research and learning

Ynysmeaudwy and the Williamses

Ynysmeaudwy and the Williamses
Trew, Mike

This is the tale of a small potworks begun and run by a family of Cornishmen in a bleak outpost of the upper Swansea valley. Right from the start, its relative isolation from the other Swansea potteries ensured it an air of mystery which, in the years following its demise, assumed an almost mythical status.

Its earthenwares, mainly intended as functional or decorative objects for the working classes, have now become venenated symbols of a lost heritage, a physical link rejoining us with a band of workers, a long-demolished factory and a mysterious family who, one by one, drifted away from what they had created.

This book not only describes the contributiion made by Ynysmeudwy to our cenamics heritage but adds a human touch by revealing what the Williamses were about, where they came from and where they went to.

All 31 mainstream transfer patterns are illustrated. There is a focus on transfer variations and on the origin of the copper plates. All aspects of production are covered - hand painted, mocha, sponge decorated etc along with sections on terracotta and other wares. There are chapters on workmens' marks, ownership and workforce and the second section focuses on the lives and times of the mysterious Williams family who began and ran the concern whose efforts were until now lost to history. In all there are 19 chapters with 7 appendices.

The book is an A4-size, 474 page, hardback with 1,100 full colour illustrations, around 5lbs in weight. Purchase price £40 plus postage (currently by UPS to the USA, ca. £25 including insurance, direct from the author (see below).

The book is only available through the author:
Mike Trew,
Ty Ysgol,
Burry Port,
SA16 0JW,