The Martinware Pottery was established in 1873, and the four brothers produced sculptural ceramic art which moved away from the traditional decorative ware of earlier Victorian times.
They produced beautiful vases, bowls and tiles, featuring insects, flowers, fish and reptiles, often using the sgraffito technique to etch in their designs. The Martin Brothers' real fame comes from the grotesque birds known as 'wally birds'.
The birds are fantastical gothic creations, and inspired ceramic modeller Andrew Hull to create similar designs for Cobridge Stoneware (to 1996). Burslem Pottery run by Tracy Bentley continues to produce the highly collectable, technical, handmade and hand painted ceramic art sculptures today.
The whimsical but highly skilful stylings of Martinware are still very much sought after, with pieces sometimes fetching tens of thousands of pounds. The excellent Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent has some fine examples of original Martin Brothers work in its splendid art pottery showcases.
Burslem Pottery produces hand-crafted stoneware ceramics at Middleport, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, in the county of Staffordshire, England.
The company is acclaimed and admired for its startling range of ware, producing unique designs and pieces, many inspired by the grotesques of the world famous Martin Brothers.