The Prinknash Abbey (pronounced "Prinish") has been associated with the Roman Catholic Benedictine order since its founding in 1096. When Henry VIII suppressed (and took) the abbey in 1539, he rented it to a wealthy supporter—sometimes using it himself as a hunting lodge. For the next 400 years, various aristocratic families lived on the property until the property was returned to the Benedictines (in 1928) who moved-back, converting the large home into a monastery.
In 1942, while excavating for construction work, a seam of red clay was discovered and the monks began to make and sell pottery to support the abbey. Today the abbey no longer produces ceramics works. They continue to "blend" incense (using Arabian frankincense gum, essential oils and spices) which is shipped worldwide, mostly for use in religious services. Prinknash Abbey is the largest "blender" of ecclesiastical incense in Europe.
The little cabinet vase, shown above, was made by the Prinknash monks in the 1960's. Hand-thrown and finished with their signature gunmetal glaze, it will make a nice accent against a collection of larger pieces. Please click on the photo above to learn more about it.
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