A Guide To Wedgwood China
It all came about due to a cry from English housewives for more artful, cheaper, mass produced kitchen wares to serve their meals on and drink their mead from. That cry and the invention of the ?transfer printing process? made inexpensive, artful plates, dishes and cups and saucers available to the public. Used by a handful of artists in 1756, it spread to other manufacturers and evolved into a more state-of-the-art process enabling manufacturers to produce more complex designs.
Ultimately it evolved to a point where double- and triple-applications were possible to make multi-colored, layered design patterns available. For some unknown reason, blue colors became the most popular and there is an interesting story behind that. The most popular of the blue colors is a design called Flow Blue. It is called that because it produces a pattern of blurry, runny figures blending into each other, producing a cosmic swirl. This came about because of a mistake at the kiln. When blue ink was used for a second and third firing, it could not withstand the additional heat and it ran. Originally, it was thrown out or taken home by employees. But when seen by others, it became popular and soon accounted for most of the production of the time.
It was not only the transfer process and the artistry of Josiah Wedgwood that made him the world?s most famous potter of the 18th century. It was his marketing genius that separated him from the pack. Even back then, Josiah Wedgwood recognized the value of the celebrity endorsement. Long before every celebrity in the world had been used to hawk items on TV, Josiah gave a complete set of his Wedgwood Fine China to Queen Charlotte and immediately began billing himself as ?Potter to Her Majesty.? Of course, the demand for Wedgwood Fine China soared and Josiah was forced to do the only thing possible given the circumstances -- he raised his prices drastically and made a fortune.
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