An Introduction to the Wonderful World of Wedgwood

Proud, prestigious, and steeped in cultural history, Wedgwood is one The Potteries’ most glistening ceramics gems. 

Founded in 1759 by an innovative young man named Josiah Wedgwood, this local pottery institution is as creative as it is enduring. 

Here we take a quick glance at Wedgwood’s illustrious history and take a peek at the brand’s latest news. 

Let’s get started. 

A bit of background… 

Starting out as a small independent ceramics manufacturer in Stoke-on-Trent’s Mother Town, Burslem, Wedgwood first set itself apart from the pack with its striking, unglazed Jasperware collection.    (**A good outline of Jasperware and we could see if the lady in the video could give the article a plug?**) 

Over the years, Wedgwood continued to dazzle pottery fanatics, local families, and hospitality businesses alike with its creative flair, high-quality creations, and continued commitment to pushing artistic boundaries. 

Josiah Wedgwood’s empire grew at an incredible rate, earning international acclaima level of success accelerated by the brand’s strong ties to many of the world’s Royal Familiesstarting with Queen Charlotte. After ordering an earthenware set for her palatial dwelling, she was so taken with Wedgwood’s work that she appointed him the official ‘Potter to Her Majesty’. 

Soon after, the brand’s Queen Ware range was born and an unbreakable ceramics legacy was forged. Wedgwood was well and truly on the world map. 

Looking for a bigger premises to handle the brand’s ever-expanding ceramics ranges and rising international demand, Wedgwood moved to its iconic Barlaston location in 1936—and never looked back. 

Today, the World of Wedgwood Visitor Centre is nothing short of stunning, boasting an interactive museum, a wealth of exciting exhibitions, a host of events and a grand dining room that serves Sunday roasts and an afternoon tea that is as decadent as London’s Ritz and Grosvenor House. 

To find out more about the brand’s incredible legacy, feel free to explore the official Wedgwood story. 

Things you probably didn’t know about Wedgwood 

Now that you know a little more about Wedgwood’s history, we’re going to dig a little deeper with a few impressive facts you probably didn’t know. 

Josiah Wedgood couldn’t use a potter’s wheel 

When Josiah Wedgwood was a boy, he contracted smallpox and had to have his right leg amputated to relieve himself of chronic pain. This tragic incident left him unable to use a potter’s wheel. 

Despite this setback, Wedgwood found new ways to create head-turning ceramics and his creativity as well as his immense business savvy led the man to success against all odds. 

Wedgwood was home to one of the planet’s first steam-powered factories 

Josiah Wedgwood’s lifelong friend, collaborator, and ‘natural philosopher’, Erasmus Darwin (Charle Darwin’s grandfather), encouraged the pottery pioneer to invest in steam-powered technology after being inspired by the steam engines made by Watt and Boulton. 

So, in 1782, Wedgwood’s Etruria factory was fitted with steam tools & technology, making it one of the most advanced factories in the world at that time. 

Wedgwood sought science in beauty and the way he made ceramics 

A person of both artistic creativity and scientific enginuity, Josiah Wedgwood took a decidedly logistic approach to the way he crafted ceramics, seeking absolute perfection at every stage of the process. 

Wedgwood set himself the task of reliably producing a perfect glazed white body, and worked tirelessly to make it happen. Finally, he succeeded in 1761, after a whopping 411 experiments. 

This meticulous dedication to improving production processes and perfecting the craft had a significant impact on the early rise of the Industrial Revolution. 

What’s going on? The latest Wedgwood news 

The World of Wedgwood Visitor Centre is a vibrant ceramics hub with gatherings, events, and exhibitions popping up throughout the year. 

Most recently, The World of Wedgwood has announced the forthcoming launch of its new fine dining restaurant, Lunar (all food and beverages will be served on Wedgwood pottery, naturally). And, it promises to be a setting like no other. 

Not long ago, the brand also released its exclusive and exquisite V&A Collection which is now on display to the local public. A testament to Wedgood’s unwavering commitment to ceramic experimentation. 

Our top three Wedgwood pottery picks 

There are so many astounding Wedgwood creations to choose from, that picking our three definitive favourites would be, well, pretty much impossible. 

But, here are three Wedgwood pottery picks that have caught our eyes in recent months. 

1. Jasper Folia Powder Pink Bulb Vase 

mage courtesy of Wedgwood 

Celebrating the joys and wonder of the natural world, this eye-catching bulb-like vase is a member of Wedgwood’s legendary Jasperware range. A unique design in a fresh powder pink, this vase will brighten up any home. 

2.  Wanderlust teacup & saucer set 

Image courtesy of Wedgwood 

If you like to sit with your friends and family and enjoy a brew, this is the set for you. We love this particular teacup & saucer set due to its vibrant colours and international theme. The attention to detail here is exceptional and the designs celebrate the delights of Europe, Asia, and beyond. There’s really nothing else quite like it. 

3. Cuckoo 2 Tier Cake Stand 

Image courtesy of Wedgwood 

An integral part of Wedgwood’s Cuckoo range, this magnificent two-tier cake stand is ideal for whiling away afternoons over tea and sweet treats. Sporting the brand’s legendary floral cuckoo design, this is a functional piece of art to treasure—and an item that you can pass down to future generations. 

How to get there… 

If you’ve been inspired to pay a visit to the wonderful World of Wedgwood, here are some contact details you might find helpful: 


World of Wedgwood, 

Wedgwood Drive,  

Barlaston, Stoke-On-Trent 

ST12 9ER. 

Tel: +44 (0)1782 282651