Meet the creator behind these Cornishware inspired greeting cards
PUBLISHED: 09:29 16 October 2019 | UPDATED: 09:29 16 October 2019
We all recognise Cornishware's famous blue and white stripes but Kate Whatmore creator of Corniche has given them a new lease of life with her design work.
The familiar blue and white stripes of Cornishware can be traced back to 1924 when the company first produced the design. The striped kitchenware was trademarked to and manufactured by T.G. Green & Co Ltd. The design was discovered when a lathe turning technique scraped blue slip away from the ceramics, revealing white bands of clay beneath. An employee said that it reminded them of the blue skies and white waves of Cornwall - inspiring the name, Cornishware.
The stripes have been seen in children's books, adverts, fashion magazines and collectors' websites all around the world. The iconic design was a roaring success and soon became a household name.
Kate Whatmore is a huge Cornishware fan and collector of the iconic pottery. She's a mother of three and Estate Agent by trade who constantly longs to be by the sea or walking along a beach. She has revived the recognizable style by designing and creating a collection of beautiful greetings cards and prints. She chose the name 'Corniche' as she loved the meaning behind it - a road cut into the edge of a cliff running along a coast and because her designs are 'niche'.
What made you want to start up the business initially?
After years of listening to my Husband's stories of how he hunted high and low for a blue and white striped card or something remotely resembling Cornishware for my birthday, Valentines Day or our anniversary, I thought to myself that there could be a market for cards inspired by the pottery.
What was your attraction to Cornwall?
I live in Worcestershire about as mainland as you can get really but I try and get to Cornwall as much as I can, there's just something about the rugged coastline and sandy beaches that keeps drawing me back.
Have you got a previous experience in design/how did you get into it?
No! Sadly I don't, but I was very lucky to find a fantastic local creative company called Culpepper & Co based in Gretton near Cheltenham, owned by the lovely Natasha Wilmore. One summers day with sketch books full of design idea's and scribbles we sat and chatted about my ideas and ranges, with her help and the talented James Alexander who did the illustrations, Corniche was born.
What are your future hopes for the company?
I have so many stripy ideas! I have just launched a range of 30cm x 30cm prints, which are proving to be really popular! I'm working on new products and ranges at the moment - but can't say too much! Follow my Instagram or Facebook for updates @corniche.cards
What has feedback been like?
The feedback has been amazing, lots of people love the designs because Cornishware is so instantly recognisable, I'm told the designs are really unique and different to many other greetings cards but the quality of the cards and envelopes are always commented on - it was really important to me they be the highest quality, made in the UK and sent out direct to customers 'naked' meaning plastic free.
What's your favourite thing about Cornwall?
There are so many things, I can't pick just one. The picturesque Harbours, the beaches, cream teas and amazing Cornish produce.
What are your favourite places in Cornwall?
I'm very lucky to have some wonderful stockists in Cornwall, The Rock Pool Café, Mousehole which overlooks the sea and serves the best cream tea, Albatross Gallery in Porthleven which looks out over the historic harbour and Churchtown Arts in Saint Agnes which both sell beautiful artwork, greetings cards, gifts and lots more.. and finally Tre, Pol & Pen Farm Shop in Lezant which sell fabulous local Cornish produce, local crafts and they serve the most incredible food - I highly recommend you visit any or all of these when you are next in Cornwall!
What words/sentence sums up Cornwall for you?
Home - it's where I'm at my happiest and most content.
You can purchase Corniche cards at corniche.cards