Wade Ceramics' Gluggle jugs make a splash in the USA
The traditional fish shape is especially popular in coastal towns
One of the latest crazes in the USA is for Gluggle Jugs.
The fish-shaped water jugs, made by Wade Ceramics of Stoke-on-Trent, are proving so popular that Wade say they cannot keep up with demand.
The pottery pieces, which go back over a hundred years to a time when they were called glug glug jugs, make an attractive gurgling sound as they are being poured.
Wade is seeking local partners to help supply the US market.
Gluggle jugs come in a variety of shapes
Paul Farmer, the managing director of Wade's, says he is astonished by the sudden upsurge in interest from America for the Gluggle Jug: "We are making 100,000 pieces a year - making a turnover of a million dollars - but we are not sure what's created the craze. There is also now demand from Australia and Hong Kong."
Mr Farmer explained that demand was outstripping supply in American homes to such an extent that he is looking for other pottery firms in north Staffordshire to help meet it. Hand-painted versions of the jug are already outsourced abroad.
We literally can't make enough
Wade have gone further than the traditional fish shape, now making the jugs in the shapes of whales and a mythical creature, the hippocamp. An alligator version was snapped up by buyers in Florida.
Glug glug jug
The original piece, called a 'glug glug jug' was created nearly a hundred and fifty years ago by the north Staffordshire pottery firm of Thomas Forester & Son. Wade Ceramics bought the mould in 2002 and relaunched them as Gluggle Jugs.
The curious gurgling sound is caused by the very shape of the piece. As water is poured from it, an air-lock is created in the fish-tail, and the air then bubbles out.
It's believed that Prince Charles is a fan, having been presented with one on the occasion of his wedding to Lady Diana Spencer.
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