Potters Supplies and Mail Order (PSMO) was one of the earliest suppliers of ceramic materials to the emerging studio pottery industry in South Africa. The family business was founded by Harold and José Fowell during the 1960's. Harold and José met whilst studying together at Stoke on Trent Polytechnic in England, where they received their honours in pottery. Harold went on to qualify as a glaze chemist. After completing their studies they married and emigrated to South Africa.
Up to the mid 1960.'s all glazes and allied materials were imported to South Africa. John Mathey asked Harold if he would start to manufacture glazes using, where ever possible,local materials. From humble beginnings PSMO was launched. José and Val Edwards opened a shop in Orange Grove as an outlet for these locally produced glazes. At this time the Fowell's were living in Henley-on-Klip and with the demands of a young family, it because increasingly difficult for José to run both business and home duties. The business in Orange Groove was sold and José operated the business from their home - retaining ten Mail Order customers. The telephonic service was offered for advice and technical expertise. This is still apparent to this day. Harold then branched out into kiln building and a factory premises was purchased in 1983 for the expanding business, in Daleside, Midvaal, some 10 km from Henley-on-Klip.
This legacy continues to this day with Simon Fowell, the son of Harold and José. From the very same family premises, the range and business has expanded to be one of the major suppliers to ceramic hobbyists, Studio Potters and manufacturing. The range of products still continue the original policy of using the best local materials. The PSMO products are offered via Mail Order, however this is now done via the Internet. PSMO now exports to several African countries as well.
The comprehensive range of products now available, include: kilns, potters wheels, pugmills, slab rollers and a wide range of hand tools. Based on Harold's original recipes, a wide range of Raku, Earthenware, Stoneware and Porcelain glazes and clay bodies are available, ready to use. These are available in wide range of colours, textures and firing temperatures.
New trends include Glass Kiln work, like slumping and fusing. The range of ceramic slip casting moulds is ever expanding. Informative books on all aspects of ceramics and related topics are available. A huge range of ready-made bisqueware is available.
The same customer oriented service is provided by the PMSO team. The phone-in and e-mail technical service has solved many a potters creative or technical problem. Their passion for all things ceramic is literally part of the DNA of PSMO.