Introduction to North Light
North Light started out with dog models when designer Guy Pocock pioneered Kennel club breed standards to dog models that were made available to the gift trade. Seven pedigrees were designed in collaboration with the sculptress Anne Godfrey and from their success in the gift trade North Light was born. In the pursuit of excellence North Light sketched, photographed and measured dogs of the finest pedigree.
The studio name was selected as it referred to the ideal direction from which the light should pour into an artist’s studio, the North Light.
At the beginning they built up a line of
160 pedigree dogs, but it was not until the mid 1980s they began the working on horses.
They also began to introduce farm animals, wild birds and other exotic animals
from around the world.
North Light models are crafted in a mixture of ceramic and resin, with the addition of porcelain powder. Cold Cast Bronze models are mixed with powered bronze then painted to look like bronze, they are much heavier than normal resin North Lights.
North Lights were painted in a mix of airbrushing and hand painting by a highly skilled workforce using Liquitex Acrylics. The finish is quite delicate and subject to damage so they must be handled with care.
Guy Pocock was the art director, Anne Godfrey was the sculptor, Clare Beswick was the sales director (great-granddaughter of legendary animal artist Robert Beswick), and Paul Farmer the managing director.
All moulds have dates stamped on them somewhere - normally underneath on the belly, on the inside of the rear leg or on a buttock - Dates on models are not the year it was made but the year it was COPYRIGHTED.
North Light, sadly went through many years of financial hardships and their history is quite 'chequered' ... it passed through several 'hands' and in 2005, the North Light factory located in Stoke-On-Trent, England was sold (including all existing North Light moulds) to the company: WADE CERAMICS LTD. They repackaged and resold the North Light horses under the new trademark: 'North Light @ Wade'.
Production of most of the animal figures continued in the UK until July 2008, when the decision was taken to cease UK production of the North Light animals. A new range of animal figures was introduced - the 'North Light @ Wade Premier Collection' - consisting of 17 horses and 22 dogs. The new range was made in China, but sold at a considerably lower price (sadly the quality of finish work from China was not to the same high standard).
North Lights very best pieces were made at the Yarn Mill works in Biddulph, Stoke On Trent, England prior to their association with Wade. Unfortunately Wade ceased production of all North Light figures in January 2009. All moulds are now discontinued.