Have you been to Stoke-On-Trent?
More specifically, have you visited The World of Wedgwood there?
Wedgwood is well know for their fine bone china dinner sets and tableware as well as Jasper. As they are sponsoring one of the categories in the Amara Interior Blog Awards, Amara invited myself and several other interiors bloggers to go and visit the amazing Flagship store of Wedgwood, as well as to have a factory, museum tour and a fun crafts class!
Watch my five minute video or keep reading to find out how we got on 🙂
Wedgwood Factory Tour
I’m no pottery expert, in fact I’m barely a beginner when it comes to understanding the pottery processes so seeing how the it is actually made in Wedgwood factory was fascinating.
The steps that we saw were:
- Raw clay
- Firing and many ovens and kilns
- Glazing machines
- Smoothing of pottery & china
The skill and time that is needed to create a single piece was a real eye opener. Every worker has such a specific job that only a master of that skill can accomplish, especially when the expectation from the brand is of the highest level. The atmosphere was refreshing, a lot of going on but everyone knew what needed to be done – a bit like a big family. It’s not surprising therefore that some of the workers have been there for 40 years!
I’d recommend actually visiting the factory to see the hard work that goes into a single cup and saucer, let alone anything else. I very much enjoyed uncovering the journey of Wedgwood pieces and would definitely be going again!
The museum showcased Wedgwood’s skillful craft; their iconic tableware, dinner sets and more.
I found that the museum tour guide was very knowledgeable, she knew the ins and outs of every era, pot and dinner set and family history. So, walking around the museum I definitely felt there’s a wealth of heritage within the walls and it’s everything Wedgwood are, and rightly so, proud of.
Seeing their famous Jasper and learning its history and development was really interesting. Also, the Wedgwood family is a big one and I couldn’t believe that one of the descendants was Charles Darwin. There’s a whole family tree in the museum that shows a number of other famous descendants too.
Now, in regards to the location of the factory wasn’t a coincidence. In fact it wasn’t where the original Wedgwood lived, it’s simply because clay was easier to move than coal, which was needed to heat the coal to throw it. Stoke-on-Trent offered an abundance of coal and so that’s where it all began and still remains.
To recycle the broken pottery that cannot be sold the company has used it in construction when laying their roads, so watch out if you ever visit Wedgwood museum and factory, you are most probably walking on bits of Wedgwood fine china itself!
My last interesting point would be to say that Wedgwood called himself ‘Potter-Majesty’ as he made a dinner set for the Royal Family. I also saw the Queens set that she used for her coronation which was designed by Wedgwood. What an achievement.
Crafts Session: Pottery Class
I had lots of fun getting my hands dirty with clay and learnt to throw pottery just that little bit better. I realised that I did it before in school and so some of that came back when I was throwing my very own bowl. I have it at home now so I must decide how to decorate it 🙂
Many thanks to Amara and Wedgwood again for a very fun and insightful visit. I didn’t just learn so much about the brand but I also managed to meet some very lovely people and bloggers.
Have you visited the Wedgwood factory and museum in Stoke-on-Trent yet?