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About Valentine Clays

In the world capital of ceramics and heart of the potteries Valentine Clays, a family run manufacturer, has been supplying clay bodies and raw materials in Stoke-on-Trent for the past 36 years.

 

Valentine Clays is proud of its close working relationship with the studio potter and the ceramic community formulating and fine tuning clays using the best possible ingredients.

This close working relationship enables the world-leading clay manufacturer and raw materials supplier to successful develop ceramic clay bodies to suit the specific requirements of a long list of renowned British and International potters, education sector and industry customers. 

 

Valentine Clays prides itself on constant development of new and innovative clay bodies using the latest ceramic manufacturing equipment; with over 100 clay bodies to choose from Valentine Clays has ensured that there is a product to suit every customers need – Studio Potters, Education providers, or Industry

 

Watch our 2016 film with Alan Ault, Managing Director, discussing Valentine Clays Ltd in more detail:

 

OUR HISTORY

Valentine Clays first opened its gates in October 1979 with father and son, Alan Ault Senior and Alan Ault Junior, at the helm.  The family run business started production in The Sliphouse on Birches Head Road, Stoke-on-Trent with an electrical porcelain for a local insulation company. Today Valentine Clays, which has recently been joined by Alan's daughter Hannah, now produces over 100 clay bodies and raw materials that have been developed and finely tuned based on a strong working relationship with the potter, ceramic community and industry.

 

Product Development

In the early days Valentine Clays produced porcelain, stoneware & terracotta clay bodies that were utilised by the local industry. As the sector changed and new markets were identified the business saw an opportunity to develop more specialised clays for more specific use. In 1997 working alongside the studio potters community Valentine Clays developed a range of clays branded Earthstone that enabled potters to have greater making flexibility. This unique range of clays has the flexibility to fire at both earthenware & stoneware temperatures, something that at the time was not available in the market place. Following this success a further superior range was developed in 2005 marketed as the Professional range. These clays had far more specific use and were developed working alongside world renowned potters including Jim Robison, Ashraf Hanna, Svend Bayer and Peter Beard. Additional clay bodies have been developed and added to original categories to give more options and versatility for customers. The quality and versatility of the range of clay bodies available have ensured that for most potters Valentine Clays are the clay of choice.   

 

Valentine Clays prides itself on successfully developing and manufacturing over 100 specific clays for the ceramics industry to ensure it continues to grow and develop. Along with creating specific clay bodies used by studio potters over the years clays have been created for both educational (air drying clay) and industry use. This has enabled a new interest in ceramics from a young perspective and also for companies to expand their current ceramics offering. 

 

The Future

Valentine Clays is positive about the future and the resurgence within the ceramics industry. It is in the process of realising it's exciting expansion plans that include the developmend of 5 acres of land that were purchased by the company in March 2015. 

The historic ceramics site is situated on the A50 slip road in Fenton (Stoke-on-Trent) previously known as Diamond Gimson Works, King Street.

The new site will comprise of a distribution facility and ceramics centre that will contain offices, a workshop area and a fabulous new gallery which is aimed at showcasing the talent of our customers and improving the customer journey. There will be two purpose built factories to allow for an increase in production capacity too.  

These exciting plans will be realised in two phases with the 1700 sq.m distribution and office facilities completed by May 2017 and the two factory developments in the following years.

The building design concept for the first phase is based upon the heart of the business, on the wonderful world of clay and its different colours and nature. The external appearance of the building is dominated by horizontal bands of four different clay colours in random patterns on all sides of the building to reflect the environment of the business and its activity.  It is hoped that this building will become a feature of the city and represent its unique ceramic heritage.

Alan Ault, Managing Director and Owner of Valentine Clays Ltd commented: “At Valentine Clays the ceramics industry's growth is very close to our heart and we feel very fortunate to be in a strong position to ensure we can contribute to this.

“Our expansion plans mark very exciting times ahead for the business and we look forward to developing facilities that ensure a better customer experience and help to promote the importance of ceramics too."

 

ART IN CLAY

Valentine Clays is excited to have taken over the running of Art in Clay Hatfield, a contemporary ceramic festival in 2017. Art in Clay showcases some of the finest ceramics currently being made by individual makers in the UK and Europe. The three day annual event takes place at Hatfield House held in marquees set within the grounds, and sees over 200 exhibitors showcase their creations to thousands of visitors who have a keen interest in ceramics.

The festival includes a full programme of ceramic themed talks and demonstrations, and a creative clay area for those visiting to have a go and get inspired by clay.  

As a main sponsor Valentine Clays is now proud to be running Art in Clay Hatfield as it moves into its 23rd year in 2017 and intends for the show to become an integral part of its current growth plans.   

For further details on Art in Clay visit www.artinclay.com 

 

The Valentine Clays Team

 

Directors (L to R) Joanne Mellor, Hannah Ault, David Amison, Alan Ault & Linda Ault 
(Image: The Sentinel) 

The Valentine Clays team prides itself on constant development of new and innovative clay bodies using the latest ceramic manufacturing equipment; to keep up to date with our latest products and news sign up to our newsletter.

Valentine Clays endeavours to discuss and advise any technical issues and recommendations gained from many years of experience. To get in touch please call 01782 271200 or email sales@valentineclays.co.uk we will be only too pleased to help.