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Newport Transporter Bridge is 100 years old

silver lustre-style mug by Barefoot Ceramics, Newport, South Wales

Did you miss the celebrations of the centenary of the Newport Transporter Bridge at the Crow Point Festival? There are still a few of the limited edition (500) mugs produced by Barefoot for the festival. They would make a great gift for anyone to remember Newport by. This centenary mug is also ideal as a Christmas gift for someone who's passionate about Newport or whose has an interest in the Transporter Bridge.

How the mug was made

The image on the mug is taken from an original watercolour by Debbie Wheeler. Our brief to Debbie was pretty open - from the start we wanted to create a mug that would not simply mirror the design of the bridge but interpret its true nature and demonstrate its form by abstracting out its essence. Debbie used this rather vapid brief to create several design proofs in watercolour.

detail from 'Newport Virtues' by Debbie Wheeler

You can find images of some of Debbie's textile art in the online gallery. Pieces of Debbie's work are also available to buy from Barefoot Ceramics. She exhibits at local craft centres and galleries and produces artwork on commission.
Currently she is exhibiting some other Transporter Bridge inspired textile art at Newport's GPF gallery.

Working together with Debbie from her many proofs for the project, Paul from Barefoot helped to finalise the design. From there Debbie created two watercolour paintings on card. Theses images were scanned into a computer, touched up to remove blemishes, scanning artifacts and some incisions (used to help with registration of the design). This leaves a 1200 dpi image as the basis of the design.

Textual elements

Our design then included some textual elements around the base of the mug. This design was presented to the festival organisers for approval. At this stage we suggested and the organisers requested some changes including the use of the "steel threads" text. The full line "These Steel Threads will bind us to the World" is taken from a lyric of a song written for the festival and performed by a specially formed community choir, Steel Threads.


These durham-style mugs are produced with a silver and black glazed finish. On the outside of the mugs a special coating is applied ready to receive the design. The design is printed using a dye sublimation

detail of silver lustre-style mug by Barefoot Ceramics, Newport, South Wales
process wherein dyes are printed onto a special backing medium which is placed in contact with the prepared surface of the mug and then heated. The heating sublimates (turns from solid to gas) the dye chemicals which are then absorbed deep into the prepared surface forming the permanent final design. The mugs are packaged in acetate (for display) or in card (for transportation) and then presented for your enjoyment!

Care instructions

Your Newport Transporter Bridge Centenary mug is made to the highest standards and checked several times for quality. The process used to print the design means that this particular mug is not dishwasher safe. Excessively hot water will also affect the design. Your mug should be washed in warm soapy water.

Handpainted items produced by Barefoot and other mug designs use different ceramic processes and are not affected in the same way; if you are uncertain about how to care for any product purchased at Barefoot Ceramics just get in touch and we'll be happy to help as best we can.

Have fun!

We hope you enjoy your Transporter Bridge / Crow Point memorial mug. Please don't hesitate to get in touch to discuss painting your own pottery, commissioning a piece of ceramic art or ordering mugs or other ceramics to commemorate your special events or celebrate you business or organisations successes.

Crow Point Festival : official mug of the Newport Transporter Bridge Centenary

The image used on the Transporter Bridge centenary mug, on the white background here the image appears quite plain, but on the silver lustre of our mug it really shines!

firing your imagination ™