Adrian started work for Royal Doulton in 1980. He compares his creative process to reading, which forces the reader to imagine and visualise the scenes presented by the words. Getting anatomy correct is important to Adrian and he prefers working with modeller's clay, rather than more modern materials such as wax, as it allows him to be more fluid in his approach. Adrian is inspired by the adventurous approach to figurative design currently encouraged by marketing and production at Royal Doulton. He is an ambitious modeller, constantly striving for improvement to produce the finest ceramics that are attractive and do-able.
Adrian's recent works includes An Afternoon Stroll HN4957 and Glad Tidings Christmas Tableau HN5130.
Alan was born in 1952 and came to Royal Doulton as a trainee modeller in 1968. His first piece, The Owl, was launched as part of the flambé collection in 1970 and was re-issued in a small limited edition in early 2007. Alan revealed the breadth and depth of his incredible skill creating over 250 different sculptures. His work has ranged from historical pieces, child subjects, animals, the Art is Life collection (based on work he carried out in his home studio), as well as more stylised figures in the Images collections. Alan is particularly well known for his large Prestige sculptures such as The Charge of the Light Brigade, Henry V at Agincourt, St George, Alexander the Great and Pony Express.
Sadly, Royal Doulton lost a great talent when Alan died of a heart attack in September 2006.
Charles Noke was born in Worcester. From a remarkably early age he wanted to be a ceramic modeller, and during school holidays he often visited the local Worcester China factory to watch the artists at work. In 1874, at the age of 16, Noke joined the company. He was to stay at Worcester until 1889, when he moved to the Doulton-Burslem Studio. His work had reached the attention of John Slater, the Art Director at Burslem, who invited him to move to the Burslem Studio. At first, Noke was employed on modelling prestige pieces for the various international exhibitions of the time. His gift for modelling figures soon became apparent, although initially the figures were incorporated into the large and imposing vases that were produced as centrepieces for the exhibitions. At the Chicago Exhibition of 1893, a few freestanding figures modelled by Noke were shown but very little attention was drawn to them. In the next few years more of his figures were added to the range. In general, these were larger than the later HN series models and decorated in a much more muted and restricted palette.
John's schoolteacher spotted his fabulous talent during an art class when he was seven years of age. John then attended Art College when he left school and joined Royal Doulton in 1960. For the next 11 years John underwent rigorous training and gained extraordinary experience. Some of his work during this time included the HM Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, HRH Prince Charles and the Humorous money box in the shape of a soldier Drummer for the Bunnykins Collection. Today John is one of Royal Doulton’s top sculptors and inspiration for his work comes from a variety of sources - magazines, fashion reference books and images in his mind.
Nada was born in Slovenia in a small village near the Austrian border. She has 3 children and 4 grandchildren, who are a major influence in a lot of her work. Nada produced her first figure in the HN series in 1991. Her work includes classically styled ladies in Victorian dress and young girls occupied with simple rural pursuits, such as feeding and playing with animals. One of her earliest figures was Bunny's Bedtime for the Collectors Club in 1991, and she also modelled the exclusive complimentary figure, Lights Out in 2003. Nada has an infectiously happy personality and her joy in life is reflected in her work.
Neil's career at Royal Doulton spans 30 years and he's specialised in royal commemorative designs, collector's plates and series such as Brambly Hedge and Winnie The Pooh. His family has inspired his designs. His daughter Alexandra was the model for the Silent Night plate and his wife and children appeared on Bedtime Story.He adapts his painting technique according to the design and exhibits his paintings at galleries in London.
Margaret May Davies, aka Peggy, was born in Burslem in the heart of the Potteries. Her childhood was dominated by illness - bovine tuberculosis caused by unpasteurized milk. Peggy spent more of her time in a series of hospitals and convalescent homes than at school. It was during one of her hospital stays that her artistic skills were discovered. Her detailed drawing of a mermaid caused quite a stir amongst the staff! As far as her many fans were concerned, Peggy "retired" far too soon and concentrated on her own pottery. Sadly, Peggy died in 1989 but the legacy of her work and the delight her figures bring to collectors lives on, as indeed does the Peggy Davies Studio, which still thrives under the direction of her son.
Peggy's most well known figures include Victoria, Elaine, Kirsty, Karen and Ninette.
As a child Robert was always interested in painting and drawing and loved to play with plasticine. Robert Tabbenor always wanted an artistic career and although he is a native of Stoke-on-Trent, before joining Royal Doulton he had no experience in the pottery industry. The idea of sculpture fascinated him and under the guidance of Eric Griffiths his talent flourished. His first figure was introduced in 1982. He had modelled several character figures as Royal Doulton International Collectors Club exclusives, as well as child studies and several Images figures.
Sally Mancell is a talented designer who has worked for Royal Doulton since 1994. Initially she concentrated on tableware designs and amongst her work are 12 patterns for the Royal Albert Country Cottages collection produced in the late 1990s. Moving to the sculptural department she prepared two-dimensional artwork for new figures and worked on other collections such as Royal commemoratives. She also worked with salt glaze potter Alistair Young researching the former Lambeth artist George Tinworth. She designed concepts for four vases and jugs using the ornamental motifs typically associated with Tinworth, on which Alistair based his work.
Sally played a key role in the introduction of Burslem Artwares, studying earlier glazes and designs and she continues to work with the flambé team today.
Shane was born in 1962 and his early career took him to 'Potteries' manufacturers Meakins and then Wedgwood before joining Royal Doulton tableware in 1987. Shane worked on the Uncle Sam Bunnykins teapot, Goodnight Bunnykins, a Lippizaner horse and two owls. He was so successful that the head of the Design Studio, Graham Tongue, asked him if he would like to stay as a sculptor and Shane was thrilled to take up this role. Shane has done magnificent work in many areas including prestige subjects, Burslem Artwares and Character Jugs.
Tim's first commission for Royal Doulton was in 1998 and this was the culmination of a long-standing ambition to work in Stoke-on-Trent and for Royal Doulton. Tim had many influences and inspirations along the way including his brother, who was also a successful sculptor.Tim attended North Staffordshire Polytechnic where he gained a BA (Hons) in Fine Art and Sculpture. On average it takes Tim 3 weeks to model a figure, although this can be greatly extended as he says the length of time it takes it directly related to his relationship with that model. Tim claims that the most satisfying part of his work comes when he has completed a piece and he meets those that have chosen to surround themselves with the pieces he and Royal Doulton have created.
Tom joined Royal Doulton as a trainee figure painter in 1975 and was a quick learner and after one year joined the figure department full time. Over the next few years he progressed to more complex figurines and also began demonstration work. Tom became an instructor, teaching young artists and helping them to gain National Vocational Qualifications and eventually became a team leader. Tom's role changed again with the move to Barlaston in 2005 and he became a Decorative Designer.
Valerie has developed a very recognisable style of Royal Doulton figures. Her ladies are a fantasy of frills and movement attributes well loved by many collectors. Unlike her formally trained colleagues, Glasgow-born Valerie is a self-taught artist who came to figure modelling by way of designing greeting cards. Her flowing designs are to be found in both the standard collection and in various limited editions such as Rose Garden HN4559
I joined Royal Doulton from Art College in 1977 as an On-Glaze figure painter. Within two years I had progressed to paint in the Under Glaze Character figure department and became proficient in both styles of decoration. From 1982 onwards I occasionally travelled around the British Isles on figure painting demonstrations. By the year 2000 I had become the team manager of the traditional On-Glaze figure painting department & in 2001 had two very successful demonstrating tours of Japan. In 2003 I joined the design team as a decorative designer being involved in prestigious & annual programmes together with the decoration of the Bunnykins Range & embarked on a further tour of Japan in 2007. In recent times I have also assisted with Royal Doulton archive enquiries.