Gordon Smith founder of Dunoon Ceramics Ltd.

 Iona pattern on the Arran mug shape c.1977


Dunoon is a thriving family business which began  

manufacturing the highest quality mugs in 1974 when the  

company was formed by two former executives of  

Staffordshire Potteries Ltd, Gordon Smith and Bill Harvey,  

both of whom were committed to the concept of producing  

quality ranges of stoneware mugs, filling a gap in the market  

with user friendly, beautifully designed original mugs. 


After receiving backing from the Industrial and Commercial  

Finance Corporation and The Highlands and Islands  

Development Board, Dunoon in Argyll, Scotland was 

selected as the ideal location of the first factory and 

Dunoon Ceramics Ltd was born! 


The first firing of the new kiln was of 72 mugs for displaying  

at the Highland Trade Fair in Scotland. The gamble paid off  

as orders started to flow in, skilled operatives were 

recruited and production began. Dunoon was soon selling  

mugs globaly to quality retailers worldwide. 


In 1982 a new factory in Stone, Staffordshire, the heart of  

the ceramic industry was opened and under Gordon’s 

management Dunoon developed a policy of working with  

numerous designers and artists to constantly update its  

ranges with new designs and unique mug shapes in both  

Stoneware and Fine Bone China. 


Dunoon uses slip casting instead of the more conventional  

‘jollying’ machine-made technique employed by other mug  

manufacturers to guarantee a fine, lightweight mug; a  

method still used today. 


As Dunoon’s popularity expanded so did the product ranges  

with the inclusion of kitchenware and teapots whilst the 

family input and dedication to the business was strengthened  

with Gordon’s sons, Peter and Alan taking roles within the 

company. The Smiths took sole control of Dunoon in 1989  

when their business partner was bought out. 


Export markets expanded to include continental  

Europe, USA, Canada, Australia, and Asian markets 

such as Taiwan, Japan and Korea. Dunoon is currently

supplying mugs to over 60 countries around the world.


Production was consolidated to Stone, though a shop still  

remains in Scotland and Dunoon is very loyal to its Scottish  

roots producing ranges dedicated to Scottish themes and  

customers. The growth in popularity of speciality coffee and  

teas has led to increasing sales and demand for both finer  

quality and unusual mug design which is Dunoon’s strength. 


The Smith family tradition of work within the pottery 

industry, which has spanned over 100 years continues 

with the introduction of Harriet and Andrew, 

Alan’s children into the business. 


 The new factory in Stone, Staffordshire 

 Dunoon mugs can be found in major
stores worldwide