Saw the news about Wedgewood being on the skids. My Dad’s peripatetic job means that I’m part clay head having lived in Tunstall until I was six or so. I don’t always check the bottom plates to see where they come from but I do take an occassional interest in matters ceramic and so it is sad if a way forward can’t be found for UK production of Wedgewood et al.
Sadly I think the problem may be that the UK market has disappeared for these things in that I don’t think anyone of my friends of my age would think of having a china dinner service. Our homes may be filled with tat but it tends to be post ironic plastic Japanese robots and snow storms rather than Jasper ware vases or Royal Dalton flower sellers. My plates tend to be simple white ones from the market rather than “wintergarden” blue and white like my mums, and yes a trifle does look better in the special crystal Waterford bowl but well trifles don’t last that long in our house so my large Pyrex bowl serves just as well. It’s possible that Wedgwood has suffered the same fate as dark brown wooden furniture; we’ve all gone blond and modern.
So I think the Bauhaus did for Wedgewood just as much as the credit crunch the irony being that the original Bauhaus goods with their hand crafted pretence at mass production weren’t really a triumph of the factory system unlike the delicate and pretty designs made by craftsmen and women of the five towns.