- died Jan. 3, 1795, Etruria, Staffordshire) British pottery designer and manufacturer.His family had been potters since the 17th century. After an apprenticeship with his elder brother, he formed a partnership with another potter and finally went into business for himself. He took a scientific approach to pottery-making and was so successful that the makers of even Meissen and Sèvres porcelain found their trade affected. His many innovations include development of a green glaze still popular today, the perfection of creamware, and the invention of the pyrometer. His daughter Susannah was the mother of Charles Darwin. See also Wedgwood ware; Wood family.
* * *▪ English craftsmanbaptized July 12, 1730, Burslem [now in Stoke-on-Trent], Staffordshire, Eng.died Jan. 3, 1795, Etruria, StaffordshireEnglish pottery designer and manufacturer, outstanding in his scientific approach to pottery making and known for his exhaustive researches into materials, logical deployment of labour, and sense of business organization.The youngest child of the potter Thomas Wedgwood, Josiah came from a family whose members had been potters since the 17th century. After his father's death in 1739, he worked in the family business at Churchyard Works, Burslem, becoming exceptionally skillful at the potter's wheel and, in 1744, an apprentice to his elder brother Thomas. An attack of smallpox seriously curtailed his work (the disease later affected his right leg, which was then amputated); the consequent inactivity, however, enabled him to read, research, and experiment in his craft. After Thomas refused his proposal for partnership c. 1749, Josiah, after a brief partnership (1752–53) with John Harrison at Stoke-upon-Trent, Staffordshire, joined, in 1754, with Thomas Whieldon of Fenton Low, Staffordshire, probably the leading potter of his day. This became a fruitful partnership, enabling Wedgwood to become a master of current pottery techniques. He then began what he called his “experiment book,” an invaluable source on Staffordshire (Staffordshire ware) pottery.After inventing the improved green glaze still popular today, Wedgwood terminated his partnership with Whieldon and went into business for himself at Burslem, first at the Ivy House factory, where he perfected cream-coloured earthenware that, because of Queen Charlotte's patronage in 1765, was called Queen's ware. Well finished and clean in appearance with simple decoration, Queen's ware became, by virtue of its durable material and serviceable forms, the standard domestic pottery and enjoyed a worldwide market. On one of his frequent visits to Liverpool, he met the merchant Thomas Bentley in 1762. Because his enterprise had spread from the British Isles to the Continent, Wedgwood expanded his business to the nearby Brick House (or Bell Works) factory. In 1768 Bentley became his partner in the manufacture of ornamental items that were primarily unglazed stonewares in various colours, formed and decorated in the popular style of Neoclassicism, to which Josiah lent great impetus. Chief among these wares were black basaltes, which by the addition of red encaustic painting could be used to imitate Greek red-figure vases; and jasper (jasperware), a fine-grained vitreous body resulting from the high firing of paste containing barium sulphate (cauk). For his ornamental vases, Wedgwood built a factory called Etruria, to which the manufacture of useful wares was also transferred c. 1771–73 (there his descendants carried on the business until 1940, when the factory was relocated at Barlaston, Staffordshire). The most famous artist he employed at Etruria was the sculptor John Flaxman (Flaxman, John), whose wax portraits and other relief figures he translated into jasperware.Wedgwood's accomplishments were enormous and diversified. His wares appealed particularly to the rising European bourgeois class, and porcelain and faience factories suffered severely from competition with him. Surviving factories switched to the manufacture of creamware (called on the Continent faience fine or faience anglaise), and the use of tin enamel abated. Even the great factories at Sèvres (Sèvres porcelain), France, and at Meissen (Meissen porcelain), Ger., found their trade affected. Jasperwares were imitated in biscuit porcelain at Sèvres, and Meissen produced a glazed version called Wedgwoodarbeit. Evidence of the popularity of Wedgwood's creamware is found in the gargantuan service of 952 pieces made in 1774 for Empress Catherine the Great of Russia. Other wares followed jasper's introduction in 1775—rosso antico (red porcelain), cane, drab, chocolate, and olive wares—created by adding colouring oxides. Every kind of shape and function Wedgwood explored. His invention of the pyrometer, a device for measuring high temperatures (invaluable for gauging oven heats for firings), earned him commendation as a fellow of the Royal Society. Among the many brilliant scientists with whom he was friends or collaborated was Erasmus Darwin (Darwin, Erasmus), who encouraged him to invest in steam-powered engines; thus in 1782 Etruria was the first factory to install such an engine. Wedgwood's daughter Susannah was the mother of Charles Darwin.
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Wedgwood,Josiah — Wedgwood, Josiah. 1730 1795. British potter who improved the materials and processes of pottery. The wares from his factory (founded 1759) are among the finest examples of British earthenware and neoclassical vases. * * * … Universalium
Wedgwood, Josiah — SUBJECT AREA: Domestic appliances and interiors [br] baptized 12 July 1730 Burslem, Staffordshire, England d. 3 January 1795 Etruria Hall, Staffordshire, England [br] English potter and man of science. [br] Wedgwood came from prolific farming… … Biographical history of technology
Wedgwood, Josiah — ► (1730 95) Ceramista británico. Inventó una porcelana de aspecto marfileño. * * * (bautizado el 12 de julio, 1730, Burslem, Staffordshire, Inglaterra –3 ene. 1795, Etruria, Staffordshire). Diseñador y fabricante británico de cerámica. Su familia … Enciclopedia Universal
WEDGWOOD, Josiah — (1730–1795) The innovative eighteenthcentury English pottery manufacturer and social reformer who named his pottery works and house after Etruria. The works formed an estate of some 350 acres, situated between Burslem, Hanley, and Newcastle… … Historical Dictionary of the Etruscans
WEDGWOOD, JOSIAH — celebrated English potter, born at Burslem, son of a potter; in 1759 started a pottery on artistic lines in his native place; devoted himself first to the study of the material of his art and then to its ornamentation, in which latter he had… … The Nuttall Encyclopaedia
WEDGWOOD, JOSIAH CLEMENT, FIRST BARON° — (1872–1943), British statesman and supporter of Zionism. Wedgwood was a member of the famous pottery family and was educated at Clifton College. He first worked as a naval architect and a military officer. He was a member of Parliament from 1906… … Encyclopedia of Judaism
Wedgwood, Josiah Clement, Baron — (1872–1943) British gentile Zionist. Wedgwood belonged to the famous Staffordshire pottery family and was a member of the House of Commons (Liberal then Labour) for thirty six years until he became a peer in 1942. An outspoken Zionist… … Who’s Who in Jewish History after the period of the Old Testament
Wedgwood — Wedgwood, Josiah … Enciclopedia Universal
Wedgwood — Wedgwood, strictly Josiah Wedgwood and Sons , is a British pottery firm, originally founded in 1759 by Josiah Wedgwood, which in 1987 merged with Waterford Crystal, creating Waterford Wedgwood, the Ireland based luxury brands group. The company… … Wikipedia
Wedgwood (disambiguation) — Wedgwood is a British pottery firm.Wedgwood may also refer to:Places: * Wedgwood, Staffordshire * Wedgwood, Seattle, Washington, a neighborhood in Seattle, Washington * Wedgwood railway station, in Staffordshire, England.Josiah Wedgwood may refer … Wikipedia