the world.
Traditional Irish Spongeware
Every piece of the fine spongeware sold under the Nicholas Mosse name is still made by hand in the old mill at Bennettsbridge. Every item is shaped to reflect the forms of traditional Irish pottery, and the decorations are drawn from the countryside in which the artisans live. Patterns like Clematis, Old Rose and Wild Flower Meadow are inspired by the flora and fauna of Kilkenny. Even the delightful holiday pattern with its border of holly seems to feature Reindeer with an Irish accent.
In addition to ceramics, table linens can now be had as a part of the Nicholas Mosse line. Made with the same care as the spongeware, these tablecloths, napkins, mats and assorted kitchen linens are the perfect complement to the dinnerware collections. Like every Nicholas Mosse product, they bring the grace and beauty of Ireland to homes no matter where they lie.