About Charlie Allen Ceramic Arts

My workshop is in the village of Westgate in Weardale where we relocated in August 2007. I previously worked in Byker, Newcastle upon Tyne, in what was formerly the Maling Ford B Pottery. In its day the Maling Ford B Pottery was the largest pottery in the world. Maling Pottery was established in 1762 in Sunderland. Ford B Pottery was built in 1878, it closed as a pottery in 1963. Then 30 years later “New Castle Delft” opened, bringing ceramics back on to the site.

I have been making ceramic tiles since 1983. Originally. I worked for a trading division of Newcastle Arts Centre, producing hand-made tiles for floors, which were mainly encaustic. In 1991 I opened my pottery “New Castle Delft” at Albion Row. I moved to the Maling Pottery site, (now “Hoult’s Yard”) in 1993. In my new business, I decided upon a change of direction to focus on wall tiles, which would allow me to explore and exploit a broader menu of decorative techniques. Originally I made only delft tiles in polychrome or classic blue and white. My repertoire has expanded to include onglaze painting, tube lining, glaze painting, transfer printing, encaustic, faience and moulded tiles in relief.

My client base is as varied as the techniques I employ – from butchers shops to universities, from kitchens and bathrooms in Newcastle terraces to the homes of lords and ladies up and down the country – , viscounts, baroness’s. . My tiles are to be found across the world in Holland, Germany, Spain, America, Hong Kong, France and in the galley of a privately owned Dow that sails the Indian Ocean. I am often asked how a little business operating from Byker in Newcastle wins such commissions. In 1992, I was fortunate to be featured in an article (“Do it Delft”) in the magazine ‘The World of Interiors.’ Before I had seen a copy of the issue, an order arrived from Majorca. I still get orders as a result of that article. The most recent was from Rick Stein, the fish cook, in Padstow Cornwall. I produced delft tiles for the ten cooking areas in his new Seafood School, featuring a range of fish and shellfish. Orders also come via kitchen designers who recommend my work to their clients, or from editorials featuring their interiors with my tiles on the walls. Other examples of commissions have included; encaustic floor tiles for the new visitors centre at Rievaux Abbey, North Yorkshire: encaustic floor tiles for a Church in Workington, Also the production of salt glazed edging tiles, for a garden restoration project in the Northeast of England, and Sheffield.. For this project, I used stoneware clay quarried and milled in Northumberland .

Since graduating with an arts degree in 1982 I have also been involved with community arts projects throughout the region. The majority of these projects have been school based placements and residences where I have worked with students and staff to create site specific artworks. The work has mainly consisted of ceramic murals and panels, but has also included making painted murals, stone carving and plaster works.

Restoration is also part of my work.

The largest restoration project to date was for the Beamish museum where I restored tile panels for Davies Fish Friers shop.

During 1996-1997; I was working on the restoration of the faience frontage of the Bee Hive Hotel, a listed building, in the Bigg Market area of Newcastle. Also the former Shakespeare Pub in Middlesborough Tee’s Side. In 1998 I restored for the company Robson Ladler, a large panel of Italian tiles depicting Saint Angelo of Jerusalem at the moment of his assassination. I am also known for the restoration of the work of Clarice Cliff”s “jazz age pottery”, which as influenced a range of tiles I have produced in recent years.


Awards 1999 Northern Arts Training Bursary

1992 Equipment Grant to purchase kiln and computer

City of Newcastle. Economic Development Unit.

1991 Equipment Grant to purchase kiln. City of Newcastle.

Economic Development Unit.

1988 Short listed, Churchill Travel Award

1987 Tile Design short listed for the BBC Design Awards 1987

1982 Northern Arts Award to Artist.

1972 Oxley Holiday Award.


Trading as New Castle Delft Clients Include

Rick and Jill Stein

Freeman Hospital,


City of Newcastle council,

Gateshead council

North Tyneside council,

WHR Pattisson Architect

Duchess of Northumberland,

Viscount Devonport

Marchioness of Zetland,

Baroness Von Westernholz

Lord Laing of Dunphail,

Vincent Stienlet,

Newcastle Furniture Company,

Mowlem & Co.

Jean Paul Legrand,

Colefax &Fowler,


TVEI, Gateshead, John Lewis PLC, Tallantyre Interiors,

World of Interiors. Chris Donald, Oneida Plastics,

Simpson and Brown,

Alston Murphy Associates.

Mr. Darby of Browse and Darby,

Northumberland County Council

University of Newcastle upon Tyne

Zara Interiors


Catalogues: Publishes works: Critical Reviews: Press Coverage:

2011 Glazed Expressions, Magazine of TACS, the Tile and Architectural Society, ‘Contemporary Tile Makers- Charles Allen

2006 2Oth Century Decorative British Tiles, Craft & Studio Tile Makers,

Chris Blanchett (Book)

2002 Blaumalerei auf Porzellan und Keramik, Hans van Lemmon & Guido von Martens(Book)

1999 20TH Century Tiles, Hans van Lemmon & Chris Blanchett (Book)

1993 Reign of Terra : Period House and It’s Garden. Nov.pp93 (periodical)

1993 Tile Style : New Ideas in Kitchens, Bedrooms and Bathrooms June pp95-96 (Book)

1992 Do it Delft : World of Interiors Sept.pp50 (periodical)

1991 Ceramics Northern Business Magazine pp5 (periodical)

1988 Landscape and Environment Gray Gallery Hartlepool ( exhibition Catalogue)


One thought on “About Charlie Allen Ceramic Arts

  1. Thanks Charlie, I’m inspired by the breadth n depth of your work, I’ve really enjoyed looking at the images and look forward to seeing more at the Weardale Lindisfarne Event.

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