Orchard Pottery

Tony Smither was in the Royal Navy, first as a Marine Engineer and then as a Radio Electrician. On his discharge he trained to be a teacher at the college of St Mark and St John, Plymouth. It was here that he had his first experience of ceramics, which quickly developed into an obsession. After graduating he decided that he had no vocation for teaching and together with Doreen Gardener, started Orchard Pottery in 1980.

 

At first Tony continued to explore the theme he had developed at college - stylised Cornish fishing villages and lighthouses on or in thrown boxes and bowls. In the mid 1980’s the decline in demand for brown stoneware coincided with Tony making a porcelain sheep brooch for a client. This was instantly popular and was soon followed by the first cat brooch, modelled on Doreen’s pet Siamese.

 

The range of porcelain jewellery is still a fundamental aspect of Orchard Pottery’s production but Tony’s mania for the sea and water could not be denied and by the early 1990’s he had started to develop a range of indoor water features made in stoneware. This has now grown to include outdoor fountains inspired by smooth sea - worn rocks and pebbles. Other developments have been sculptural sheep for the garden, designed to compliment Doreen’s range of bird forms, and runner ducks, smaller sheep and quails for inside the home.

        

 

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