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Tag Archives: Wedgwood

Lately, I’ve been downsizing, but as well as donating things, I’ve been replacing a few of them with pieces that I like better. This weekend, I found this cute teapot at a local Thrifty Shopper. It’s from Grindley, an English pottery, and is part of the “Scenes After Constable” series.

It’s a nice addition to my growing collection of intentionally mismatched blue-and-white transferware. Since I don’t care about the age and want everything to be in good, usable condition, the vast majority of my pieces are relatively new and inexpensive. I like that because I don’t want to have to worry about it if someone breaks a dish, but I also love that many of my finds are reproductions of patterns from around the Regency era.

Wanting to learn more about transferware, I found the Transferware Collectors’ Club. According to their website, transferware is “the term given to pottery that has had a pattern applied by transferring the print from a copper plate to a specially sized paper and finally to the pottery body.” It was developed in the middle of the 18th century as an alternative to the more expensive hand-painted ware that was also popular at that time. So it could easily have been used by characters in our stories.

The earliest patterns were copies of Chinese blue and white designs, but soon the English potteries began producing other designs including florals, English landscapes, classical scenes, and the like, and have continued to do so. For instance, Enoch Wedgwood came out with a “Liberty Blue” series in 1976. Although most of my collection is of English scenes, I have a few of these, as well as some of the popular “Blue Willow” pattern.

Blue and white is still very popular (and my favorite) but transferware can also be found in red, green, purple, and brown.

Here’s one of my plates that is of Regency interest. It’s one of the “Byron’s Views”, part of the Spode “Blue Room” collection. This design came out in 1833. Mine is a reproduction, of course.  You can learn more about transferware and other types of pottery at the Spode and Wedgwood museum sites.

And here’s where I keep my china and crystal inventory, so I know what I have and what I’m still looking for (cereal and soup bowls, mostly).

What do you enjoy collecting?



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It’s the birthday of Josiah Wedgwood, born this day in 1730 (died January 3, 1795) the founder of Josiah Wedgwood & Sons Pottery, a company still in existence although it’s now owned by a US company. Here are the UK and US websites.

Now Josiah is a bit of a hero for me. He was smart, hardworking, came from humble beginnings and was an abolitionist. What’s not to love? He was also the grandfather of Charles Darwin. Yesss!

Also, according to Wikipedia:

Wedgwood is credited as the inventor of modern marketing, specifically direct mail, money-back guarantees, traveling salesmen, self-service, free delivery, buy one get one free, and illustrated catalogues.

And it was his marketing acumen that came up with the idea of a logo  and tagline (Am I not a Man and a Brother?) for the ‪Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade. It became tremendously successful and was reproduced on pottery, jewelry, and other artefacts. (He probably didn’t actually design it himself,  though.) As his friend and fellow abolitionist Thomas Clarkson said,

…ladies wore them in bracelets, and others had them fitted up in an ornamental manner as pins for their hair. At length the taste for wearing them became general, and thus fashion, which usually confines itself to worthless things, was seen for once in the honorable office of promoting the cause of justice, humanity and freedom…

He was interested in more than business or design, becoming involved with the science of pottery, and was a member of the Lunar Society of Birmingham, a group of businessmen, scientists and philosophers, so named because they liked to meet on the night of the full moon, thus allowing them more time for talk and less for travel. He was elected a member of the Royal Society after he invented the  pyrometer, a device to measure the extremely high temperatures in kilns during firing.

I could, but I won’t, fill this entire post of pics of Wedgwood’s work although he considered this, the Portland vase, his greatest work. It was a copy of a Roman intaglio vase, made of glass. Here’s his (on the left) and the original (on the right).

Another thing I really love about Wedgwood is how he ties into so much that’s fascinating about the Georgian period. Sir William Hamilton, later husband of Emma, first brought the Portland vase to England. Mrs. Radcliffe’s father managed the Bath Wedgwood showroom and one of her uncles was a business partner of Josiah’s. There are the Darwin and abolitionist connections. Jane Austen  owned some Wedgwood, as she wrote in a letter to Cassandra in 1811:

On Monday I had the pleasure of receiving, unpacking and approving  our Wedgwood ware. It all came very safely and upon the whole is a good match, tho’ I think  they might have  allowed us rather larger leaves, especially in such a year of fine foliage as this. One is apt to suppose that the Woods about Birmingham must be blighted.

So did her brother Edward, and some of his china is on display at Jane’s home, the Chawton House Museum.  For more about Austen and Wedgwood, visit this wonderful post at

And for a sneak preview of the cover of my next book, Hidden Paradise, go to Facebook!

Do you own any Wedgwood? I have a pair of earrings. I don’t know whether I’d want to own a whole set of his famous designs. They might be a bit overpowering… What do you think?


Do you see a theme here recently? I do. We’re returning to our homes after the excitement and excursions of the summer and normal life is picking up again.

Despite starting at a new job this week, this is pretty much how I feel. For the first time I’m about to get an office, and have been engaged in a slum clearance project on my daughter’s room. Yes, she moved out. Yes, a large amount of stuff was left behind. I plucked out books and useful stuff from the debris and started to spackle. And spackle some more. And sand. Looked at it in the morning light (it faces east and south) and discovered some more holes in the wall I missed, but unfortunately at that point I was putting on primer.

My husband peered through the doorway after I was done for the day and pointed out places I’d missed. He’s so helpful like that.

And the end result? Probably not like this. I just find this a wee bit pretentious, as much as I like Wedgwood, and my room is much, much smaller. I also doubt whether I’ll have the time or patience to become a master plasterer and this does look rather chilly and formal.

Rather, the room will be painted a luscious cream–the color is actually called creative thought, which I hope is what will happen when I’ve moved the computer, the desk, lots of books and other stuff currently cluttering up the house, and have no excuse but to write. The woodwork will be a glossy white. Eventually the carpet will be cleaned. Maybe by that time I’ll have learned how to use the digital camera–I did take a couple of pix of the room during the clean out–and show you the finished project.

I also wanted to boast about the creative work done by my inlaws at Mullany Art Studios. This is a mural they did for Argia’s Restaurant in Falls Church, VA. Isn’t it amazing? Yes, they accept commissions for murals and will include your pets if you like.

Do you have your own space in your house where you can read and/or write? Are you bitten by the decorating bug or engaged in any home renovation projects? And how messy do you get when you paint?

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