Alison Borthwick

Hand-painted porcelain
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Isn’t it always so startling to come randomly upon a field of poppies with their tissue thin red petals wafting in the breeze, so gorgeous as to make your heart soar? Before I was born my grandmother hand stitched a quilt covered with red poppies to give to me as a wedding gift – a treasured labour of love for her son’s first, yet unborn child. I am sure all of you dear readers are familiar with Lt. Col. John McCrae’s hastily written In Flanders Fields poem, more so if you have ever visited Eilean Donan castle on the Kyle of Lochalsh with views to the Isle of Skye and seen Clan MacRae’s bronze Roll of Honour. Remembrance Day is never far from my thoughts and I always add another paper poppy to those which adorn the passenger side visor of my beloved black 1989 Saab convertible. In fact I think of this poem each time I get into the car, the sacrifices made nearly a hundred years ago and my grandmother – sweetness and unknown losses co-mingled. With all this in mind it would be hard to fully express how thrilled Thistle & Broom is to be able to offer Alison Borthwick's hand painted, made in Scotland, porcelain dinnerware featuring these fragile blossoms.

'Poppies' by Alison's Buchlyvie Pottery Shop represents the same astonishing perfection found throughout the Thistle & Broom collection. Up front, the creamy white porcelain clays used by Alison are imported from south of the border near Stoke-on-Trent (Staffordshire). The finished pieces have an incredible translucency and resilience having been fired at over 1280°C. What a wonderful wedding gift - start the newlyweds out with a couple of place settings and then add to it each year for their anniversary or Christmas presents, or start a collection for yourself.

We're offering five piece place settings as individual pieces to purchase, plus a mug, covered butter and sugar, cheese dome, a lovely Ginger Jar shaped vase, a large teapot, a large creamer, a very large milk jug (also suitable for filling with flowers), and finally a three piece canister set.

8% of the net profit of your purchase of Alison's Poppies will serve to benefit The Scottish National War Memorial.