SylvaC tulip vaseThe factory was founded by William Shaw and William Copestake in 1894 and given the company name of Shaw & Copestake. William Copestake left the partnership half way through the first year and in 1895 Mr Richard Hull became William Shaw’s business partner. Their partnership grew in strength and over the forty years of producing ‘fancies’ Richard Hull was to have a major influence, including the development of the export side which was to lead the way for the company's future success.
In 1894, Mr Shaw called his company the Sheaf Art Pottery, but the wares produced were not produced by hand as in many art pottery studios - rather they were mass produced in moulds and then hand decorated. Early products included decorated vases, jugs, flower pots, cheese stands, toilet wares and fancy earthenwares. They were very ornate and heavily decorated with gold and a lot of hand painting.
Shaw & Copestake, Sylvan Works, Longton Reproduced from 1904 Pottery Gazette Reference Book