We’ve got a special peek behind the scenes into Spode’s designer pottery factory – this time in our handle making department.

We love tea here at Spode. There’s nothing more comforting than a warm cup of tea, don’t you agree? And what makes a perfectly poured brew that extra bit special is the cup (or mug) you drink from. Right?

Well with 250 years of passion and ceramic craftsmanship behind us, believe us, we here at Spode know just a little bit about making the finest teacup (or mug) for our oh so special afternoon cup.

We have a dedicated team of talented artisans that skilfully craft the handles of our teacups and mugs as we believe comfort and style is of utmost importance when it comes to taking our precious sips.

To begin, handle moulds, made from plaster of paris, are stacked and filled with clay, before spending around about one hour in the dryer.

Our craftsmen and women then undo the moulds and take each handle out one by one, placing them on a tray ready for the next stage. The moulds are then stacked back up and re-filled with clay for another batch of handles.

The moulds used will change depending on the type of mug or teacup handle being made. As you can see the handle on our Blue Italian teacup is different to the handle on our Black Italian espresso cup.

The handles are then taken to be tidied up and perfectly shaped before being placed on our cup body. By hand, the handle is trimmed, with any seam marks, sharp or rough edges carefully removed and the curves smoothed out.

Finally, the straight edge of clay that’s created when the handles are formed in the mould is removed with a cutter, designed specifically to fit and trim each Spode handle. As you can see in the image below, this one has been created specifically to trim the Blue Italian teacup handles.

The trimmed handles are then placed in a tray where they are left to dry further before making their way to the cup shop for the next stage of the cup making process.

So, next time you’re enjoying a moment of calm with your Spode cup in hand, take a second to fully appreciate the handle and the feel of it in your hand. Each delicate curve and a place for your thumb to rest perfectly on top. All instrumental in creating the perfect sip. After all, life tastes a little better sipped from Spode.

Join us next time to see behind the scenes of another Spode factory process. In the meantime, find us on social where we love to see your Spode tea pictures.