As purveyors of exquisite fine china and porcelain, we have long been admirers of British heritage brand Wedgwood.
And so it was with great delight that we accepted an invitation to spend a day exploring The World of Wedgwood and delving into the history behind this iconic brand.
The World of Wedgwood is just that, not just offices or a generic factory as one might expect; it is an entire world dedicated to the brand and its rich history. From the V&A curated museum, to the factory floor, quintessential Tea Rooms and flagship retail store, it is a destination it itself.
Wedgwood was founded in 1759 by twenty-nine year old Josiah Wedgwood who started as an independent potter in Burslem, Staffordshire. Through his experimenting with clay he went on to establish Wedgwood as a pioneer in porcelain and invented three of the company’s most famous ceramic bodies, Queen’s Ware, Black Basalt and Jasper – still best-sellers to this day.
His legacy as an expert potter remains prevalent as we begin our day at World of Wedgwood with a tour of the factory floor where the care, attention and skill that goes into creating each piece is immediately apparent.
13,000 cups are produced on average each week at the factory and each and every one of those cups has the handle applied by hand by a very dedicated team. You see what we mean about the detail?
We move onto the decorating teams and are shown the different techniques used to apply each design; from plastic lithographic to hand painting.
Apart from the signature collections we all know and love, Wedgwood also take on one-off bespoke pieces as requested by certain elite clientele. We are shown a custom print dinner plate which is part of a set of 19,000 headed for a Presidential Palace and hear talk of a bespoke tea set for a particular client that will be sold for no less than £30,000.
Drawing to the end of our tour, we find ourselves conveniently parched and so head to the Wedgwood cafe for a spot of Afternoon Tea where, surrounded by exquisite tablewares and mouth-watering finger sandwiches, scones and cakes, we are treated to a veritable feast.
Next was ‘pot throwing’. Not in fact an homage to Greek wedding celebrations but the chance to turn our own hands to the art of pottery making. We won’t show you the results but let’s just say it would be best for everyone if we stick with jewellery…
Following a whistle stop tour of the design studio, we found ourselves on the train back to London filled with resolve to host dinner parties and afternoon teas galore in efforts to fulfil our Wedgwood coated fantasies.