Art Deco Vase in Uranium Orange gloss glaze
Like many potteries, Candy & Co. Ltd. of Newton Abbot in Devon were best known as tile manufacturers. In their early years, Candy & Co were also famous for their extremely hard ornamental bricks and from its founding in 1875, by Frank Candy, they won several large contracts for both bricks, which were used by the government in dock construction, and for their tiles, used by the London General Omnibus Company in their new bus stations.
During the next few decades, Candy tiles, marketed as ‘Devon Tiles’, were being used in the new houses being built in the suburban building boom and many porches, kitchens and fireplaces were decorated in tiles of green, buff and blue ‘Art’ glazes.
In 1922 Candy launched their ‘Wescontree Ware’ art pottery range, which included “vases and other articles of household utility and ornament” in a range of glazes – “plain glazed, mottled and metallic finished”. Using expertise gained from the glaze effects achieved in their tile production, the new household pottery was seen to include vases, jugs, bowls, lamp bases, chargers, ashtrays and stick stands.
All these were slip-cast in moulds, but in 1936 the Wescontree name was changed to Candy Ware and a new range of hand thrown shapes with new glazes were introduced. Over the next 15 years these hand thrown and hand decorated wares evolved from the strong Art Deco shapes and glazes of the 30’s into contemporary 1950’s designs, with more simple shapes and plain glazes.
In the 1950’s, Candy & Co closed down the Art Pottery. This had always been a small part of the total production at the factory, and the closure was due mainly to the installation of a new tile kiln, (a Dressler tunnel). The Art Pottery had been useful in the past as a 'filler' in the old static kilns, but this new kiln was based on a conveyor system and therefore there was no need to fill voids.
From fireplace tiles the company moved into the new market for bathroom and kitchen tiles and the company continued until the 1990’s, when after receivership, the business was sold and sold again and finally closed production in November 1998.
The site has since been cleared and the New Millennium Tile Works built as the largest producer of tiles in the UK.