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Crown Dorset Pottery

After his apprenticeship and working for various potteries, Charles Collard formed a new company, Charles Collard and Co. Ltd., later to trade under the name of the Crown Dorset Art Pottery which was registered on 10th March 1905.

The pottery was converted from two houses in Green Road which leads down to the shore near the Quay at Poole. A long two-storied workshop was erected at the back of the property. The ground floor was fitted out with potters' wheels and the first floor was used for decorating. The houses were used as a caretaker's lodge, showrooms, general office and Collard's private office/workshop. At the back drying sheds and kilns were built. In a central yard was the pug mill which was the traditional method of getting clay into workable form.

After the initial period none of the designs were copied from other potteries and they were all drawn freehand. The Crown Dorset Art Pottery claimed to be above all things absolutely original in its designs. The decoration was constantly changing, most of it originated by Collard himself. Collard continued with the arts and crafts traditions learned at Aller Vale and made all his own glazes and paints either himself or under his direct supervision.

The pottery proved to be very successful and established itself within years. Collard seems to have had plenty of business sense as well as artisitic ability. As well as the domestic market, he built up a strong export trade with orders from Buenos Aires, Hong Kong, Norway, Australia and Constantinople.

The company's greatest artistic success came in 1910 when it was awarded a Gold Medal at the International Brussels Exhibition. In the following year, Collard won another Gold Medal at the Turin Exhibition. One of his major successes in terms of advertising came when the pottery was awarded the contract by Poole Council to produce coronation mugs in 1911. The mugs were given to the children in the area to commemorate the coronation of King George V and Queen Mary on 22nd June 1911.

On 20th June 1912, Collard married Emily Welsh after a courtship which had lasted ten years. A few years later their only child, Joan was born.

The First World War severely affected all pottery businesses and Collard made the decision to sell the business to George Paine in 1915. The company went into decline and was finally wound up in 1927. When the works finally closed many of the employees moved to the nearby pottery of Carter, Stabler and Adams. The pottery was demolished in the 1930s and six houses were built on the site, now known as Green Close.



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