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slip. This slip has a gray or drab colour, and is so there are few mechanical operations on which a specperfectly smooth (for the better kinds of ware), that tator would look with more surprise, arising from the not the slightest grittiness can be detected in it. The dexterity of the workınan. If the vessel made is to slip is poured into a slip-kiln, a large flat kind of have a handle, such as a tea-cup, the handle is made open oven, in which a fire beneath raises the slip to separately, in a mould or by some other means, and is such a temperature, that the water gradually evapo- then fixed on by a little slip, which acts as cement. rates, and leaves the mixture in the proper state as If there are to be raised ornaments in the vessel, these to consistency. Every fragment of stone or clay in ornaments are cast separately in moulds, and cemented the mixture (for the finest porcelain) has had to pass on in a similar way. If there is to be a spout, such through sieves, whose meshes do not exceed one three- as that of a tea-pot, the operations again are of a very hundredth of an inch in diameter; and being thoroughly similar kind. In short, the process of throwing can kneaded by machinery after the evaporation, the sub- only give a perfectly circular form; and anything stance becomes as fine, pliable, and homogeneous as in the vessel which deviates from this circular form can well be imagined. For coarser work the prepara- must be produced in some other way. All which the tion, as well as the choice of materials, is less important; thrower cannot effect, in giving roundness and smoothbut the mixture is brought to pretty nearly the same ness to his work, is accomplished by the turner, who condition as to stiffness.

turns the ware, while in a partially dried state, at a All these processes are conducted in buildings which cominon lathe. are among the dirtiest in a bank ; but now we come Another wholly distinct kind of work is pressed to the cleaner work-shops, where the material is to ware, comprising such flat articles as saucers, plates, undergo its very remarkable transformations. And, and dishes, which are too broad and flat to be convefirst, for the throwing-wheel, or potter's-wheel,--that niently produced by throwing. In this kind of work, simple piece of apparatus which we know, from Bible instead of placing the wet clay on a mere flat tablet, history, has been in use from the very earliest times. it is placed on a plaster of Paris mould, which at once Nothing can well be more simple than a potter's- gives the principal surface to the article to be made ; wheel : it is a stand about three feet high, with a flat while the other surface is fashioned by the hands and board, or tablet, on the top; and the stand and tablet tools of the workman. are made to rotate rapidly by a band connected either A third description of ware is that which, from its with a windlass or with some other moving machinery. complicated forms, can neither be thrown nor pressed : Provided the tablet on the top of the stand be made it must be cast in moulds. All the more costly kinds to revolve rapidly horizontally, the immediate object of porcelain require this process to a greater or less is answered. A piece of the clay, large enough to extent. In all such cases mould-making must precede make any one vessel, is placed upon the tablet ; the the casting, and modelling must equally precede the tablet and clay are made to revolve ; the workman, mould-making. It therefore devolves upon the mocalled the thrower, sits in horseback-fashion in front deller, in the first instance, to exercise such taste as of his machine, and then the operations commence. may lead to the production of articles worthy of the To describe how an urn, or a jug, or a cup, is made district; and hence the importance of Schools of Design, from a mass of rude clay, is no easy matter: the and all such institutions in a pottery district. The thrower seems to have almost a magical power over models are made in clay, but the moulds are made of bis clay, bidding it to assume any form he may desire. plaster of Paris. If the article to be moulded be The general process has been thus described : “With a plate, saucer, dish, lid, spout, or handle, the clay is his hands, wetted in an adjacent vessel of water, he used in its plastic or stiff state; and the process is presses the clay while rotating, and brings it into a pressing rather than casting; but if the form of the cylindrical form ; this cylinder he forces again down vessel or ornament be intricate, the clay is brought to into a lump; and he continues these operations- a liquid state, and is poured into the moulds, where it squeezing the clay into various shapes—until he has gradually consolidates. pressed out every air-bubble from the body of clay. All these various modes of shaping pottery, earthen. Then, pressing his two thumbs on the top of the mass, ware, or porcelain, are adopted while the clay is yet he indents or hollows it, as a first germ of the internal cold and unbaked; but all the ware alike must be hollow of the vessel. Once having the least semblance baked before it will be fitted for its object. The ware of a cavity within, he proceeds, with a rapidity almost is left to get quite dry by exposure to the air, and is marvellous, to give both the outward and the inward then placed in the biscuit-kiln. This kiln is a large, contour to the vessel. With the thumbs inside and lofty kind of oven, surrounded on all sides by fires, so the fingers outside, he so draws and presses and that the interior may be kept at any required heat. moulds the plastic material, as to give to the outside Before the oven is heated, the ware is placed in the a convexity, to the inside a concavity, and to the whole saggers before noticed, which are oval vessels made substance an uniform consistency, without breaking of very refractory fire-clay; the ware is then shielded the clay or disturbing the circular form of the vessel.” from the smoke and dirt of the kiln, and the saggers

Whatever be the vessel-a cup, jug, basin, or any are heaped one upon another until the kiln is comother with round surfaces—it is made in this way; and pletely filled. The door is then closed, the fires lighted, and the ware exposed to a fierce heat for forty small camel-hair pencils. The colours are mineral or fifty hours, until all the moisture is driven off, and materials mixed with oils and turpentine ; and gold is the clay converted into a kind of semi-vitreous sub- used exactly in the same way, so that, when laid on, stance. When the fires have been sufficiently cooled it looks anything but the brilliant material which it to allow the kiln to be emptied, it is found that the will afterwards appear. Every degree of artistic skill ware presents a very different appearance from before ; is called for in these painting-rooms, from that which it is less dense, more clear in its colour, and less is merely shown in drawing a narrow stripe round a earthy in texture : it is now called biscuit. Some

Some cup, to that which exhibits itself in a highly-finished of the most exquisite modern specimens of porcelain, landscape on a salver or urn. There is a sort of subintended wholly for ornament, are left in the biscuit division in the labours of the painting-room, according state, without any glaze on them : if well made, they to the variations in talent: one person takes flowers, equal in fineness and delicacy the purest alabaster. another foliage, another animals, a fourth landscape,

All the ware for usual purposes, from brown earthen- a fifth figures, a sixth heraldic bearings, and so on. ware to the most exquisite porcelain, requires to be The enamel-kilns, in which the ware is baked again glazed before being applied to use : it would be too after the painting and gilding, require much more absorbent, and not sufficiently durable, without glaz- delicate management than any of those before alluded ing. The glaze is a liquid which usually contains to: a slight want of tact here may ruin a whole suite some preparation of lead, and generally some kind of of costly porcelain. The burnishing of the gilt porsalt. The exact nature and proportions of the ingre- tions is effected after the firing, by women and girls, dients are among the secrets of the manufacturers ; but who employ burnishers of blood-stone or agate. -All lead is understood to be a very general component: this work of painting, gilding, and burnishing, is done and the health of those employed in this work is said before the glazing : the union with the ware would not to suffer in consequence.

Anything which will form otherwise be durable. glass, will by that property form glaze, for they are in In that very, useful production, the blue - printed fact two names for the same substance ; since glaze is ware, the pattern is engraved upon a copper-plate ; nothing but glass applied in a liquid form to the sur- the ink or blue paint is a viscid mixture of cobalt, face of another material ; and as there are differences flint, oil, tar, and other substances ; and a print is in the composition of flint, crown, plate, and bottle taken from the plate with this ink on a piece of very glass, so there may be at least as many differences in thin but tough paper. The paper is handed to a girl the composition of glaze. The ingredients are mixed called the cutter, who cuts away from it as much of into a liquid form, in large wooden troughs. The the unprinted part as is not wanted ; and a woman, workman or dipper takes the articles of ware one by called the transferrer, places the paper, with the inked one, and dips each into the liquid so dexterously, that side downwards, on the biscuit-ware which is to receive while every part shall be covered, there shall be but the pattern. She rubs the paper with a roll of flannel little surplus glaze to drain off. The

way

in which in such a way as to transfer the ink from the paper to he manages that the parts touched by his fingers shall the biscuit-ware; and by washing the ware immenot be deprived of their due share of glaze, is one of diately afterwards in water, all the paper is washed off those examples of manipulative skill which so many in fragments, leaving the inked pattern on the ware. of our manufactories exhibit.

This is on many accounts a very singular process; for it The dipped ware is placed in the glaze-ovens, which involves the destruction of what is really a copper-plate bear a good deal of resemblance to the biscuit-kilns ; engraving for each plate or saucer, however cheap that but the care to prevent any smoke or dirt from touch- may afterwards be sold ; and the spectator is not a ing the ware is much greater, the heat is much less little puzzled to understand how the substance of the intense, and the firing is continued for a much shorter paper can be washed away without getting rid of the space of time. The fire converts the liquid into a true ink also. The ink or paint has a dirty brown appearglass, which binds with the surface of the biscuit-ware ance when laid on, but the heat of an oven and the so firmly as never afterwards to separate. A heap subsequent glazing bring out its lively blue tint. of crockery fragments, an utter wreck in all other To carry our descriptive details to a greater degree respects, still possesses its brilliant glossy surfaces. of minuteness would be beyond the province of this Perhaps there is no other example in manufactures work: indeed we fear that some readers may already of a varnished or polished surface so durable and think that they have been drawn into too many workunchanging as glaze.

shops and banks. It may be very prosaic ; and we If the ware be common white ware, the processes feel tempted to show the reader, as a relief, how far are ended ; but if there are to be coloured and gilt poetry and pottery have been brought together in decorations, another train of operations is called for. some minds. The most comical of all poetry, perhaps, The painting-room of a porcelain manufactory is an in part because it is not meant to be comical,) is a interesting place. The work-people, women as well as description of a manufacture, "done into rhyme." men (and women more frequently than men), hold There is a poem called the 'Potter's Art,' some each an article of porcelain in the left hand, usually twenty years old, whose author was too modest to supported by some kind of stand, and paint with show his name upon the title-page. The first Canto

mence:

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introduces us to the Israelites, the Athenians, the Again have brought them to a ruddy hue, Spartans, the Etruscans, and the Romans, with a view And burnt away the menstruum of the blue, to poetizing on their pottery.

We then come nearer

Leaving the cobalt to its tincture true.

We deem this short remark may here suffice, home, and the historical gives way for a time to the

Nor would too tediously partic'larize.” manipulative :“How bodies new their varied forms acquire,

-A very considerate step. Following upon this is a Of clay and flint combined, and fix'd by fire,

completion of the manufacturing processes, and an We now in moulded numbers would rehearse ;

acknowledgment how unequal the Muse' is to describe Our subject sues for dignity from verse.”

all the beauties of lustre-ware' and other varieties

of the art. Then comes a history of the manufacture, The digging of the clays and flints, and the transference from Confucius to Wedgwood ; and the whole is wound to Staffordshire being duly noted, the labours com

up by a contemplative glance at the potter's ware when

it is fulfilling its destined purposes :- First we blunge

" The large tureen, the all-accomplish'd dish, (Amalgamate and blend) the liquid flint

With turtle steaming, or with flesh or fish; And moisten'd clay, each of proportion'd stint,

The frequent plate, with viands rare replete, Into a cistern thrown, and there well maul'd

Dealing around the hecatomb of meat; With wielded paddle-staff (a llunger call'd),

Let these inspire the city gourmands, who Until the blended matter, all afloat,

Keep fast that they may feast with greater goût, Thin slip becomes, and slops the labourer's coat."

When, at the yearly banquet of the Mayor,

Begins the clatt'ring of the china-ware ! ” It is a delectable idea to give definitions of the technical terms as the poet proceeds! The 'slip' is evaporated, But the 'Muse' finds greater pleasure in the crockery the clay prepared, and the thrower begins his work :- of the less ostentatious breakfast-table :“ The moist pliant lump, now formless, rude,

“ What sincere delight, Placed o'er the axis of his wheel, is woo'd

To find the grateful breakfast ready set, To take a shape rotund, as suits his plan,

With all its apparatus, shining, neat, Rising an urn, an ew'r, a bowl, a can;

Enamell’d china, or the willow blue, Instinctive to his touch, recedes or swells,

(Of olden date, in favour always new,) Whilst deep amazement the spectator feels.”

The steaming pot, with bohea steep'd to stint,

Or coffee clear and hot, of brownish tint." After sending the newly-formed ware to be dried, turned, handled, and fired, we are invited to a new

But here the poet leaves the ware, and sings of the spectacle :

breakfast itself, where we will leave him. “ The pond'ring Muse here certain stanzas spares To meditate how flat and hollow wares

A WALK THROUGH THE Show-ROOMS. Are press’d and fashion'd, all on plaster blocks,

If we would see what Staffordshire can really proAnd shapes uneven in a mould, or box.”

duce, an hour should be spent in the show-rooms of The plates, and pots, and so forth, being ready, the those manufacturers who make porcelain as well as

commoner ware. Yet it is the common ware that saggers and the kiln come into requisition :

employs the bulk of the work-people, and that has “Let none forbid the sagger's to sing,

made most of the fortunes among those who are high A rude-form'd vessel, but a useful thing,

up on the ladder of good luck. It is the common ware Since by its aid our fragile wares we save,

that mainly supports the seventy or eighty thousand And gnomes sit hov’ring round its burning cave.

inhabitants which the Pottery district now contains. One on another placed, the sagger bung,

It is the common (or rather the middle-class) ware Or column (as suits best for stately song),

which has given our pottery a reputation all over the Within the spacious oven rises high,

world. And bung by bung an oven's full supply;

We may usefully read what Mr. Kohl says of our Then, close secured the perforated side,

Potteries, potters, and pottery-ware; for he institutes The batch is left the baking to abide !"

a comparison with the state of things on the continent,

with which he was previously more or less familiar. While the ware is baking, the Poet relates a tale con- “ English earthenware," he says, “is one of the finest cerning a bewitched maiden in one of the Staffordshire and most complete articles in the world ; and if all villages; and he then resumes his labours. The baked other things were equally perfect, this would be a ware is overlooked,' and is then taken to the blue world of perfection indeed. We know little of English printer, whose work is duly commemorated in pent- earthenware in Germany, beyond tea-pots and milkameters, We are next told that

jugs : partly because we are content to put up with “ The printed biscuit-wares do not admit

things of an inferior quality, and partly because many Of further progress till the oven's heat

of the articles in common use in England have not yet

.

become matters necessary to us. It would be difficult to a practical way. Many of the statuettes and small enumerate all the articles here manufactured of clay. busts which are now to be seen so plentifully in the There are tea and coffee services of all imaginable sizes London shops are exquisite specimens of biscuit-ware ; and kinds, ornamented in the most varied manner, and and though the lace-coverings of some of the Cupids yet always with good taste. Then there are endless and Venuses may be prettinesses rather than artistic varieties of vessels, large and small, pitchers, jugs, merits, yet their manufacture is a curious specimen of dishes, bowls, basins, and every kind of apparatus for ingenuity. This lace is to real lace what coral is to washing, and for bathing the feet and the different coral-fishes,-the outer crust of something which has parts of the body: articles with which an English once been withinside. A piece of lace is dipped into sleeping-room is usually so richly furnished, and of liquid slip, of which it imbibes a certain quantity ; the which the uninitiated stranger is often at a loss to lace is dried; and the subsequent baking burns away divine the use. All these things in England are not the lace from within its delicate porcelain envelope. only handsomely ornamented, but are also made large. While speaking of the show-rooms of our porcelain The English complain, and not without reason, of the makers, and of the dazzling display there made, it may diminutive size of most of the apparatus of our bed- not be amiss to say a few words concerning the magrooms." Mr. Kohl might have added that the supply nificent museum belonging to the Royal Porcelain of fresh water in such rooms is equally diminutive. Manufactory at Sèvres, in France. It was begun to

In pursuance of his comparison, he says : “ If we be formed about the year 1804 : it consisted, in the compare the common earthenware of England with that first instance, of a collection of Greek vases, which of the French and Gerinans, or of any other nation, had been acquired by Louis XVI. To these were it appears not only excellent in quality, but also added specimens of German porcelain, from the chief highly ornamental and unsurpassingly beautiful. The establishments of Dresden, Berlin, Brunswick, Wurcommon French and German earthenware is compara- temburg, and Vienna, selected and given for this tively ugly, coarse, and misshapen. On the other purpose. Next were collected from every part of hand, English porcelain, particularly those articles in France specimens of the kinds of earth supposed to which beauty and elegance are the main points aimed be fit for one or other of the various kinds of pottery at, are far behind those of the continent. I believe or porcelain, together with specimens of articles manuthere is something characteristic of the English in this. factured from such clays. All these collections, made In articles of ordinary use, the English seem, better by about 1812, formed the nucleus of the museum. than we, to know how to combine excellence of quality Brongniart, the scientific and talented director of the with outward grace and beauty; whereas, in those Sèvres manufactory, then devised a mode of classificaarticles wherein grace and beauty alone are to be kept tion and arrangement for the specimens. He adopted. in view, the English are never equally successful. a three-fold system : first, that of fabrication, from Their tools, their furniture, their machines, their knives coarse brick to fine porcelain ; then that of topography, and scissors, their bread, and their joints of meat, are according to the places where the specimens were not only excellent, vigorous, and nutritious, but also made ; and, lastly, that of chronology, according to the beautifully formed, and not to be at all surpassed ; age of the specimen. This system has been found to whereas, their pictures, their sculptures, their pasties, answer admirably; and for thirty years there have and their cakes, and, in short, everything in which been constant additions made to the museum, chiefly fancy takes precedence of usefulness, are far behind by gifts. Officers of the navy, travellers, ambassadors ours in excellence. Look, not merely at the earthen- in foreign countries, naturalists, artists, potters, -all ware of the French, but at their tools, at their imple- have sent interesting specimens; and the result is a ments of gardening and agriculture. They are all most beautiful collection, illustrating every imaginable strikingly rude and little suited to the purposes they branch of the art. Some of the specimens were preare intended for. Even the common bread in France sented by the manufacturers of Burslem, Longport, and is much inferior to that used in England."

Stoke. Staffordshire is trying to wash away the stain of Alexander Brongniart, who has been the director of being behind-hand with the continent in elegant porce. the Sèvres works for nearly half a century, has not lain. Perhaps she may one day succeed. Indeed, it spared time or energy in bringing them to perfection. is difficult to conceive that this inferiority exists at all, He made tournées ceramiques,' as he somewhat when we glance around any of the show-rooms of the fancifully calls them, or pottery tours, in 1812, 1820 greater manufacturers. The articles of beauty and 1824, 1835, and 1836; during which he visited grace are now most wonderfully diversified. Besides the potteries and porcelain works at Wurtemburg, the usual dinner and tea-services, the decorative pro- Bavaria, Saxony, Prussia, Austria, Italy, Belgium, ductions embrace a wide

The fittings for Holland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Englandchimney-pieces, for doors, for the toilet-table, for the bringing home specimens to adorn the Sèvres Museum, writing-desk, are most varied; and the highly-finished and observing the modes of manufacture at the different miniature paintings on some of the pieces show that places. The catalogue of that Museum, prepared by if painters can produce the designs, the manufacturers Brongniart and Riocreux, is an example of the munican do what is requisite to work out those designs in ficent mode in which the French treat all details bearing even indirectly upon the fine arts. The catalogue is in the habit of sending five or six times every day to an imperial quarto volume, of about 500 pages, printed the nearest collieries for coals to burn in his kilns ; on fine paper ; and in it every specimen is not only each horse made two or three journeys a day, bringing mentioned, but described. Then follows a collection about two and a half hundred-weights of coal on his of 80 quarto plates, containing drawings of nearly one back each time. The coal was neither weighed nor thousand of the specimens, all delineated and coloured measured ; but a price of sevenpence was paid for this with as much care as if they were specimens in natural quantity or horse-load, roughly guessed. Ground flint, history.

range.

for the pottery, was at the same time carried in square There is one observation made by M. Brongniart, tubs, on horses' backs; each horse carrying two tubs, in the preface to this catalogue, which we feel tempted and each tub containing four pecks. The same kind to quote, because it illustrates a wish which we have of horse-carriage was employed in other ways. For often felt while walking through museums in England. instance, five horses were engaged by the same potter " I have long ago expressed an opinion, perhaps too to carry crates of finished ware to a neighbouring town, dogmatically, that a museum in which the specimens and to bring back clay from thence ; each horse carried are not labelled, presents to the public and even to a crate of ware on a pack-saddle, and brought back savans nothing more than an object of vague curiosity. two or three hundred pounds of clay, in panniers slung In former times, too, nothing was admitted into on either side of him. The roads were narrow and museums but specimens which were extraordinary or bad, and each horse was muzzled, to prevent him from brilliant in themselves : all that was simple and biting the hedges as he went along. It was a grand common was rejected. It is true that these brilliant thing when a cart with four horses was employed specimens, in the earlier museums, attracted the eyes instead of the pack-saddles : the cart used to convey of the multitude: this was indeed the object ; simple crates of goods to the larger towns of Staffordshire and specimens, which are neither rare nor striking, have Shropshire, and bring back goods for the shopkeepers neither interest and utility. It is very easy to arrange of the Potteries, as well as clay and other materials specimens in an agreeable manner in the show-cases; for the potters. but to give any interest to a vessel of common ware, Sometimes travellers were employed to traverse a pipe, a brick, a fragment of clay or of felspar, it is different parts of England, to find a sale for the goods : necessary to indicate what it is, whence it comes, and their accounts seem to have been kept in a rough sort what purpose it subserves. Some research is required of way; for they simply emptied their pockets of all for this purpose, often long and difficult; but by its the money received on the journey, after deducting means, specimens which would only deserve to be travelling expenses, and then received a certain weekly rejected if not labelled or described, have a value im- sum as salary. As late as 1780, the southern end of parted to them by such labelling : in some instances the Pottery district, near Lane Delph, was not traversed the interest and the value become really great." Speak- by a single vehicle ; horses with panniers brought the ing of the Sèvres collection, he says: “Without this materials and carried away the goods, and a horse-post care a great number of specimens in this rich collection brought the letters. would have been rejected; our collection of clays, But when Josiah Wedgwood commenced his career, sands, and marls, would present itself only as a con- or rather, when he was advancing in prosperity, such fused mass of earth and stone. For this reason I have a state of things was not likely to continue. He cut acted on the plan, that no specimen shall be admitted with his own hands the first sod of the Grand Trunk without a label attached to it conspicuously. Numerals, or Trent and Mersey Canal, and witnessed the complaced not only upon the label, but painted on the pletion of that great undertaking in 1777. This canal specimen itself, refer to a register, in which the history forms so many junctions with others, that it is not of this specimen is given in detail."

easy to determine where it begins or where it ends. It is sufficient to say, however, that it places the

pottery district in communication with every part of INTERCOMMUNICATION OF THE POTTERY Towns.

England. One line of canal, beginning near Stoke, We have now given a tolerably full account- an extends through Etruria, Burslem, and Tunstall, to account quite as ample, perhaps, as the nature of this Congleton, Macclesfield, and Manchester, Another work permits — of the Pottery towns, their banks, winds round Shelton and Hanley, to Leek and Uttoxtheir show-rooms, their people, and the past history eter. Another goes by way of Stone to near Stafford; and gradual development of their manufacture. But from whence one branch extends to Wolverhampton we cannot leave the district without speaking of the and Birmingham; and another past Rugeley to the beautiful railway-station at Stoke; and we can as little navigable part of the Trent, near Alrewas. Except think of this station withont comparing the singular when the winter's frost puts an end to all navigation, changes which time has produced in the mode of inter- these canals carry an immense tonnage of goods to and communication between the several towns of the from the Pottery district. The Pottery railways have Pottery district, and between the district as a whole only just been opened : it remains to be seen how far and the other parts of England. About the year they will occasion a diversion in the goods' traffic. 1750, one of the chief manufacturers at Burslem was The Harecastle tunnel, in the Macclesfield canal, a

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