We turn the spot­light on one of Stoke’s best- known pot­ter­ies, with her­itage meth­ods at its heart

Homes and Antiques Magazine - - JOURNAL -

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; wedg­

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

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