The Wedgwood craft

There are two men inside the artist;
the poet & the craftsman.
One is born a poet.
One becomes a craftsman.
- Emile Zola ( 1840 - 1902)

Many of the techniques pioneered by Josiah Wedgwood are still used today by skilled artisans at Barlaston. Using unique heritage materials, Jasper, luminescent Queen's Ware and fine bone china, Wedgwood continues the tradition of beautiful handcrafted works of art, made with respect for the past and an eye to the future.

The journey of a decorative plate

Each fine bone china expressive plate requires thirty six hours of handcraft by four craftsmen and takes over three days to create from start to finish.

Stage 1 : Jigger

A revolving mould shapes the front of the plate from a bat of clay placed on it. It is used in conjunction with a shaped profile which forms the shape of the back. The excess clay is removed.

Stage 2 : Sponging

Seam marks in the moulding process are removed, excess clay is cut away and the surface is sponged and smoothed by hand before the piece is ready to be fired.

Stage 3 : Glazing & Firing

Once fired, a fine mist of glaze is sprayed onto the piece. Excess glaze is wiped from the foot of the piece before firing again. At this stage, white pieces are complete.

Stage 4 : Pattern decorating

Print designs are applied either by meticulous hand painting or via lithographed designs carefully transferred onto the piece before a third firing.

Stage 5 : Prestige raising & enamelling

Further decoration is applied by hand. Liquid gold is carefully applied to the surface to create a relief. Different colours can also be applied, creating enamelled designs.

Stage 6 : Selection

The finished piece is checked, with only perfect pieces selected for shipment.

Florentine Turquoise collection plates on a set table with salad

Stage 7 : Delight

The Wedgwood plates are ready to grace the tables worldwide.

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