(We're not boasting, but) Tea tastes better in a Victoria Eggs mug. It's true.
It's because of the love, care, and attention that goes into every single handcrafted mug. From Victoria's beautifully British hand-drawn designs, to the Cornish Clay used to make the Fine Bone China, and even the box it arrives in - every single detail is lovingly crafted to give you the best Great British cuppa you've ever tasted.
There are over 18 pairs of hands (that's 9 people for those who've done the maths) lovingly hand create each mug.
Every step of the manufacturing process happens right here in England, and we're so proud of that. And we thought you'd like to have a little look at where your Victoria Eggs mug comes from.
Our mugs are made by hand here in the UK by Duchess China, a Staffordshire based ceramics manufacturer that have been hand crafting ceramics since 1888. Supporting independent British businesses has been important to Victoria Eggs from day one, so Duchess China was a natural choice for the making of Victoria Eggs’ ceramics.
The clay that is used to make the fine bone china comes from St. Austell, Cornwall, and one of the key elements to making the bone china super strong is through the use of bone ash. This ash is recycled from a local butchery and would ordinarily go to landfill. Instead, it's used in the crafting process.
To ensure as little waste as possible during this process, any mugs created which don't meet our exacting standards (we're looking for absolute perfection here), are then sent to a local tile company, who reuse and recycle the clay.
The glaze that gives our mugs that beautiful glossy finish also doesn’t go to waste, with all excess being collected and reused.
Duchess China has invested in many ways to minimise energy usage throughout this process, and more energy efficient kilns have been installed which also utilise any excess heat to dry the clay.
Want to see for yourself? Visits to Duchess China are welcome - they’re always more than happy to show you around!
You can also watch a video here of Victoria Eggs mugs being made.
How are the mugs shaped and finished?
The start to finish process of shaping and finishing the mugs is a long one.
First, moulds are designed and made from scratch. This process can take up to four days, and each mould is typically only used 60-80 times before a new one needs to be created to replace the old.
The Cornish clay is then fed into the moulds using a process called ‘Jollying’, which shapes the clay to the mould and then involves sponging it to create the perfect smooth finish. The handles for the mugs are crafted separately, and then attached later on. Before the clay is fully set, each piece is hand sponged to remove any sharp edges, and any seams are cut off.
After this, each piece is biscuit fired to set the mug from soft to hard form. The kilns reach temperatures of 1240 degrees celsius, and are fired over a 14 hour schedule.
Once fired, the mugs then go through a vibro machine, which uses wood and stone to remove any roughness or excess from the pieces to produce a smoother canvas for the glazing and decorating process.
Each mug is then hand dipped into the glaze, which is a highly skilled and traditional manufacturing process. This gives the mugs the smooth white finish that’s associated with fine bone china. To set the glaze, the mugs are then fired again at a lower temperature of 1080 degrees celsius over several hours.
Throughout this entire process, each individual piece is hand checked for quality to make sure that they’re fault free. Many of the mugs that have small imperfections at this stage, such as pinholes or impurities, can be fixed. Those that can’t are turned out and marked as seconds.
The mugs that make it through the quality test then get decorated. The designs are silk screen printed as decals which then get lovingly applied by hand to each individual mug. They then go for one final firing at 850 degrees celsius for five to six hours to adhere the decoration to the glaze on the fine bone china.
At last, each mug is then quality checked by hand again before having our recognisable Victoria Eggs swing tags attached, and then packed off to our warehouse, ready to be sent out to your home.
Our best selling mugs
Our mugs are without a doubt our best selling product (and we're glad that you love them just as much as we do!), but here are our top five sellers.
To shop our mugs, click here.