Craig Bragdy Design is a small family company based in Denbigh, North Wales. Over the last forty years it has become one of the world’s leading specialists in large ceramic murals.
Central to the company is a team of seventy designers, mural makers and installers who have developed the extraordinary skills needed for work of such diversity and quality.
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A family concern
At the heart of the company are three people, Jean, Nick and Shon Powell. Jean started the business as a pottery in the 1950’s with her husband Rhys. Nick and Shon share the job of travelling the world, looking at buildings and finding out what clients and architects want.
Jean finishing a terracotta figure at Brookhouse. In the background is a series of the pullies and gears that used to grind flour not long before this photo was taken. Rhys and Jean needed space and at the time this disused flour mill was one of few properties that potentially had the room to lay out large sheets of clay for mural making.
Jean’s book – Earth Fire and Water, A series of autobiographical snapshots-in both text and illustration-of the main stages of her life and career.
Rhys throwing a vase at Brookhouse Mill, Denbigh in the early 1960s. It was Rhys’ vision, vitality and ambition that set the course for Craig Bragdy. Rhys died in 1994 but Jean, Nick and Shon are today totally involved in running the business of producing handmade ceramic murals.
Slip casting, simple wet clay pressing, fettling and sorting were all activities they were completely familiar with by the time they were teenagers.
The family (from left) Shon, Jean, Simon, Ianto, Rhys (Taffy) and Nick at Brookhouse Mill – early 1960’s. Simon (the eldest of the boys) and Ianto (the youngest) are both involved in their own careers unrelated to ceramics.