Pottery Factories in Stoke-on-Trent

I have been twice to the British city Stoke-on-Trent to see the famous pottery factories.

I lived for some months in Manchester when I was young and the train to London stopped at this place too. I thought the name of the city was so different to what I knew.

I have never seen the city centre, but I would like to come back and make up for that.

One factory The Middleport Pottery was a working museum on how they used to run the factory Burleigh. I fell in love with the very English decoration style. The pattern was somehow glued on the pottery and not hand painted. Still it is handmade in a style called “underglaze transfer printing”.

 

 

The clay on the banks of the river Trent was excellent for pottery.

The other factory was also a museum and a still working huge factory with the famous Wedgwood porcelain. Joshua Wedgwood 1730-1795 was a remarkable man. He treated his workers well making a new more safe factory called “Etruia” inspired by the Etruscans also making good houses for them. He was engaged in the freeing of the slaves by producing a medallion to be sold for the benefit of this freedom fight. On it was seen a black man in chains asking:”Am I not a man and a brother?”

For years he worked on a famous vase he had seen at the British Museum called the Portland Vase. It was a copy of an ancient Etruscan vase. Nobody knew what the material was made of, but he found out. The rich families in the eighteen hundred were eager to get vases and porcelain that looked like they came from the antiques.

Josiah Wedgwood's Portland vase a copy of the original ancient vase at the British museum

Josiah Wedgwood’s Portland vase a copy of the original ancient vase at the British museum

When we went back through the security check at Stansted we were asked:” Do I see two tea pots?”

Two Tea pots

The idea of looking for these old-fashioned factories came from picking up brochures at a National Trust venue on the road. It’s a lovely thing in England that old fine houses are kept by volunteers to be seen and you can always get a nice cup of tea while visiting.

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