The eye of the collector by Jean-luc Ferrand

The WEDGWOOD ceramics

Tuesday 22 March 2016, by Barbara Cogollos

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Rich clay deposits and the presence of coal needed to feed furnaces determined the establishment of the ceramic industry in the north of Staffordshire in the seventeenth century.

Josiah Wedgwood was born in a family of potters and transformed the local ceramics in a renowned international industry to which his name is indissolubly linked.
It was in November 1744 aged 11 years old, he entered in the family business as an apprentice to his brother. He died in 1795 aged 66 years old.

He developed many processes very inventive whose customers adored, imitating shell, agate, or created white varnish sandstone salt or green lacquer allowing the factory to simulate fruit and vegetables. His business quickly became his research laboratory that revolutionized the English ceramics.

In 1754, he partnered with Thomas Whieldon, from Fenton. It is dedicated to the development of earthenware.
In 1759 he created his own brand of fine faience and settled in Burslem, his hometown. He opened a shop in London and soon became supplier to the royal family in 1766 thanks to the Queen Charlotte who venerates his creations.
It transfers its factory in Bell Works in 1769 he named ETRURIA in honor of archaeological excavations of Etruria that inspire for his creations.
In 1774, after years of relentless research, Wedgwood discovers the process of his famous white earthenware. He added barium sulfate in the paste to mimic cameos. No process had allowed an earthenware to be so white. In 1775 he gave the name JASPER to his new material. This is a great success, he soon begins to create plates designed to be inserted on the furniture, bases of candelabra, the binoculars case of theater, buttons ...

After 1795 the death of Josiah, none of his son did not share his enthusiasm for the factory and as they were rich nothing there forced them.
It was nevertheless taken up by one of them. The marbled pottery was already popular in the lifetime of Wedgwood; those identified pale blue Colbat won honors. The collectors of the 18th century were fond of it. It lent a selection of these models for the Art Treasure exhibition, exhibition in Manchester in 1857 and in 1862 the South Kensington Museum in London.
The interest in the old models of the Wedgwood company, allowed to breathe new enthusiasm for the creations of the nineteenth century which continued to come out of the workshops.
A revival manifests from the 1870s The firm continued to receive significant orders in the 1830s and still produces ceramics in Barlaston, where it moved in 1940.

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