Stephen Pearce Pottery is a charming shop and working pottery in Shanagarry, East County Cork. Philip and Lucy Pearce, Stephen’s parents, established the original pottery, named Shanagarry Pottery, in 1953. Shanagarry is in the heart of a region rich in organic clay deposits, and for the past 250 years the area is renowned for the earthenware pots, plates, and bowls which are produced here. Clay is carefully selected and dug from the pottery’s own nearby field, and brought to Shanagarry to be weathered and aged for four months before it is ready for use by the potters. The potters and processes can be viewed by customers in workshops beside the shop. The throwing room, glazing, drying and kiln rooms, and the shop are all housed under one roof. Bestsellers have endured decades. The black and white Shanagarry range designed by Philip Pearce, and the terracotta Classic collection, designed by Stephen Pearce in 1975. The lit fire, pot belly stove, and café offer a warm welcome to visitors, and are the perfect backdrop for the pottery.
Stephen Pearce started throwing pots with his father when he was ten years old. After leaving school he went to work at potteries in England, France, and Japan. Stephen returned to Shanagarry in 1971, to work alongside his father. As a maker, Stephen, and his team of crafts people, are proud of the design and quality of their products. They enjoy seeing the finished pots being chosen by customers, answering customer’s queries, and sharing the process and techniques that are involved in their craft. The family business has stayed true to it’s heritage and traditions. Stephen’s book, Stephen Pearce: Warrior Spirit, shares the intertwined histories of both his father’s, Shanagarry Pottery, and his own, Stephen Pearce Pottery.
On the Future of Craft
“Any wishes we may have for the future seem to be taking shape in the craft rejuvenation we’ve been experiencing over the past few years in Ireland. The draw of a lifestyle and quality of life expresses what our customers are striving for and achieving. They want to buy from the source, be confident in the tradition and sustainability of the pottery and trust the quality. This is the experience and story of the Shanagarry Pottery”
Shanagarry, Co. Cork