The oxide, whether that 2 CONT of cobalt for blue, of manganese for lilac, of iron for yellow, of iron and of cobalt for green, did not form a layer as with enamel on porcelain 2 CONT lying as an adherent film upon the paste, but became thoroughly 2 CONT incorporated with the material to which it was applied. But there were 2 CONT two methods of employing the chromatic constituent: it might be 2 CONT mingled uniformly with the body, forming solid jasper, or it might be 2 CONT used as a wash upon the surface, thus constituting jasper dip.
Jasper was employed in the 2 CONT production of an immense variety of objects, portrait and other 2 CONT medallions and plaques, tea and coffee sets, salt-cellars, bulb and 2 CONT flower-pots, lamps and candlesticks, bell-pulls, scent-bottles, chessmen, 2 CONT and last and most esteemed of all, ornamental vases.
Usually before firing, but sometimes after, 2 CONT corrections, undercutting, and further modelling could be given to the 2 CONT reliefs, and thus it happens that in many portrait cameos, plaques and 2 CONT vases, there are variations of excellence between different copies from the 2 CONT same mould. This remark applies particularly to the larger and more important pieces, such for instance as Wedgwood's remarkable 2 CONT reproduction in jasper of the antique glass cameo vase known as the 2 CONT Barberini or Portland vase.
No two copies of the very limited original 2 CONT issue about of this vase are exactly alike, the differences not 2 CONT being confined to colour of the ground and quality of the white reliefs, 2 CONT but extending to the modelling and finish of the surfaces of the figures. It should be noted 2 CONT that Wedgwood frequently polished on the wheel the edges of his 2 CONT cameos, and occasionally even the grounds or fields of his smallest 2 CONT pieces, thus closely imitating the appearance of natural engraved stones.
Wedgwood's agents were generally active in 2 CONT obtaining orders for both useful and ornamental wares, while home and 2 CONT foreign patronage, royal, noble, or distinguished, greatly extended his 2 CONT reputation and his business.
WEDGWOOD - th Anniversary - JOSIAH WEDGWOOD FRS - of - Plate - | eBay
Wedgwood's designs were drawn from numerous sources. He possessed great power of 2 CONT adaptation, and an inventive faculty, which revealed itself not only in 2 CONT new materials and new methods, but in the origination of new forms. Even if he has left us no works which we can call 2 CONT wholly his own, we know that he was a practical thrower, an expert 2 CONT modeller and an ingenious designer of new shapes; and that his sense of 2 CONT beauty, his power of imagination, his shrewdness, skill, foresight, 2 CONT perseverance and knowledge enabled him to attain, in spite of the 2 CONT absence of school learning, an altogether unique position.
His companionship and advice were sought by men of the highest 2 CONT cultivation.
- Josiah Wedgwood, F.R.S. : his personal history online;
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- Catalog Record: Josiah Wedgwood, F.R.S. : his personal history | HathiTrust Digital Library;
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But his reputation in his own day and in his own 2 CONT neighbourhood was due, not only to appreciation of the work which was 2 CONT the main occupation of his life, but to the generosity, public spirit, and 2 CONT high personal character, which were so conspicuous in Wedgwood. The 2 CONT most attractive products of his kilns were imitated, sometimes with a 2 CONT fair measure of success, by a host of potters during the last quarter of the 2 CONT eighteenth century and the first quarter of the nineteenth, but the merit of 2 CONT initiating and carrying out on a very large scale a great technical and 2 CONT artistic development of English earthenware remains with Wedgwood.
On 16 Jan. This method, though still employed in some 2 CONT potteries, affords irregular results. In the same year he retired from some of the more 2 CONT arduous duties of his business. During this and the three subsequent 2 CONT years his health gave frequent occasions for anxiety to his friends, but he 2 CONT was able to entertain a succession of congenial visitors at Etruria Hall, 2 CONT to make longer excursions from home than before, and to divert himself 2 CONT by improving his grounds and by collecting books, engravings and 2 CONT objects of natural history.
His will, made on 2 Nov. He divided his substance mainly among his children, but 2 CONT did not forget the assistant who, since , had helped him in his 2 CONT scientific work, leaving to Alexander Chisholm an annuity of 20l. Wedgwood and her husband were cousins in the third degree, their common great-great-grandfather being the Gilbert Wedgwood 2 CONT previously named.
She was born on 18 Aug. From the union there sprang seven children, three sons and four 2 CONT daughters. Erasmus Darwin [q. Wedgwood's third son, Thomas, is noticed separately. Godfrey Wedgwood. Davis, of London. Rathbone's Cat. The Stafford Advertiser of 29 June records the proceedings at Burslem at the centenary of Josiah Wedgwood's death. It was called a puzzle-jug because it was so contrived with perforations in various parts of the jug that it was almost impossible to drink from it without spilling a portion. There were imprinted on it the follow- ing lines : " Here, gentlemen, come try your skill, I'll hold a wager, if you will, That you don't drink the liquor all, "Without you spill, or let some fall.
One of them, Dr. Thomas Wedgwood, at the end of the seventeenth century combined farming with pot-making. His son, of the same name, resided at the Red Lyon, and was an inn- keeper as well as potter, though whence the title of doctor was derived we do not know. As the profits of potters were then very small, so were the wages of their workmen. Wedgwood's grandfather had, in , three workmen to whom he paid four shillings a week, and three others to whom he paid six shillings a week.
Apprentices were still more poorly paid. Aaron Wood was apprenticed to Dr. Thomas Wedgwood in , During the first three years of his apprenticeship he was paid one shilling weekly. During the next three years he was paid one shilling and sixpence weekly ; and in the last and seventh year he was paid four shillings weekly. Besides his wages, Aaron Wood had annually a pair of new shoes. When Aaron's apprenticeship expired, he was engaged for five years as a journeyman at five shillings a week. Thomas Wedgwood, junior, the inn- keeper, did something to improve the manu- facture of pottery.
Besides manufacturing imitation agates, marbles, and coffee- and tea- pots, he eventually succeeded in producing a The Wedgwood Family 11 pure white stoneware. His workmen also made baking-dishes, milk-pans, pots, jugs, porringers, pitchers, and other sorts of crockery. The chief hindrance to the expansion of the trade of Burslem and the neighborhood was the horrible state of the roads and by-ways.
At the beginning of last century Burslem was a poor, struggling little village of thatched houses. When the Rev.
Josiah Wedgwood, F.R.S.: His Personal History
Middleton, incum- bent of Stone, was enforcing upon his hearers the duty of humility, he said they might be compared to so many sparrows, as all of them had been hatched" under the thatch. The Big House, with the adjacent earthenware manu- factory, erected by Thomas and John Wedg- wood in , was the only building in Burslem covered with slates. Hanley, Shelton, Lane, and Stoke were of still less importance than Burslem. Longport did not exist until the construction of the Trent and Mersey Canal. The original potters scattered themselves over the districts in which clay, wood, and coal were found.
The primi- tive pottery works were widely spread over an area of some ten miles in extent. The houses in which the families of the work- ers lived were only thatched hovels, sometimes covered with mud. The midden was a conspic- uous object before every door. In many places there were mounds of ashes and shard-rucks, consisting of broken pots and spoiled earthen- 12 Josiah Wedgwood ware.
Beside them were the hollows from which the potters had dug their clay. These were usually filled with stagnated water. Every thing was coarse, rude, and unwhole- some. Yet ale-houses abounded, for the people were greatly given to drink. As an excuse it may be said that the earthenware was usually sold in the public-houses. The potters had their sports, too miserable remnants of "Merry England.
They had many so-called amusements cock-throwing, goose- riding, bull- and bear-baiting. Bull-baiting was continued down to about sixty years since. Each pottery had its special wake, which was usually a saturnalia of drunkenness. The morals and manners of the people were, of course, brutal and vicious. When John Wes- ley visited the potteries, about the middle of last century, a crowd of people assembled to laugh and jeer at him, and proceeded to pelt him with mud. The following is from his diary on the 8th of March, : " Went from Wolverhampton to Burslem, a scattered town on the top of a hill, inhabited almost entirely by potters, a multitude of whom assembled at five in the evening.
Deep atten- tion sat on every face, though as yet accom- The Wedgwood Family 13 panied with deep ignorance ; but if the heart be moved toward God, he will in due time enlighten the understanding. I preached at night to near double the number, some quite innocent of thought. Five or six were laughing and talk- ing till I had nearly done ; and one of them threw a clod of earth which struck me on the side of the head, but it neither disturbed me nor the congregation. Even the poor potters here are a more civilized peo- ple than the better sort so called at Congleton.
Every thing was rude, barbarous, and uncivil- ized. In most cases an ordinary pot-work was car- ried on by a man and a laborer. When the potter had sons and daughters, they helped in the work. The sons dug the clay, the man fashioned and fired the ware ; and, when the goods were ready, the mother and daughters filled the panniers, swung across the backs of horses or donkeys.
Their drivers then drove them through the lanes to fairs and markets in order to sell the manufactured goods. The poor brutes were driven on with whip or cud- 14 Josiah Wedgwood gel, the men and women mostly with pipes in their mouths. The roads in the neighborhood of Burslem were of the worst description.
The lanes were known as " hollow ways," and in wet. When the poor brutes, laden with their panniers of crock- ery, could not toil through the deep and sticky mud, they often fell down and smashed the ware. Sometimes they broke their legs, and were either shot or left to die a happy release for the poor overworked animals. These muddy lanes were unenclosed. When the horses and donkeys could not pass through the hollow ways, they were driven on to the adjoining commons or moorland, and went along in single file by the steep escarpments of the road. It w r as long before carts or wagons could be used at Burslem.
Even at the begin- ning of last century they were very rare in the potteries. But in course of time the earthenware manu- factured in Staffordshire improved. The black- glazed or ruddy-colored articles were gradu- ally replaced by brighter and yellower ware, although, as has already been stated, wooden spoons, plates, and dishes long continued to be used.
They introduced the manufac- The Wedgwood Family 15 tare of delft-ware. The native manufacturers vied with the foreigners, and they were soon able to export their ware to foreign markets. Toward the end of the seventeenth century the two brothers Elers, from Delft, followed the Prince of Orange to England, and settled in Staffordshire for the purpose of manufactur- ing stoneware. They hired an old thatched farm-house, with some adjoining land, in a secluded spot near Bradwell.
The small pot- work which they erected was scarcely discern- ible from Burslem. The ware which they turned out was found to be of a finer descrip- tion than any manufactured in the neighbor- hood. The Elers made the greatest improvement in the potter's art of England by introducing the salt glaze that is, by firing their ware with the vapor of common salt at a high tempera- ture.
They washed, and levigated, and in vari- ous ways prepared the clays, giving the ware a fineness, durability, and solidity which were entirely new. The ornaments and mouldings were sharp in execution and graceful in design, far beyond the efforts of the Staffordshire potters at that time. The Elers discovered a vein of clay which they found suitable for their purposes near Bradwell Wood. This clay, carefully levigated, and covered with an excellent glaze, yielded a red ware, like the Etruscan or Japanese, hard 16 Josiah Wedgivood and compact in texture, and admirable in de- sign.
The Elers, besides their red ware, also produced an Egyptian black, by the mixture of manganese with the clay before it was fired. They were thus the precursors, or, it may be, the originators, of the fine black bodies of Josiah Wedgwood and other Staffordshire manufacturers. The Elers conducted their operations with perfect secrecy.
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No strangers were admitted to their pottery. The windows were blinded. Only the stupidest workmen were employed to turn the thrower's wheel. Even idiots were preferred, while those workmen who appeared more than ordinarily skilful were sworn to secrecy. They were locked up while at work, and were carefully examined when they left the premises. These measures excited the prying inquisi- tiveness of the Burslem potters. The men were foreigners ; any thing was lawful against for- eigners. They manufactured their fine wares in secret. The secret must be discovered.
Two Burslem potters, Astbury and Twyford, set their wits to work. Astbury pretended to be an idiot. He applied at the pottery for work, obtained it, and was set to turn the wheel. To maintain his character of idiot he made numerous mistakes ; he quietly submitted to the kicks and cuffs which the other workmen bestowed upon him. The Wedgioood Family 17 But all the while Astbury's eyes were very wide open. In turning the wheel he carefully witnessed every process, and examined par- ticularly every utensil which was employed. He also preserved careful memoranda of the various processes he had seen.
He re- mained in the works for two years, and at the end of that time he was master of the "secrets " of the Elers' manufactory. About the same time Twyford, another Bur- slem potter, discovered the same secrets, but it is unnecessary to describe his pretences of idiocy. On their discharge both began busi- ness on their own account at Shelton. They made red ware, crouch-ware, and white stone- ware from the native clays, using salt glaze for some of the vessels and lead ore for others. Astbury seems to have been the most success- ful of the two. He made journeys to London, where he sold his ware, and obtained further orders.
The Elers were disgusted with the treatment which they had received at Burslem. They eventually left the place, and in removed to Chelsea, where they connected themselves with a party of Venetian glass-makers who had established themselves under the auspices 18 Josiah Wedgwood of the Duke of Buckingham. The Elers also started a manufactory of pottery. Their porce- lain achieved a very high reputation, and until the time of Josiah Wedgwood their pottery ware was considered to be the best in the country.
By whatever means Astbury had mastered the secrets of the Elers, he was a man of invention and originality, and did much to accelerate the improvement of stoneware in Staffordshire. When he commenced business at Shelton, he began to use pipe-clay for coat- ing over and washing the insides of vessels. Tobacco-pipe clays are found all over the coun- try. In the reign of Elizabeth the pipes were so small and of such a peculiar shape that they were known as " fairy pipes " the same sort of pipes that the late Charles Keene used to smoke. In course of time they were made larger, but always of white clay.
Astbury, by constant improvements, eventually produced his white- dipped ware, and white stoneware, which be- came an important article of commerce. Astbury was also the first to discover, though it was by accident, the uses of burned flint in the manufacture of stoneware. He con- The Wedgwood Family 19 versed with the hostler at the inn on the subject, and the latter recommended the employment of burned flint.
This was quite a new idea to Ast- buiy. However, a piece of flint was put into the fire, and allowed to become red hot. After the flint had cooled it was reduced to powder, some of which was blown into the horse's eyes, producing such immediate and effectual relief that Astbury was enabled to proceed on his journey. He was an observant man, and was much struck by the pure whiteness which the flint attained on being burned and the ease with which it might be reduced to powder.
On returning to Shelton he obtained some flints, burned them, and introduced them into his clay. The result was a finer and whiter kind of ware than any that had yet been pro- duced. He shortly obtained a preference for his ware, and when the secret became known, for nothing can be long kept a secret in the pottery district, ground flint soon became a general ingredient in the potter's materials.
One of the earliest connections of Brindley with Staffordshire was the erection by him of an improved flint-grinding mill near Burslem in The flint was eventually ground and used in water, so as to avoid the lung diseases to which potters were subject when flint was ground in its dry state. It must also be stated that one Thomas Benson was the first to make the discovery of grinding flints in water. Blunt's school at Newcastle-under-Lyme, and was shortly after employed at his brother's pottery, x Thomas, the eldest son, had succeeded to the small estate and the pottery business, with pro- vision for the maintenance of his mother and her large family.
Josiah early displayed a taste for modelling. While at school he showed some knowledge of cutting out designs on paper. He had the run of his brother's factory, and soon after he left school he distinguished himself by his readiness to imitate in clay whatever objects struck his fancy. He seems to have had a natural bent toward modelling.
He often amused his ac- quaintances with imitations in clay of toy figures. His clay model of a mountebank's stage, with the doctor and his suite, and all the usual ac- companiments, excited much admiration among his friends. The next event of which we have positive 22 Josiah Wedgwood knowledge is that Josiali was apprenticed to his brother Thomas at the age of fourteen. X The deed of his apprenticeship is still preserved in the Hanley Museum. Shaw, the local historian, states that he worked as a thrower at the early age of eleven years ; and he adds that a workman of his day named John Fletcher could remember making balls of clay for Josiah and his elder brother Richard, both throwers, when they were seated at two corners of a small room and he was placed between them.
The pottery turned out at the Churchyard Works was of a common description, consisting chiefly of black and mottled ware, baking- dishes, pitchers, milk-pans, porringers, and such like. Butter-pots were made in large numbers, r- The butter-pot was a coarse cylindrical vessel, about fourteen inches high, made from the clay found in the neighborhood of Burslem. These pots were glazed before firing with a mixture of lead and manganese, and were sent on the cratemen's backs to every part of the adjoining country, or sold to the higglers, who carried them from village to village in the panniers of their donkeys.
The thrower is the person who sits in his shed, near the potter's wheel, and forms by hand from the moist clay, as it re- volves, the crock, the butter-pot, the porringer, and such like wares. A workman weighs a portion of clay, and hands it to the thrower, who is seated at his revolving disk.
The boy or girl employed for the purpose turns the wheel, which is attached to the disk by a band. The disk is made to rotate horizontally, while the thrower, who is seated, fashions the vessel by his hands and fingers after the patterns or guides before him, which have been prepared for the purpose. There are other workmen employed in fin- ishing the ware. For instance, the stouker, X in another shed, forms the handles of the vessels and attaches them while moist to the cup or porringer ; while in another shed the ware is ornamented with varions colored slips.
Thomas to a slight extent improved the manufac- ture, as, for example, by making moulded ware, which was a somewhat higher branch of his business. But it was only when Josiah began to achieve distinction that this part of the manufacture attracted attention. Several of his early pieces were designed chiefly for the tea-table and the dessert-service ; they were 24 Josiah Wedgwood moulded very neatly in the form of pineapples, leaves, shells, and other natural productions.
This talent he afterward applied in the exten- sive manufacture of his famous jasper models. It was observed that, though very young, Josiah made rapid progress as a thrower. He had a remarkable eye for proportioning the clay under his hands ; and his skill in forming the vessel on the potter's wheel soon attracted the admiration of his fellow- workmen. But an unfortunate attack of a malignant disease com- pelled him for a time to abandon this depart- ment of his trade. In , when Josiah was over eleven years old, virulent small-pox broke out in Burslem. The house in which the Wedgwoods lived was close to the churchyard, and the children of the family were mostly attacked by that horrible disease.
One of the worst cases was that of the young thrower, who was covered with con- fluent pustules from head to foot. He was almost at death's door, but fortunately escaped with his life ; but long after his partial recovery he was left in a state of almost utter prostra- tion. One of the worst effects of the disease was the agonizing pain which he suffered in his right knee.
Doctors were consulted, but no application no fomentation, liniment, or leech- ing could alleviate his suffering. After many weeks of agony he tried to rise from his bed, Josiah Wedgwood Learns His Trade 25 but fell back again helpless. At length he got up and tried crutches, but found he could scarcely walk. The pain, it is true, abated, but the knee was comparatively useless through stiffness and deadness. By-and-by, as his strength increased, he was able to return to his work.
His brother Thomas having already observed his efficiency as a thrower, which had attracted the attention of his fellow-workmen, determined to attach Josiah to his work by binding him as his apprentice. Three years had elapsed since his entering the works, but in his fourteenth year llth November, the ceremony of permanently securing him was performed. The indenture was drawn up, signed, and witnessed by himself, his mother, his eldest brother the head of the pottery works , and his two uncles, Samuel Astbury and Abner Wedgwood.
The indenture provided that Josiah Wedg- wood was to be apprenticed to his brother for five years, and that he was to "learn the Art, Mystery, Occupation or Imployment of Throw- ing and Handling, which he, the said Thomas Wedgwood, now useth, and with him as an Apprentice, to Dwell, Continue, and Serve," until the expiration of the term agreed on. The year after Josiah's indenture was signed, in , the Highland Rebellion broke out, and Prince Charlie, at the head of a small army, had the hardihood to invade England. They passed through Cumberland and the northern, counties, and, entering North Staffordshire, halted at Leek, and when they reached Bagnall, the Pretender and his staff, uninvited, break- fasted at Justice Marshall's.
The rebels plun- dered the house, and made the justice pay a fine of three hundred pounds. The Pretender and his army reached Derby, but proceeded no further. In all haste they retreated to the North. The Duke of Cumber- land, with an increasing army, lay for a time at Shelton and Stone. The people of the county were apathetic, though they could not but feel excited by the invasion of the wild mountaineers.
He was now fifteen years old. His right knee still continued stiff and painful. Remedies were applied and rest taken, but without avail. He could only sit while at work with his right leg extended before him on a stool. This attitude so hampered his position at the wheel and interfered with his efficiency that he was under the necessity of altogether abandoning the thrower's bench.
It might be supposed by some that this was a calamity, but in reality it proved a blessing. We often repine at what we call our " ill-luck," when, in truth, a mercy has been vouchsafed to us. This ina- bility to continue at the thrower's bench proved the turning-point of Wedgwood's career. The Right Honorable W. It is not often that we have such palpable occasion to record our obligations to the small- pox.
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But, in the wonderful ways of Provi- dence, that disease, which came to him as a twofold scourge, was probably the occasion of his subsequent excellence. It sent his mind inward ; it drove him to meditate upon the laws and secrets of his art. The result was that he arrived at a perception and grasp of them which might, perhaps, have been envied, certainly have been owned, by an Athenian potter.
Relentless criticism has long since torn to pieces the old legend of King Nuina receiving in a cavern, from the nymph Egeria, the laws which were to govern Rome. But no criticism can shake the record of that illness and that mutilation of the boy Josiah Wedgwood, which made for him a cavern of his bedroom, and an oracle of his own enquiring, searching, medita- tive, fruitful mind.
He suffered severely for many years, yet he never relaxed his efforts to improve himself, being still courageous, pa- tient, and valiant, even in the midst of tor- menting pain. Being unable to pursue the work of a thrower, he went to the moulder's board. He first turned his attention to im- provements in minor points of detail ; but in course of time, as his experience became en- larged, he devised and sought out new methods Jbsiah Wedgwood Learns His Trade 29 of manufacture.
It is still care- fully preserved at Burslem, and is known as " Josiah Wedgwood's first teapot. In the preparation of these objects Wedgwood analyzed and made experiments with the various clays of the neighborhood ; and he endeavored to find out new methods of coloring them with metallic calces. Indeed, he spent so much time on his experiments that his brother, who was also his master, expostulated with him, and ex- horted him to confine himself to the beaten track of the trade. Nevertheless, Josiah con- tinued to pursue his experiments as before. It was not so much that he desired to be original, as that he resolved to pursue his profession to the furthest limits of efficiency and beauty.
While still in his apprenticeship, Josiah's mother died, in , and was laid beside her husband in the churchyard at Burslem, adjoin- ing the pottery works. Josiah, who was now about eighteen years old, continued to live in the same house with his brothers and sisters, who were all older than himself, but Josiah was 30 Josiah Wedgwood the only one of the thirteen children who ar- rived at any distinction. His brother Richard, who was five years his senior, was a thrower, and had worked in the same room as Josiah ; but, becoming tired of the pottery trade, he left the works and enlisted as a soldier.
He went away and never returned to Burslem. It is not altogether surprising that Richard Wedg- wood thought he could do as well as a soldier, for the wages paid to young men at the pot-. Besides what we have said as to Josiah's progress, comparatively little is known of him during his apprenticeship.
Llewellyn Jew- itt, however, says of him : " I have heard it from those best able to know, from some of the oldest inhabitants of the place, that in their boyhood, at the end of last century, they were continually admonished by their parents and grandparents to be good, as Wedgwood had been, and to lead such a life as he, as a youth, had done before them. It is pleasant to put this fact on record, and to hear this kind of testimony given to the character of this great man even when young that he was held up to the youth of his native place as a pattern for emulation.
He made him- self minutely acquainted with all the branches of the then existing art, both of those which had as well as those which had not as yet beenX introduced into his brother's manufactory. He not only grounded himself in all the chemical and mechanical parts of the potter's art then known, but he showed a desire to extend and develop their application. Even at this early period he made several curious improvements, and produced the first pieces, though only small ones by way of specimen, of the afterward cele- brated cream-colored or queen's ware. To us, who look back on Josiah Wedgwood's successful career in early life, it is surprising that his own family should have failed to recog- nize the value of his energy and perseverance, and that he should have been driven to seek encouragement for his talents at the hands of strangers.
Nor was it any fault of Thomas Wedgwood's that he could not look into the future and fore- 32 Josiah Wedgwood tell the value of his brother's abilities, or fore- see the rising tide of success in the pottery trade. He knew the modest but fairly sure lines upon which his ancestors had worked, and he was doubtless influenced by older relatives in the determination he arrived at: not to risk in uncertain ventures the slender provision left , to help so large a family out into the world.
Josiah was, therefore, informed that he must take his speculative schemes elsewhere, as the family property was not to be placed by him in any sort of jeopardy. He had now nearly arrived at man's estate. As his brother would not have him. He was, of course, disappointed, but he was satisfied to wait. His mother having died in the previous year, Thomas was left to maintain her numerous family.
It was a very small capital on which to begin the operations of his life ; but with Josialr s skill, energy, and perseverance it proved to be enough. Wedgwood removed from Burslem to Stoke in , when he was twenty-two years old. Harrison, who was not a practical 9. The principal wares he made were mottled earthenware, knife- handles in imitation of agate, and various kinds of tortoise-shell and marble. These were mostly 1 sold to hardware makers at Sheffield and Bir- mingham.
The manufactory had been carried on at the top of Stoke, in what had been Mr. Alferson's pottery. After the separation of Wedgwood and Harrison the latter failed. His cupidity had not served him. Josiah Spode bought his works at Stoke, pulled them down, and erected cottages in their stead.
Whieldon, with whom Wedgwood now entered into partnership, was one of the most eminent potters of his day. It was of great advantage to Wedgwood to be connected with a man of so excellent a character and of such. Whieldon's works were situated at Fenton Hall, near Stoke. The partnership began in , and was to last for five years.
Wedgwood was bound to introduce the secrets of the trade, and to practise them for the benefit of the firm. One of his principal productions was a new Partnerships with Harrison and Whieldon 35 green earthenware, having the smoothness and appearance of glass. Dessert-services were made of this ware ; the plates were moulded in the form of leaves, and were beautifully ornamented.
Wedgwood also made toilet-vessels, snuff- boxes, and other articles colored in imitation of precious stones for mounting on metal. The London jewellers, regarding these articles as entirely original, and the production of some new and valuable discovery, appreciated them accordingly, and sold them in considerable quantities. Wedgwood's right leg and knee still tor- mented him.
He was often confined to his room, and quite unable to attend to the busi- ness of the manufactory. But the work must necessarily go forward, and as he was the man- aging partner, and the men must be occupied in manufacturing the earthenware so much in demand, he was under the necessity of revealing the knowledge of his mixtures and glazes to the principal foreman of the works. Thus the secret of his inventions became known, and the production of the green earthenware soon be- came a general manufacture in the neighbor- hood.
In accordance with the low rate of wages which then pre- 36 Josiah Wedgwood vailed he was at first paid 2s. Very few manuscripts are preserved relating to the period of Josiah's partnership with Har- rison and Whieldon. There is, however, a small green pocket-book containing memoranda, in Josiah's writing, of orders under the dates , from which may be gathered a no- tion of the wares then produced. These are chiefly of the useful kind, such as blue-flowered cups and saucers ; ash-color, cream-color, or tortoise-shell teapots ; bason bowls, plates, and X image toys.
There is also in the same note- book a list of debts due in London, and dated 9th April, , amounting to 12s. Another set of balance-sheets for the year is also in existence, which refers only to a portion of the firm's sales ; and it shows a steady increase in business throughout the year.
In ' the month of January the profits are entered at 3 16s. The expenses of production are en- tered on one side of the book, such as clays, coals, wages, saggers, painting, journeys, post- age, and such like ; and on the opposite sheet is a list of the tradesmen who bought the ware. Among the Wedgwood manuscripts are a series of books, some being rough memoranda Partnerships with Harrison and Whieldon 37 in the handwriting of Josiah Wedgwood, and others fair copies by Mr.
Chisholm, in which are recorded a series of Wedgwood's experi- ments in pottery fabrics. The first volume opens thus : " This suite of experiments was begun at Fen ton Hall, in the parish of Stoke- upon-Trent, about the beginning of the year , in my partnership with Mr. Whieldon, for the improvement of our manufacture of earthen- ware, which at that time stood in great need of it the demand for our goods decreasing daily, and the trade being universally complained of as being bad and in a declining condition. These considerations induced me to try for some more solid improvement, as well in the body as the glazes, the colors, and the forms of the articles of our manufacture.
I saw the field was spacious, and the soil so good as to promise ample recompense to any one who should labor diligently in its cultivation. They have also the advantage of not being intelligible, without the key, to any person who might happen to take up the book, which is often, in the course of making the experiments, unavoidably exposed to such an accident.
These represent the nature and quantity of the materials, the degrees of heat to which they had been exposed, together with miscellaneous observations, conclusions, and hints for further enquiry. Partnerships with Harrison and Whieldon 39 Gr. It is below the top of the chimneys or flues, called bags by the potters ; and T. But having lately invented a thermometer for measuring the higher degrees of heat as far as we can go above ignition, the heats made use of in the several experiments are now expressed in the degrees of that thermometer.
They are systematically and minutely set down in the beautiful handwriting of Mr. Chisholm, and would doubtless be of great interest to any scientific potter. Sometimes observations are introduced at the sides of the record, such as : " This merits further trial ; try it again"; "Colored clays often proved in knife handles "; " Colors to paint agate on the 40 Josiah Wedgwood outside of the glaze after it is laid on the ware and before it is fired"; "The crucible broke ; try it again.
Agate paint for spouts and handles to prevent color from running down the teapot ; very good results. This is the ordinary copper-green glaze of the dessert-services. They will doubt- less be found tedious reading to many, but it is necessary to give the extracts from his record books in order to show the pains which he took, by his early and careful experiments, to revive the pottery trade, then in a state of great depression. They will show that Josiah's future prosperity was not the result of " chance," but of steady and persevering application.
Every experiment was carefully recorded. He would not trust to his memory, but only to the written record ; and it may be added that the result of his skill and perseverance gradually led to the general improvement of the pottery trade. The five years' partnership with Whieldon expired in , and Wedgwood was then left to his own devices. Whieldon retired from the pottery manufacture with a considerable fortune. He built a handsome house near Stoke, where he long continued to enjoy the fruits of his industry. He was greatly es- teemed for his charity and benevolence, was made sheriff of the county of Stafford in , and he died twelve years after at a very advanced age.
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You already recently rated this item. Your rating has been recorded. Write a review Rate this item: 1 2 3 4 5. Preview this item Preview this item. An address to the young inhabitants of the pottery, by Josiah Wedgwood, F. Potter to her Majesty.