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The Pottery Industry - Where And When It All Started

Author : Prudence Jacobs

Submitted : 2010-10-04 00:46:45    Word Count : 456    Popularity:   76

Tags:   pottery, pottery uk, mugs, english pottery, china pottery

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The pottery business also had its own fair share of happenings and challenges before it had made a stable name. To understand the pottery per se, we also need to look back and be aware of its history in a short summary.

The primary cause of the development of the pottery industry is the the abundant coal and clay in North Staffordshire. Long ago, pot makers were heavily reprimanded for getting clay from roads – an activity which coined the term “potholes”. High quality clays and coals can be obtained along the north-west up to south-east line which has a suitable geographical area.

In Burslem on the other hand, small factories were constructed by clay makers in the towns of Tunstall, Cobridge, Shelton, Longton, Stoke, and Fenton. These towns are famously lined along the coal and clay belt areas, and had eventually became a city called Stoke-on Trent or the Potteries. The Potteries have accessible roads to and from the city centre.

The City of Stoke-on-Trent

The pottery industry had started to rise around 1740 and by this time, the potters had learned to minimize clay usage. This is primarily because the clay makers wanted to produce the quality pottery made in China. The clay they used turn into red when placed in the kiln. As a result, white burning clays are imported to North Staffordshire. It was only in 1796 when Cornish stone and clay came into the city.

By this time, pottery business was now becoming very popular. In the Stoke-on-Trent city, more than half of the total population was now engaged in the making of clay pots. Because they had an abundance of coal, the materials from Cornwall and Devon are brought to the Potteries. To heat up one ton of earthenware, seven to ten tons of coal were required, and only the Potteries town had coal availability.

The clays were first transported via boats, ponies, or manually carried by people. The roads to the potteries were only improved during the 18th century. In 1967, a canal was made which made transportation of raw resources and finished potteries very easy. In 1848, a railway was made which added to the many transportation possibilities going and coming from town.

As time goes by, pottery making is constantly innovated, and new concepts were gradually developed. The pottery companies which were headed by old pottery masters that still continue to operate until today are Spode and Wedgewood.

Ceramics today has become more developed. Now, potteries from England are distributed around the world and the craftsmanship manifested in pottery making has improved more and more.

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The author wants to share his experiences on choosing and taking care of pottery and mugs.

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