The skilled hand processes required at various stages of the pottery industry (see also studio pottery).
Note that the HCA is currently undertaking a survey with Dr Neil Brownsword of Staffordshire University to ascertain the number of practioners of each of the industrial pottery sub-crafts.
|Historic area of significance||Stoke-on-Trent|
|Area currently practised||Stoke-on-Trent|
|Origin in the UK||17th century|
|Current no. of professionals (main income)|
|Current no. of professionals (sideline to main income)
|Current no. of trainees|
|Current total no. serious amateur makers
|Current total no. of leisure makers
|Minimum no. of craftspeople required|
The Staffordshire Potteries is the industrial area encompassing the six towns – Tunstall, Burslem, Hanley, Stoke, Fenton and Longton – that now make up the city of Stoke-on-Trent. The Potteries became a centre of ceramic production in the early 17th century, due to the local availability of clay, salt, lead and coal. Hundreds of companies produced decorative or industrial items.
- Mould making – 1 maker at Wedgwood
- Modelling – 3 makers at Wedgwood
- Throwing – 1 maker at Wedgwood
- Press moulding
- Slip casting
- Pressure casting
- Jiggering and jollying (turning flat and hollow forms respectively using jigs)
- Figure making and sprigging
- Flower making
- Sagger making – 0 makers
- Ground laying
- Copperplate engraving, tissue transfer and printing – 3 makers
- Gilding – including raised paste and jewelling
- Engine turning (including dicing and rouletting) – 1 maker at Wedgwood
- Piercing – 1 maker at Wedgwood
- Patésurpaté – 0 makers
- Agate marbling – 0 makers
- Acid etching
Issues affecting the viability of the craft
- Ageing practitioners – many are beyond retirement age.
- Some of the potteries employ a token workforce to demonstrate the heritage of the skills while outsourcing the majority of their production to low-wage economies in other countries. This can give a misleading sense of the health of the crafts.
- Some of the current practitioners have been kept on as demonstrators by the Gladstone Pottery Museum, keeping the skills alive but in a precarious state due to reliance on public funding in place of a sustainable market.
- Clay College
- Gladstone Pottery Museum
- Dudson Museum
- Etruria Industrial Museum
- Spode Museum Trust Heritage Centre
Craftspeople currently known
- Middleport Pottery
- Royal Stafford