This September, The Rug Seller are excited to announce that we will be launching some incredible new products by the prestigious brand Wedgwood. Wedgwood’s products have a level of quality, excellence in design and craftsmanship, and along with their timeless, elegant, classic and understated feel, a Rug Seller partnership made perfect sense. This new launch will continue our mission to provide our customers with prestigious, unique and quality products, designed with precision and care.
The History of Wedgwood
The founder, Josiah Wedgwood (1730-1795), who is remembered as ‘the Father of English Potters’, started ‘Josiah Wedgwood and Sons’, more commonly known as ‘Wedgwood’ in 1759 and made his stamp on the industry. It was then that the quality of Wedgwood and its leading position in the markets of the world was secured forever.
Wedgwood is a British home-grown manufacturer of luxury fine china, porcelain, and accessories that are popular across the world, with the brand being synonymous with luxurious simplicity and skilled creation.
Josiah revolutionized the world of pottery and ceramics, creating new forms of earthenware, kiln practices and ways to recreate the formidable Chinese tea-ware. During his lifetime he invented and produced what still remains three of Wedgwood’s most famous ceramic bodies – Queen’s Ware (1762), Black Basalt (1768) and finally Jasperware (1774).
Josiah was revered as an astute, creative businessman and patron of the arts – so much so that he quickly became Britain’s most inspiring and successful ceramic pioneers who are still highly esteemed in the industry to this day.
At Wedgwood, excellence in design, quality and craftsmanship are more important than anything else. Since its founding in 1759, the corporation has grown from a small town called Burlam, in Stoke-on-Trent to become the global giant it is today.
While Wedgwood originated in England, it has stores in more than 100 countries today, spanning across Europe, the Americas, Australia and Asia. Around the world, the vision of the brand’s excellent quality and innovation has not changed – and it continues to be a symbol of quintessential Britishness.
The brand is renowned for its ability to deliver classic and elegant designs with outstanding quality. As the company has developed, it has entered exciting design partnerships with fashion designers, such as Jasper Conran and Vera Wang, working to develop contemporary and stylish ranges to modernize and appeal to younger consumers.
To achieve this, the Wedgwood design team work with external designers to allow cross-pollination of ideas and experience, giving a breadth and progression of the Wedgwood brand and design, bringing Josiah’s ceramics into the modern day and remaining relevant.
The Wedgwood Legacy
Josiah Wedgwood said himself; “Beautiful forms and compositions are not made by chance, nor can they ever, in any material, be made at small expense.” With the company ethos being based around this and Josiah’s proclamation that “A composition for cheapness and not excellence of workmanship is the most frequent and certain cause of the rapid decay and entire destruction of arts and manufacturers.”
In 2000, a modern visitor centre was added to the Wedgwood complex to cater for the huge interest in the history of the products.
Visitors have commented on the fascinating history and wonderful art of the Wedgwood legacy which is preserved and showcased beautifully in the museum in Josiah’s hometown – Stoke-on-Trent.
The museum works to preserve the wonderful heritage of Wedgwood and the progression of pottery through the centuries, as well as encapsulating the honesty of the Wedgwood profession passing down through generations to ensure the utmost quality and exclusivity with products.
Our Visit to The World of Wedgwood
It was with this knowledge that The Rug Seller team decided to visit the World of Wedgwood to further understand this prestigious brand and it’s history.
It was the hottest day of the year, and The Rug Seller team decided it was a perfect time to escape the office and indulge in some research at the Wedgwood museum, and ventured to the Wedgwood headquarters near Stoke-on-Trent to discover more about the prestigious brand.
The World of Wedgwood is an expansive complex containing the factory, museum and the famous Wedgwood tea room.
We started by looking around the museum, discovering more about Josiah’s ground-breaking innovations in the ceramic world, and discovering the 250 years of history behind the brand.
We also learnt the personal history of Josiah, discovering how he was taught to potter from the young age of 13, and how he chose to learn the skill over a traditional education to become the master of ceramics that he is today.
We also partook in the factory tour, where the group learnt precisely how the classic pieces are made. Exploring the factory, the group were guided through the procedure of the furnaces, the moulding and decorating of certain pieces and the materials used.
It was a wonderful insight into the history of this amazing brand, discovering facts such as how the cup making machine alone produces 13,000 cups per week, and how Josiah Wedgwood was a not very distant relative of Charles Darwin! It opened our eyes and gave us a greater understanding of the important of Josiah and his influence as a brand on the world of ceramics and design.
Wedgwood is the leading provider of luxury home and lifestyle products sold worldwide under the Fiskar partnership of WWRD (Waterford, Wedgwood and Royal Doulton). From crystal stemware to fine bone china dinnerware, to luxurious home accessories, collectables and gifts – the WWRD websites offers thousands of products relevant to the lifestyles of today’s consumers.
We saw some wonderful historical pieces when visiting the museum, one being the fabulous Portland Vase, of which on thirty-five were ever known to have been made back in 1790 and were an exclusive piece for the upper-class customer.
Also this fabulous ‘The First Day’s’ vase – two of six that were ‘thrown’ by Josiah himself to celebrate the successful opening of the Etruria manufacturers in 1769. We witnessed in the factory tour similar decorating techniques that would have been used on this vase, using intricate care to hand paint each piece.
Tonquin is a classic design made circa 1830 and was made popular through the signature ‘Ruby Tonquin’ earthenware design. The print was revived in the 20th century for bone china in a variety of colours. It shows a leafy and elegant rose-like bloom in golden tones against a plain background in a subtle pattern.
A similarly floral pattern, Vibrance is a signature bloom design, with large and beautifully detailed petals. This pattern shows a lot of bold, bright and modern colours mixed with the classic Wedgwood print. The juxtaposition of the modern with the classic turns the Vibrance into a beautifully unique design.
Arris is a much more muted and subtle geometric pattern against the flamboyancy of Tonquin and Vibrance. It’s a simple and contemporary print with bold lines and metallic hues against contrasting colours bring out this decadent design.
Intaglio, coming from the Italian of ‘engraved work’ is a design work that has a particular depth to the neo-classical design. This design mimics the embossed prints that were popular in Georgian times across the Wedgwood collections.
The Passion Flower design is as beautiful and as elegant as its name suggests. The deep, royal colours compliment the intricate design with the wider range of colours creating this vibrant print one of our favourites. It harks back to Josiah Wedgwood’s close links to the Royal horticultural society and shows off vivid and realistic bloom prints in an ornate pattern.
Fable Floral depicts another Wedgwood floral pattern, in an elaborate and blooming pattern. The paisley print leaves are partnered with ruffled and ornate carnation-like flowers with sensational texture in the plants.
Persia is another design that shows a range of colours to lift the intricate pattern and bring the print to life. The Persia range reimagines the exotic and rich exuberance of the Ottoman empire. It combines an illusionary spectacle to show fluid patterns merging into animals.
With a heritage of over 250 years, the iconic Wedgwood brand remains a market leader on the world stage for tableware and home lifestyle, with a portfolio second to none. Products range from formal luxury through to premium casual collections and offer ranges suited to everyone’s taste and décor.
We’re excited to be teaming up with Wedgwood to continue the quality of products and service we are able to offer you here at The Rug Seller.
Keep an eye on our current website for more information soon about the launch and products coming in!