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Bruce's Blog || Just sayin'. . .

Fall Reflections and Tea Time

Posted on September 30, 2017 by Bruce MacNaughton

This photo was taken September in our Gardens of Hope by Janice, a respite cottage guest in the fall of 2017

For every thing, there is a time, and this is the time for reflection and tea.

Fall has officially arrived. Here in Prince Edward Island, the temperature has taken a dip, leaves are changing from green to orange and red, and pumpkins are appearing in fall displays around homes and businesses.

Many of you love hearing about things here on the island, so you might be interested to know that we broke a weather record earlier this week, when the temperature hit 30 degrees Celsius, that is 86 degrees Fahrenheit for our American friends!  We are known for our beautiful Septembers, but that sort of temperature is very unusual for us at this time of year. It’s rare that we are out raking leaves in shorts and t-shirts!

We also had some thundershowers rumbling across the province this week. An old weather adage states, “Thunder in fall, no winter at all.” We will have to wait to see about that!

This time of year signals us here in the Maritimes to start preparing for winter and ensuring our tea cupboards are stocked with our favourite tea blends and accessories. One of my favourite tea accessories is the Paris Tea strainer, I just place on my Dunoon mug first thing in the morning, put a teaspoon of tea, add water, set the timer and voila...the day begins. 

The Preserve Company has been blending and selling loose leaf tea for many, many years since 1988 to be exact. As many of you know, we have a wide range of wonderful tea products for you to enjoy.

This being the fall season, I’ll draw my attention to some of my favourites:

Morning Tea Favourites are China Black Keemun,  Darjeeling and Organic PEI Breakfast  

Afternoon Tea Favourites are  China JasmineSencha Peach

Evening Tea Favourites are Organic Mint, Evening Calm and Rooibos Sunspot Orange

What is your favourite type of tea? Are there any you would like to learn more about?

While writing this blog this morning, I had a cup of Keemun and was taking time to reflect a bit of 2017 so I went back and looked at a blog post I wrote at the beginning of the year. I can honestly say that I achieved most of what I set out to do and happiness fills my heart. Read that blog here

Quote of the Week

"Deep within us—no matter who we are—there lives a feeling of wanting to be lovable, of wanting to be the kind of person that others like to be with. And the greatest thing we can do is to let people know that they are loved and capable of loving." ~ Mister Rogers.

Hope all is well with you and yours! 




What makes Dunoon so special?

Posted on May 24, 2016 by Bruce MacNaughton

Dunoon Fine Bone China

Dunoon is a thriving family business manufacturing the highest quality Fine Bone China mugs and teaware in int factory in Stone, Staffordshire. Dunoon's strength is in producing superior mugs that are objects of beauty and yet practical for everyday use. 

Dunoon's philosophy of creating the highest quality mugs, well designed in both shape and pattern and manufactured with the greatest care for the discerning customer begins by using the finest clay available from Cornwall, South England, which gives Dunoon mugs their translucency whiteness and strength. 

You might be wondering what Dunoon's unique features are. Well, we're glad you asked! 

 Dunoon Fine Bone China

Quality Clays:

As we mentioned above, Dunoon uses a very high-quality Fine Bone China clay containing 50% crushed animal bone giving the mugs their translucency, whiteness, and strength. 

China clays and stoneware clays sourced are of the highest quality.

Slip Cast:

Dunoon slip-cast the mugs- making them beautiful and light, yet resilient and durable. 

Glazes and Pattern Reproduction:

Dunoon uses high-quality glazes and prints to ensure excellent detail and color reproduction of the designs as originally intended by the designer. 

Variety and Wealth of Design:

Dunoon uses both experienced in-house designers and some regular freelance designers. Doing so gives Dunoon its broad range as well as the constant design updates required in today's markets. 

Classic and Contemporary Design: 

Dunoon is always updating its portfolio of designs. The Dunoon design team always keep their eyes peeled for a new and modern idea as well as maintaining classic and traditional themes. They cater to all tastes. 

Factory Quality Standards:

Dunoon mugs are inspected 100% and three times during the manufacturing process and once at final inspection. 

There are 27 separate processes to manufacture the mugs. They make a mug every 2.5 seconds of the working day. Pretty amazing! 




The Making of Dunoon Teaware

Posted on May 24, 2016 by Bruce MacNaughton

Dunoon's strength is in producing superior mugs that are objects of beauty and yet practical for everyday use. Join us and take a peek behind the scenes at Dunoon's headquarters to see how Dunoon products are made!

Dunoon Making Process:

1. Making plaster moulds:

Making Dunoon Fine Bone China

Making Dunoon Fine Bone China                                     Making Dunoon Fine Bone China

Plaster and water are mixed in a jug to a set ratio. The mix is pure into rubber cases and allowed to set. 


2. Making slip:

Making Dunoon Fine Bone China

Making Dunoon Fine Bone China

Clay is mixed with water to form a suspension known as slip. 


3. Filling the moulds with slip:

Dunoon Fine Bone China

Dunoon Fine Bone China 

The slip is poured into moulds on the casting process. The moulds travel to the end of the casting belt in about five minutes. 


4. Tipping the excess slip: 

Dunoon Fine Bone China

Dunoon Fine Bone China

The excess slip is poured our and the mould allowed to drain. 


5. Opening the moulds

Dunoon Fine Bone China


Dunoon Fine Bone China

The moulds are opened and the soft clay mug is taken out


6. Sponging the clay mug:

Dunoon Fine Bone China

Dunoon Fine Bone China    Dunoon Fine Bone China

The dry clay mug is sponged by hand to remove any imperfections. 


7. Handle casting:

Dunoon Fine Bone China


Dunoon Fine Bone China Dunoon Fine Bone China

The hands are cast in a similar manner to the mugs in a two-part mould. 


8. Sticking the handle: 

Dunoon Fine Bone China

Dunoon Fine Bone China

The handle is dabbed into the slip and applied to the mug body by hand. The excess slip from around the handle joint is wiped away with a sponge. 


9. Placing & firing the clay mug:

Dunoon Fine Bone China

The clay mugs are placed onto kiln cars which are wheeled into & out of the kiln. 


10. Biscuit kiln:

Dunoon Fine Bone China


Dunoon Fine Bone China

The firing takes eleven hours & is to 1220 degrees Celsius in a gas kiln. 


11. Biscuit selection & grinding: 

Dunoon Fine Bone China

Dunoon Fine Bone China        Dunoon Fine Bone China

Once fired, the biscuit mugs are inspected, any faults are ground our using a sanding belt. 


12. Polishing the biscuit mug: 

Dunoon Fine Bone China



Once fired, the biscuit mugs are inspected & polished in a vibro mill. 


13. Applying the glaze: 

Dunoon Fine Bone China

Dunoon Fine Bone China    Dunoon Fine Bone China

Glaze is applied by hand dipping. the glaze is a glass powder suspended in water. 


14. Glost Kiln:

Dunoon Fine Bone China

The dried, glazed ware is placed onto the kiln cars. These are put into an elective kiln and fired to 1080 degrees Celsius for seven hours. 


15. Reduction after firing: 

Dunoon Fine Bone China

From start to finish, the mug reduces in size. the clay mug starts our 12.5% larger than the finished fired mug. 


16. Glost selection & grinding:

Dunoon Fine Bone China

After lost firing each mug us inspected & any fault polished out before decorating. 


17. Lithograph standards: 

Dunoon Fine Bone China

Each mug is decorated to a set standard. 


18. Applying the litho:

Dunoon Fine Bone China


Dunoon Fine Bone China Dunoon Fine Bone China

The litho is put into water which allow it to slide off the backing paper. After application, water and air are removed from beneath the litho with a squeegee. 


19. Firing the lithographed ware: 

Dunoon Fine Bone China

The lithographed ware is placed onto kiln cars and fired in an electric kiln to 825 degrees Celsius in five hours. During the firing the glaze softens and the enamel colours stick to the glaze surface. 


20. Decorating kilns:

Dunoon Fine Bone China

Dunoon Fine Bone China


21: Final inspection:

Dunoon Fine Bone China


Dunoon Fine Bone China

The finished mugs are 100% inspected for faults. The Dunoon shield label is only applied to conforming mugs. 


22. Packing & despatching:

Dunoon Fine Bone China


Dunoon Fine Bone China

Dunoon Fine Bone China

The mugs are put into inner cartons & orders are made up for despatch. 


23. Design studio: 

Dunoon Fine Bone China


Dunoon Fine Bone China

Dunoon Fine Bone China

The design studio has a very important role to play ay Dunoon. Original design concepts are generated by our in-house designers and from feedback from our sales team. 


24. Lithograph printing:

Dunoon Fine Bone China


Dunoon Fine Bone China

The original artwork is separated and individual screens are made before screen printing each colour down onto water slide transfer paper. 

How to care for your Dunoon products

Posted on May 24, 2016 by Bruce MacNaughton

Dunoon Fine Bone China

Washing your Dunoon products by hand offers the safest long-term protection. As handcrafted fine bone china, Dunoon teaware is sturdy, but it does require some special care.

Firstly, use a mild detergent and a soft cloth. Avoid abrasive cleaners and scourers as these can scratch. Do not use an polishing liquids on precious metal decoration. 

Dunoon products can be used in the dishwasher, unless they have precious metal decoration. The various detergents vary in strength, and some are quite caustic in their action. Use a mild detergent and follow the instructions as to the concentration. If these instructions are followed, Dunoon mugs will last many cycles before color fade is obvious. All on-glaze decorated ceramics will eventually fade in the dishwasher. 

When loading the dishwasher, load carefull with no edges touching. 


Tea and Coffee Stains 

The removal of lead from glazes to meet health legislation, has rendered ceramicware more susceptible to staining. Always rinse mugs and cups immediately after use. 

A build up of stain can easily be removed with a soak in a weak solution of bleach. 

Soaking in a mixture of salt and water often works. 


Thermal Shock (splitting through rapid expansion) 

Avoid pouring boiling water directly into fine cup and mugs. Always put the milk in first, or if you do not take milk, pour the water over the back of a teaspoon. 



Dunoon products can be used in the microwave, except where they have precious metal decoration. This is because the microwaves cause sparks on good conducting metals. 

Dunoon Fine Bone China

Holiday Gift Guide

Posted on December 03, 2015 by Shirley MacNaughton

Holiday Gift Guide

Are you looking for the perfect gift? Well, no need to look any further! From savoury to sweet, we've got you covered. Whether you're hosting over the holidays or searching for a meaningful gift, our selection of artisan preserves, unique teaware, and yummy holiday treats are sure to bring cheer to everyone on your list.



Fireside Gift Box



























Dunoon: Exquisitely crafted fine bone china

Posted on November 13, 2015 by Bruce MacNaughton


Dunoon Fine Bone China


Each year we welcome tens of thousands of guests to our restaurant and gift shop. When visitors walk through our doors it's always neat to see what catches theirs eye first. For some, it's the preserve sample table or the preserve kitchen observation window that captures their attention...and their appetite!  For many, though, it’s our wall lined with shelves and filled with colorful and intricately designed Dunoon mugs and teapots.  When we discovered Dunoon tea ware a few years ago, we knew we wanted to sell it in our shop. As tea lovers, we were drawn to the quality of Dunoon products. They are finely crafted and come in an array of fun and unique designs. When we say there's a design for every tea lover, we're not kidding. There’s something for the gardener, the musician, the handyman, the baker, and the nature seeker, just to name a few.


Where does Dunoon come from?

 Dunoon mug


Dunoon started as a humble family business in Argyll, Scotland in 1974. Their first display case had only 72 mugs for exhibit at the Highland Trade Fair in Scotland. Dunoon quickly gained a reputation for quality and beauty and in 1982, moved the headquarters to Stone, Staffordshire, the heart of the pottery business. Despite the move, a shop still remains in Scotland and Dunoon is very loyal to its Scottish roots.


Dunoon's range of mugs has grown over the years. They now have approximately 1,000 mug designs, and introduce 250 new designs each year. Mug designs range from contemporary to classic styles, in an effort to suit all tastes.


Thanks to highly skilled tradespeople, whose beautiful designs have captured the attention of buyers around the world, Dunoon has flourished as a company, and now celebrate more than 40 years of work.


With this success, they’ve been able to expand their market worldwide and sell in Canada, Australia, USA, Europe, Taiwan, Japan, Korea and China. Here at the Preserve Company we have the largest online selection of Dunoon in North America.


How are they made?


Dunoon teaware

Dunoon employs local and skilled crafts people to carefully create each mug. Most of these employees have been with Dunoon for years and have honed the ability to create fine bone china. Dunoon says that it’s their workers and quality control that are vital in “producing the highest quality mugs, well designed in both shape and pattern and manufactured with the greatest care for the discerning customer.”


Dunoon’s high quality fine bone china clay comes from Cornwall, South West England. It’s this special clay that gives mugs their translucency, bright whiteness and strength. The mugs are created through a 12-step process including the mould making, casting, firing, grinding, glazing, just to mention a few.


Whether you’re looking for a new mug to add to your collection, or searching for a meaningful gift for the tea or coffee lover in your life, Dunoon truly has an selection for everyone. And if you’re not in the area to browse our shelves, you can view our online selection from the comfort of your own home.


What’s your favorite Dunoon style? Let us know in the comment section below.



Dunoon Teaware