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Talks and lectures

RIBA South Conservation Group: Terracotta and faience manufacturing

Join guest speaker Jon Wilson, partner from Darwen Terracotta, as he talks through the process of manufacturing terracotta and faience.

About this event

Manufacturers of terracotta and faience, Darwen Terracotta help restore buildings around the world, by replacing missing or damaging pieces. Employing 55 skilled craftspeople from their 70,000 sq ft factory in Blackburn, Lancashire, the work ranges from plain mouldings to heavily sculpted work.

Join us to hear partner Jon Wilson discussing the reasons for their involvement and their traditional manufacturing process as he shares a few examples of projects completed by the company.

"Having generations of dedicated artisans passing on their knowledge and experience enables us to continue providing the best quality and service. The manufacturing process has changed little over time, though we combine our skills and experience with the latest modelling, casting, drying, and kiln firing technology, with predominant markets in the United Kingdom, North America, and Australia."

About Darwen Terracotta

When one of the UK's oldest and most highly respected terracotta companies, Shaws of Darwen closed its architectural division to concentrate on their fireclay sink business, the opportunity arose for former employees to set up a new business and re-employ the very skilled craftspeople.

“It was really important that we could employ many of the team we have worked with for so many years. Apart from the friendships involved, the product is so specialised that we could not see the loss of these skills that Darwen has been famous for since the end of the 19th century. The industry, including architects and contractors have been so very supportive, that it has been heart-warming, and keeps alive the passion required to produce this high quality product.”
— Jon Wilson, Darwen Terracotta Limited