Location of Repository

The potter’s skill : perceptions of workmanship in the English ceramic industries, 1760-1800

By Kate Esther Smith

Abstract

This thesis focuses on perceptions of workmanship in the English porcelain\ud and earthenware industries between 1760 and 1800. Research by Berg and\ud Clifford has demonstrated a new interest in and valuation of workmanship\ud by contemporaries in the eighteenth century. Yet little is known of what\ud contemporaries understood workmanship to mean, or be. This thesis\ud argues that understandings of workmanship affected both the consumption\ud and production practices of eighteenth-century contemporaries. It does so\ud by concentrating on six groups of people – industrial tourists, consumers,\ud retailers, designers, manufacturers and workers. It demonstrates the\ud different ways in which contemporaries perceived hand skills and tacit\ud knowledge by examining a range of sources such as letters, prints, trade\ud cards, travel accounts and objects.\ud This thesis concludes that meanings of ‘workmanship’ - that combination of\ud effort, work and skill - were shifting in the second half of the eighteenth\ud century. For those not employed in manufacturing, reading manuals,\ud seeing production in action and handling objects all challenged their ideas\ud of workmanship. These experiences encouraged contemporaries to\ud question the meaning of innovative products and the manufacturing\ud techniques used to make them. Similarly, in manufacturing the\ud development of the design process and the demands of novelty and\ud standardisation forced manufacturers, designers and modellers to ask how\ud to achieve ‘excellent workmanship’. At the same time, workers understood\ud and valued their work in different terms – as a hard-won, social and\ud physical skill. This thesis argues that for eighteenth-century contemporaries\ud ‘workmanship’ was a complex idea, under challenge from developments in\ud production and consumption. In so doing it moves the interlinked history\ud of manufacturing and consumption away from the extant debates of\ud economic historians and into a different sub-disciplinary space, namely\ud cultural history; a space that has tended to neglect the cultural aspects of\ud production

Topics: DA, HD
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:3791

Suggested articles

Preview

Citations

  1. (1779). A Catalogue of Cameos, Intaglios, Medals, Busts, Small Statues, and Bas-Reliefs; With a General Account of Vases and Other Ornaments After the Antique, Made by Wedgwood and Bentley, And Sold at their Rooms in Greek-Street, Soho, London (5th edn,
  2. (1996). A History of Reading (London: HarperCollins,
  3. (1965). A Journey from St Petersburg to Pekin, 1719-22 [1763] (Edinburgh: doi
  4. A New and doi
  5. (1761). A New Dictionary of Trade and Commerce [1756] (2nd edn,
  6. (2000). A Peculiar But Uninteresting Nation: China and the Discourse of Commerce in Eighteenth-Century England’, doi
  7. (1827). A Representation of the Manufacturing of Earthenware (London: Ambrose Cuddon,
  8. (1998). A Skilled Workforce During the Transition to Industrial Society: doi
  9. (1764). A Survey of the City of Worcester
  10. A Tale of the Times Vol.
  11. A Topographical History of Staffordshire (London: doi
  12. A Tour Through Ireland
  13. A Tour Through The South Of England,
  14. (1995). Acknowledging Consumption: A Review of New Studies (London and doi
  15. (1998). Adam Bede [1859] doi
  16. (2000). Advertising and the European City: Historical Perspectives (Aldershot: Ashgate, doi
  17. (1973). Advertising in London Newspapers, doi
  18. Advocating for Artisans: The Abbé Pluche’s Spectacle de la Nature (1732-51)’, in Ehmer and Lis,
  19. (2008). Agnus Maria, Juvenile Indiscretions. A Novel (London:
  20. (1987). An Early Account of the Nottingham Saltglazed Stoneware Industry’,
  21. (2001). Angerstein’s Illustrated Travel Diary 1753-1755: Industry in England and Wales from a Swedish Perspective. Trans. Torsten and Peter doi
  22. (1902). Anna of the Five Towns
  23. (2008). Another City, Urban Life and Urban Spaces in the New American Republic (New Haven, CT and London: doi
  24. (1992). Anthropology, Art and Aesthetics doi
  25. (1986). Apostles of Fashion’, doi
  26. (1996). Apprenticeship in England, doi
  27. Apprenticeship, Social Mobility and the Middling Sort, 1550-1800’, in Barry and Brooks, The Middling Sort of People, doi
  28. (1991). Artisans’ Socialization at Work: Workshop Life in Early Nineteenth-Century England and Germany’, doi
  29. (2009). Behind Closed Doors: At Home in Georgian England (New Haven and London: doi
  30. (2004). Beyond Consumerism: New Historical Perspectives on Consumption’, doi
  31. (2006). Bodies at Work (London, doi
  32. (1990). Books Belonging to Wedgwood & Bentley the 10 th of August 1770’,
  33. (1988). British Trade Unionism 1750-1850: The Formative Years (London and doi
  34. Broken all in Pieces”: Artisans and the Regulation of Workmanship in Early Modern London’,
  35. (2005). Buying Ceramics and Glass in the 1770s: the case of Sir Watkin Williams Wynn’,
  36. (2008). Buying for the Home: Shopping for the Domestic from the Seventeenth Century to the Present (Aldershot: Ashgate, doi
  37. (1983). Camilla, or a Picture of Youth [1796]
  38. Catalogue of Cameos, Intaglios, Medals, Bas-Reliefs, Busts and Small Statues; With a General Account of Tablets,
  39. (1935). Catalogue of the Glaisher Collection of Pottery
  40. (1999). Cathedrals of Consumption: The European Department Store, 1850-1939 (Aldershot and Brookfield: Ashgate, doi
  41. (1969). Caughley and Worcester Porcelains 1775-1800
  42. (1988). Cecilia, or Memoirs of an Heiress [1782] doi
  43. Collage Collection Interior view of Wedgwood and Byerley,
  44. Collection Ja’s Shakeshaft Jnr Trade Card. 1802-3. Trade Cards 6 (47b). Robins & Foster Trade Card.
  45. (1769). Collection Letter from Josiah Wedgwood to William Cox.
  46. Commerce and the Commodity: Graphic Display and Selling New Consumer Goods
  47. (2006). Consuming Cultures, Global Perspectives: Historical Trajectories, Transnational Exchanges (Oxford and doi
  48. (1999). Consumption and Consumerism in Early Modern England’, doi
  49. (1993). Consumption and the World of Goods (London and doi
  50. (2008). Craft and the Limits of Skill: Handicraft Revivalism and the Problem of Technique’,
  51. (2007). Custom, Wages and Workload in England during Industrialization’, Past and Present, doi
  52. (1781). Cyclopaedia: Or, An Universal Dictionary of
  53. (2004). Dangerous Work, Hard Men and Broken Bodies: Masculinity in the Clydeside Heavy Industries, c.1930-1970s’, doi
  54. (1999). Design Instruction for Artisans in Eighteenth-Century Britain’, doi
  55. Design Sources Used by Josiah Wedgwood’,
  56. (1807). Dialogues on Various Subjects
  57. (2002). Diderot’s Views on Artists’ and Inventors’ Rights: Invention, Imitation and Reputation’, doi
  58. (1757). edn,
  59. (1999). Eighteenth-Century Ceramics: Products for a Civilised Society (Manchester and New York:
  60. (1963). Eighteenth-Century Commerce and Fashion: Matthew Boulton’s Marketing Techniques’, doi
  61. (1993). Eighteenth-Century Decoration: Design and the Domestic Interior in England (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson,
  62. (1798). Ellinor; Or The World As It Is
  63. (2007). Encounters with the Object: Advertisements, Time, and Literary Discourse in the Early Eighteenth-Century Thing Poem’, doi
  64. (1999). English Porcelain 1745-1795: Its Makers, Design, Marketing and Consumption (London,
  65. (2003). English Shops and Shopping: An Architectural History (New Haven and London:
  66. (1791). Etruria Collection List of Persons Employed.
  67. (1965). Evelina or The History of a Young Lady’s Entrance into the World [1778] (London and New York: The Norton Library,
  68. (1990). Extracts from the Daily Advertiser and Additional Manuscripts’,
  69. Factories, Workshops and Industrial Organisation’, in Floud and McCloskey, The Economic History of
  70. (1982). Family Time and Industrial Time: The Relationship Between the Family and Work in a New England Industrial Community (Cambridge: doi
  71. (1991). Fashion’s Favourite: The Cotton Trade and the Consumer in Britain, doi
  72. (1997). Foundations for an Anthropology of the Senses’, doi
  73. (2002). From Imitation to Invention: Creating Commodities in Eighteenth-Century Britain’, doi
  74. (2007). Furnishing the Eighteenth Century: What Furniture Can Tell Us About the European and American Past doi
  75. (1998). Guilds, Apprenticeship, and Technological Change in Pre-Modern Europe’, doi
  76. (1993). Hall’s Dictionary of Subjects and Symbols in Art (London: doi
  77. (2006). His and Hers: Gender, Consumption and Household Accounting doi
  78. History of the Staffordshire Potteries (Hanley: Simeon Shaw,
  79. (1995). How Skilled were Lancashire Cotton Factory Workers in 1833?’, doi
  80. (2007). Hubbub: Filth, Noise, and Stench in England, doi
  81. (1996). Identities, and Consumption Spaces doi
  82. (2004). Illustration and Technical Know-How in EighteenthCentury France’, doi
  83. (2004). Improving Design for Woven Silks: William Shipley’s School and the Society of Arts’, doi
  84. (2008). Industrial Enlightenment: Science,
  85. (1998). Industrial Espionage and Technology Transfer: Britain and France in the Eighteenth Century (Aldershot and Brookfield: Ashgate, doi
  86. (2006). Industry and Perceptions of China: Matthew Boulton, “Useful Knowledge” and the Macartney Embassy to China 1792-94’, doi
  87. (2008). Innovation and the European Economy, 1400-1800 (Cambridge: doi
  88. (2001). Innovation or Emulation? Silverware and its Imitations in Britain 1750-1800. The Consumers Point of View’,
  89. (1991). Interpretation and Cultural History (Houndsmill and London:
  90. (1970). Josiah Wedgwood and Cost Accounting in the Industrial Revolution’, doi
  91. (1961). Josiah Wedgwood and Factory Discipline’, doi
  92. Kinship and the Transmission of Skills: Bar Iron Production
  93. (1981). Knowledge and Freedom: A Study of Nineteenth-Century Working Class Autobiography (London: doi
  94. (2007). Knowledge, Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution: Reflections on The Gifts of Athena’, doi
  95. (2009). Labours Lost. Domestic Service and the Making of Modern England (Cambridge: doi
  96. Lady Grey [later Countess of Stamford] to her brother,
  97. (1767). Lady Grey [later Countess of Stamford] to her brother, Duke of Portland.
  98. (1982). Lady Shelburne’s visit to Worcester in 1770’,
  99. Lead-Glazed Earthenware Teapot. doi
  100. (1771). Leith Hill Place Collection Letter from Josiah Wedgwood to Thomas Bentley.
  101. (1773). Letter from Elizabeth Montagu to Matthew Boulton.
  102. Letter from Joseph Lygo to William Duesbury.
  103. (1772). Letter from Josiah Wedgwood to Thomas Bentley. doi
  104. LONDON Print and Drawing Collection Trade Card of Duesbury & Co., Manufacturers of Derby and Chelsea Porcelain,
  105. LONDON Sun Fire Insurance Records William Bacchus.
  106. (2005). Luxury and Pleasure in Eighteenth-Century Britain (Oxford: doi
  107. (1998). Making Things the Same: Representation, Tolerance and the End of the Ancien Régime in France’, doi
  108. (1999). Manufacturing Outside the Capital: The British Porcelain Factories, Their Sales Networks and Their Artists 1745-1795’, doi
  109. Markets in Context: Artisans, Putting Out and Social Drinking in Eskilstuna, Sweden 1800-50’,
  110. (1965). Master Potters of the Industrial Revolution: The Turners of Lane End
  111. (2008). Materials, Skills and Cultural Resources: Onta Folk Art Pottery Revisited’, doi
  112. (2000). Men’s Things: Masculine Possession in the Consumer Revolution’, doi
  113. (2003). Metaphors We Live By (Chicago and London: doi
  114. (1994). Middle-Rank Consumers and Domestic Culture doi
  115. Miscellaneous Selections: Or the Rudiments of Useful Knowledge from the First Authorities. Designed for Senior Scholars in Schools, and for Young Persons in General [1796] (2nd edn,
  116. (1998). Moll Flanders [1722] doi
  117. (2000). Moulds and Modellers in the Early Eighteenth-Century Staffordshire Potteries: Slip-Casting, Press Moulding and the Wood Family’,
  118. (2005). Mr Tebo At Wedgwood’s: And An Alternative Occupation’,
  119. (1984). On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection (Baltimore and London: Johns Hopkins doi
  120. On the Movement of Porcelains: Rethinking the Birth of Consumer Society as Interactions of Exchange Networks, 1600-1750’, in Trentham and Brewer, Consuming Cultures, Global Perspectives,
  121. (1997). Origins of the Individualist Self: Autobiography and Self Identity in England, 1591-1791 (Cambridge and Oxford: doi
  122. (2008). Oval Biscuit Plaque moulded in relief with The Descent from the Cross, incised signature,
  123. Papers Letter from Lady Hervey to Third Duke of Portland.
  124. (1769). Papers relating to Sir George Strickland, Fifth Baronet (1729-1808) of Boynton, nr Bridlington Letter from George Strickland to John Grimston.
  125. (1999). Philosophy in the Flesh: The Embodied Mind and its Challenge to Western Thought (New York: Basic Books, doi
  126. (1999). Plan and Control: Design and the Competitive Spirit in Early and Mid-Eighteenth Century England’, doi
  127. (2002). Polite Consumption: Shopping in Eighteenth-Century England’, doi
  128. (1978). Potter and Farmer 1790-1858 (Firle: Caliban Books, doi
  129. (1995). Pottery, People and Time: A Workshop in Action (London: Richard Dennis,
  130. (2008). Presented at the ‘China and Materiality Workshop’,
  131. Probate Inventory.
  132. (1995). Publics: Shopping and Women’s Sociability’, in Russell and Tuite, Romantic Sociability,
  133. Records of the Preogative Court of Canterbury Thomas Turner Probate Inventory.
  134. Recueil d’antiquites Egyptiennes, Etrusques, Grecques, et Romaines, Tome I (Paris: Desant &
  135. (1998). Representing Mechanical Arts in Diderot’s “Encyclopédie”’, doi
  136. (1954). Retail Trading in Britain, 1850-1950: A Study of Trends with Special Reference to the Development of Co-operative, Multiple Shop and Department Store Methods of Training (Cambridge: doi
  137. (2002). Romantic Sociability: Social Networks and Literary Culture in Britain, 1770-1840 (Cambridge: doi
  138. (1997). Scientific Culture and the Making of the Industrial West (New York and Oxford: doi
  139. (2008). Selling (Through) Politeness: Advertising Provincial Shops in Eighteenth-Century England’, doi
  140. (2007). Selling Consumption in the Eighteenth Century: Advertising and the Trade Card doi
  141. (2002). Sensible Flesh: On Touch in Early Modern Culture (Philadelphia:
  142. (1995). Shop Design and the Display of Goods in EighteenthCentury London’, doi
  143. Shops, Shopping, and the Art of Decision Making in Eighteenth-Century England’, doi
  144. (2004). Silver in London: The Parker and Wakelin Partnership 1760-1776 (New Haven and London: doi
  145. (2005). Sites of Consumption: The Display of Goods doi
  146. Staffordshire Salt-Glazed Teapot with Lid.
  147. STOKE-ON-TRENT Enoch Wood Papers Compendium Volume of Enoch Wood’s Evidence and Recollections.
  148. (2008). Strategies and Boundaries: Subcontracting and the London Trades in the Long Eighteenth Century’, doi
  149. (1997). Strategies for Showing: Women, Possession, and Representation doi
  150. (2006). Tacit Knowledge and Classical Technique in Seventeenth-Century France: Hydraulic Cement as a Living Practice among doi
  151. (2006). Taste, doi
  152. (1970). Technical Change and Potters’ Probate Inventories 1660-1760’,
  153. (2007). Technology as Public Culture in the Eighteenth Century: The Artisans’ Legacy’, History of Science, doi
  154. (1996). The Apprenticeship System in British History: The Fragmentation of a Social Institution’, doi
  155. (2009). The Art of Advertising: Trade Cards in EighteenthCentury Consumer Cultures’ (Unpublished PhD Thesis,
  156. (2007). The Art of Worcester Porcelain 1751-1788: Masterpieces from the British Museum Collection (London:
  157. (1971). The Arts and Crafts Movement: A Study of its Sources,
  158. (1773). The Bedford Street Warehouse and the London China Trade
  159. (1982). The Birth of a Consumer Society: The Commercialization of Eighteenth-Century doi
  160. The Birth of the Ceramic Designer in England’,
  161. (2004). The Body of the Artisan: Art and Experience in the Scientific Revolution (Chicago and London: doi
  162. (1984). The Borough of Stoke-Upon-Trent [1843] (Stoke-on-Trent: Webberley,
  163. (1986). The Business of Middlemen in the English Pottery Trade Before 1780’, doi
  164. (1935). The China Trade and Some London Chinamen’,
  165. (1727). The Complete English Tradesman (2nd edn,
  166. (2000). The Complete Tradesman: A Study of Retailing, doi
  167. (1996). The Concept of the Household-Family in EighteenthCentury England’, doi
  168. (2008). The Craftsman (London: Allen Lane, Penguin Group,
  169. (2006). The Culture of the New Capitalism (New Haven and London: doi
  170. The Diary of Ralph Thoresby,
  171. (1964). The Discovery of Britain: The English Tourists, doi
  172. (2003). The Economic Future in Historical Perspective (Oxford: doi
  173. (1983). The Eighteenth Century: Art,
  174. (1983). The English Alehouse: A Social History 1200-1830 doi
  175. (1997). The English Auction: Narratives of Dismantlings’, doi
  176. (1990). The Englishman’s England: Taste, Travel and the Rise of Tourism (Cambridge and New York: doi
  177. (2009). The Enlightened Economy: An Economic History of Britain 1700 to 1850 (New Haven and London: doi
  178. (2003). The Error of Our Ways: Historians and the Birth of Consumer Society’ [Unpublished paper]. Presented as part of the Cultures of Consumption Programme (ESRC-AHRB), The Royal Society,
  179. (2009). The Future Is Another Country: Offshore Views of the British Industrial Revolution’, doi
  180. (2007). The Genesis of Useful Knowledge’, doi
  181. (1998). The Gentleman’s Daughter: Women’s Lives in Georgian England (New Haven and London: doi
  182. (2002). The Gifts of Athena: Historical Origins of the Knowledge Economy (Princeton: doi
  183. (1983). The Growth of the Pottery Industry in England, 1660-1815: Some New Evidence and Estimates’,
  184. (2008). The Handmaid to the Arts Vol. 1 (2nd edn,
  185. (1987). The Historical Meanings of Work (Cambridge: doi
  186. (2008). The Industrious Revolution: Consumer Behavior and the Household Economy, 1650 to the Present (Cambridge: doi
  187. (1964). The Instinct of Workmanship And the State of the Industrial doi
  188. (1986). The Labouring Classes doi
  189. (1993). The Labyrinth of Flames”: Work and Social Conflict in Early Industrial Merthyr Tydfil (Cardiff: doi
  190. (2004). The Language of Success: Marketing and Distributing Semi-Luxury Goods in Eighteenth-Century Paris’, doi
  191. The Life of Josiah Wedgwood Vol. II (London: Hurst and Blackett,
  192. The LondonTradesman (London,
  193. (1992). The Lost Collection of Enoch Wood’,
  194. (1970). The Making of the English Working Class (Middlesex:
  195. (1994). The Middling Sort of People: Culture, Society, and Politics in England (Basingstoke and London: doi
  196. (2007). The Mindful Hand: Inquiry and Invention from the Late Renaissance to Early Industrialisation (Amsterdam: Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, doi
  197. (1971). The Nature and Art of Workmanship (London: Studio Vista, doi
  198. The New Complete Dictionary of Arts and Sciences; Or, An Universal System of Useful Knowledge (London: Erasmus
  199. The New Royal Encyclopaedia; Or, Complete Modern Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences (London:
  200. The Newness of the Department Store: A View from the Eighteenth Century’, in Crossick and Jaumain, Cathedrals of Consumption: The European Department Store, doi
  201. (1971). The Pottery Trade and North Staffordshire 1660-1760 (Manchester: doi
  202. (2006). The Power of Design: An Examination of the Transfer of Design Knowledge by Ceramic Dealers in the Late-Eighteenth Century’ (Unpublished MA Thesis,
  203. The Process of Making China doi
  204. (1990). The Quantifying Spirit in the Eighteenth Century (Berkeley and Oxford: doi
  205. The Repository of Arts, Literature, doi
  206. (2000). The Rise of Design: Design and the Domestic Interior in Eighteenth-Century England (London: Pimlico,
  207. (2006). The Roofs of Wren and Jones: A Seventeenth-Century Migration
  208. The Scarborough Guide (2nd edn,
  209. (1999). The Sciences in Enlightened Europe (Chicago and London: doi
  210. (1986). The Social Life of Things: Commodities in Cultural Perspective (Cambridge: doi
  211. The Staffordshire Pottery Directory (Hanley:
  212. (1981). The Staffordshire Pottery Industry (Stafford; Staffordshire County Library,
  213. (1983). The Tacit Dimension (Gloucester, doi
  214. The Transmission of Collective Knowledge: Apprenticeships
  215. (2004). The Vernacular Workshop: From Craft to Industry, 1400-1900 (York: Council for British Archaeology,
  216. (2004). The Waddesdon Manor Trade Cards: More Than One History’, doi
  217. (1912). The Wood Family of Burslem: A Brief Biography Of Those Of Its Members Who Were Sculptors, Modellers And Potters (London,
  218. (2002). The World of Consumption: The Material and Cultural Revisited (London and doi
  219. (1940). The Worshipful Company of Glass-Sellers of London: From its Inception to the Present Day (London: Worshipful Company of Glass-sellers,
  220. (2007). Thinking Through Craft (Oxford and
  221. (1998). Time and Work in Eighteenth-Century London’, doi
  222. (1991). To Summon the Senses’, in Howes, The Varieties of Sensory Experience, doi
  223. (2002). Tool-Being: Heidegger and the Metaphysics of Objects (Chicago and La Salle, IL:
  224. (2002). Topographies of Politeness’, doi
  225. (2004). Transfer’,
  226. (1799). Travels in England, Scotland and the Hebrides; Undertaken for the Purposes of Examining the State of the Arts, doi
  227. (1970). Una, ‘Portland House: Wedgwood’s London Showrooms 1774-94’,
  228. (1990). Walking the City Streets: The Urban Odyssey in Eighteenth-Century England’, doi
  229. Wedgwood and Bentley Source Books’, The Seventh Wedgwood International Seminar,
  230. (1775). Wedgwood to Thomas Bentley. doi
  231. (1977). When I was a Child (Firle: Caliban Books, doi
  232. (1991). William Greatbatch: A Staffordshire Potter (London: Jonathan Horne,
  233. Women and the World of Goods: A Lancashire Consumer and her Possessions, 1751-1781’, in Brewer and Porter, Consumption and the World of Goods,
  234. (2003). Women and Urban Life in Eighteenth-Century England: ‘On the Town’ (Aldershot and Burlington, VT: Ashgate,
  235. (1986). Work in France: Representations, Meaning, Organization and Practice (Ithaca: doi
  236. Workers and Machinery in Eighteenth-Century England’, doi

To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.