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The Dunoon Story

Do you happen to have a brown, earthenware mug with a mottled glaze tucked away at the rear of your kitchen cupboard? Perhaps you used a mug like this during your childhood at home? If you recall such a mug, chances are it was crafted by Dunoon in the early 1970s.

In 1974, Dunoon commenced manufacturing their world-renowned mugs in Dunoon, Argyll, Scotland. Their initial production consisted of just 72 display mugs for the Highland Trade Fair. These original mugs, made from high-quality stoneware with stunning earthy glazes, quickly gained global popularity. Founders Gordon Smith and Bill Harvey were delighted by the widespread demand.

By 1982, the operation had relocated to Stone in Staffordshire, the heart of the potteries and a longstanding hub for ceramic production since the early 17th century. At this stage, Dunoon began collaborating with designers and artists to create new ranges and shapes using both Stoneware and Fine China. They introduced a variety of new products, including kitchenware and teapots. In 1989, Gordon Smith's sons became involved in the business and eventually acquired it from Bill Harvey. Presently, Dunoon exports to over 60 countries worldwide. While they maintain a shop in Scotland, Dunoon has remained loyal to its Scottish roots, consistently producing designs inspired by Scotland. The company continues to be a family enterprise, with Gordon Smith's grandchildren playing key roles in the business.

The Making of Dunoon Mugs

At Dunoon, a new mug is meticulously crafted every 2.5 seconds during the working day, always upholding the highest standards. Only the finest quality china clay, chosen for its translucency, whiteness, and strength, is used. The slip cast process is employed to create these mugs, resulting in incredibly fine, lightweight, yet durable china. Each Dunoon mug undergoes seventeen different processes (excluding the design and printing stages), and every individual involved in the production line takes great pride in their contribution. In fact, the same person has been mixing the slip poured into the molds for thirty years! Mug handles are fired separately and attached by hand, just like the lithographic transfer decorations. Rigorous quality control is conducted three times throughout the process: after the initial biscuit firing, after the glaze firing, and after the litho transfer firing. At each stage, any imperfections are carefully ground out and polished. Due to the triple firing process, the final mug ends up being 12.5% smaller than its original size.

Dunoon - Filled to the Brim with Style!

Dunoon draws upon a versatile and talented pool of experienced designers, both in-house and freelance, to create a wide variety of high-quality designs. The company's portfolio is constantly evolving, with the design team always on the lookout for new contemporary ideas as well as timeless and traditional themes. Throughout the years, Dunoon has produced thousands of designs, and they create a special festive range every Christmas. Today, these high-quality china mugs are eagerly collected by individuals from all corners of the globe.

There is no doubt that Dunoon has always delivered items of exceptional quality; in fact, we still have some mugs in our cupboard that date back thirty years! From artisan-style rough-glazed mugs to an array of diverse designs that have garnered global popularity, the Dunoon story embodies innovation, evolution, and inspiration. So, the next time you savor a hot, comforting drink from your favourite Dunoon mug, take a moment to appreciate the immense craftsmanship that went into its creation!

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