After hearing so much about Nicholas Mosse from almost every Irish person I’ve come across, I couldn’t wait for my visit to Nicholas Mosse Pottery. My experience couldn’t have been better! If you’ve never made a visit, I highly recommend you do.
I arrived in the charming little town of Bennettsbridge and easily found the impressive old mill building with “Nicholas Mosse Pottery” boldly written on the exterior. The Mill, as it’s called, was surrounded by happily grazing cows and goats, making for the most bucolic scene. I followed the signs welcoming me inside and was greeted by a room full of colorful ceramic coffee mugs, plates, and even table lamps!
A shop attendant was helping a gentleman get his first set of hand painted ceramic plates (what good taste!) while the other shop keeper walked me through the showroom. She showed me the Old Rose Collection that is recognized the world over, and some of the newer designs like the Lawn Collection created right there at the factory. I strolled through the country shop admiring the beautiful textiles and selection of blankets from Donegal and Germany, and I definitely found myself thinking about Christmas gift ideas. I spent some time in the seconds room, finding the “imperfections” in the work that cause the items to be discounted.
The highlight of the visit was the private tour with Susan Mosse. It was incredible to see the women using sponges to sponge the pieces, the racks of items ready to be fired, and the massive kilns where each and every piece is fired before being sent to its future owner. We met the men who mix the clay used in the items - a system that seems as much art as it is science - and the craftsmen who throw the clay into the recognizable shapes of Nicholas Mosse Pottery.
My beautiful day in the Irish countryside came to a close in the café. The walls of the café are lined with an amazing collection of traditional Irish handcrafted ceramics. I was enjoying some delicious quiche and a warm cup of coffee and found myself thinking – which pattern do I want? Can I have them all?