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The Birks family has been involved in the ceramic industry in the Potteries since 1812 when ten year old Isaac Birks modeled a black basalt creamer. Isaac worked for Minton where ten members of the Birks family covering at least three generations were employed at some time, usually as modelers. His eldest son, Arthur, left Minton after a very short time and became a modeler at Copeland, and it was his eldest son, Lawrence Arthur Birks, who in 1894 founded the Vine Pottery in Stoke-upon-Trent with his brother-in-law, Charles Frederick Goodfellow. The firm enjoyed royal patronage, mainly from Queen Mary, and received many awards at national and international exhibitions.