We turn the spotlight on one of Stoke’s best- known potteries, with heritage methods at its heart
Producing collectable pieces that span over 250 years of design, Wedgwood ceramics have graced the dinner tables of the Vatican and the White House, as well as some of the world’s most luxurious hotels. Born into a family of potters, Josiah Wedgwood began working as an independent potter in Sta ordshire in 1759. He was experimental and playful, keen to develop new methods of moulding, firing and decorating clay that were entirely unique. Recognising his natural flair for ceramics, Wedgwood’s cousin agreed to lease him the Ivy House Works in Burslem for £10 a year.
Situated in the heart of Stoke- onTrent’s pottery district, this allowed Wedgwood to start his own business, which flourished. His Jasperware designs, inspired by the soft colours and textures of Ancient Greek vases, proved popular among heads of state and the royal family. So much so, that when he developed a type of creamcoloured earthenware, it was so beloved by Queen Charlotte (the wife of King George III) that she gave permission for it to be called ‘Queen’s Ware’.
Wedgwood often collaborated with the 18th century’s best artists: a trend that the company still follows today, with modern collections by fashion designers Jasper Conran and Vera Wang still proving popular with modern buyers. O ering a ordability, luxury and heritage methods, Wedgwood is still at the forefront of Stoke’s pottery industry and long may that last. * 01782 204141; wedgwood.co.uk
FAR LEFT Wedgwood archive image; ‘Apple Blossom’ teacup and saucer
ABOVE Traditional blue-and-white Wedgwood designs RIGHT Wedgwood potter at work BELOW Archive teapot designs