From an early age, it was obvious that Paul Cardew, founder of the company, would have artistic tendencies.
Whether as an eight year old when he first picked up crayons, paints and brushes, and was encouraged to explore his talents by Michael Cardew, his great uncle and renowned ceramic designer, or when he later attended the art school at the prestigious Loughborough University in the heart of England, majoring in photography.
Paul first began teaching art part-time at Exeter University where he had time to develop his skills.
Paul Cardew's first two commercial breakthroughs came when we was asked to design ceramic brooches for Harrods Department store in London and then children’s piggy banks for The National Westminster Bank. Both proved highly successful commissions.
In 1975 Paul launched a range of unusual teapot designs at the Birmingham Spring Fair, then the largest gift show in Europe.
Building on many years of growth, in 1991 the company, Cardew Design, was formed in the United Kingdom.
His work was first shown in the USA in 1992 at the New York Gift Show and his designs had an instant appeal to the North American marketplace.
During the 90’s Paul Cardew designed for a number of famous brands under license- Portmeirion, Royal Doulton, Lilliput Lane, Harmony Kingdom- to name but a few. But his greatest claim was an association with The Walt Disney Company, with over one hundred designs perfected during a six year period…launching Paul on to the world’s stage.
Roy Disney selected Paul Cardew as one of only a few artists worldwide to design special products for Disney’s Millennium reproduction of the Fantasia Cartoon. Paul was invited to attend the movies premier at the Royal Albert Hall in London.
In 1999 Cardew Design North America Inc. was formed to expand and increase business primarily in the US and Canada. Since then, Paul’s designs have now sold in over 50 countries, delighting people all over the world. Many of his old designs are now antiques and are featured in auctions wherever ceramic art and teapots turn up.
In February 2008 Cardew Design North America acquired the international rights to the Cardew name and trade marks.
Today Paul Cardew continues to create even more interesting designs appealing to the ever changing tastes of the discerning consumer.