Wedgwood – more than just the “blue stuff”

The stuff is gorgeous. Absolutely beautiful, and so well-crafted. Not that I would know, of course, whether any particular pottery or china is expertly crafted or not. But I recently visited the Wedgwood: Artistry and Innovation exhibit at the Royal Ontario Museum, and it’s probably safe to make some assumptions.

I grew up with the idea that “Wedgwood” just referred to those blue vases and plates and plaques with the white reliefs depicting classical mythological figures. My family didn’t have a lot of china or other valuables, so I didn’t get much exposure to the finer things. It was only in the last few years that I reached the vague realization that Wedgwood actually makes more types of china than just the “blue stuff.”

And now that I’ve seem the exhibit at the ROM, to my surprised I’ve discovered just how extensive and varied Wedgwood pottery and china really is, and always has been.

The displays contained samples of the company’s artistry throughout its history, from a  “Husk Service” plate of the pattern sent to Catherine the Great of Russia in 1770, all the way down to 2008, with an elegant cup, saucer, and oil-and-vinegar set from the “Night and Day” pattern. 

There is earthenware with transfer printed designs and coloured glazes, and bone china with roses and other patterns, similar to the types of products you’d see from other companies.

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