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Glossary Of Terms Related To Wedgwood
[Josiah Wedgwood - The Artist] [Wedgwood's Working Life] [Wedgwood Glossary]
Agate. A ware resembling agate made either by wedging different colored clays together, the colors extending through the body, or by painting the surface of the piece with mixed colors, brown tones generally predominating.
Biscuit. Unglazed ware which has been fired once.
Body. The material of which a piece of pottery is made.
Can. A straight-sided cup or mug, with or without handles, for coffee, chocolate, or punch.
Caneware. Buff-colored ware introduced by Wedgwood in 1779 for useful and ornamental pieces. Also called "piecrust" and "bamboo" ware.
Caryatides. Supporting members shaped like women in the dress of the Caryan people who were taken captive by the Athenians.
Carrara. Nineteenth-century trade term for a Wedgwood white hard-paste porcelain body resembling the white marble from Carrara, Italy. Sometimes called parian ware.
China clay. White clay, produced by the decomposition of granitic rock, used in making porcelain, Queen's ware, jasper, and other fine bodies. It corresponds to the Chinese kaolin and to Cherokee clay.
China stone. A mineral substance, rich in felspar, which fuses down to a white, glassy mass at a high temperature. It is an ingredient of true porcelain, Wedgwood's Queen's ware, and "Pearl" ware. It corresponds to Cornish stone and to Chinese petuntse.
Cream color. The name given to an ivory colored lead-glazed earthenware first produced in England about 1725. Wedgwood's perfected form was named Queen's ware in honor of Queen Charlotte, the wife of George III. Crystalline. The term applied by Wedgwood to a class of wares, either surface painted or of blended colored clays, resembling in hardness, mixture, color, and polish such natural stones as granite, verde antique, red and moth porphyry, serpentine, agate, green jasper, and marble.
Delft. A town in Holland which gave its name to a tin-enameled earthenware decorated in blue or polychrome, most frequently in imitation of Chinese porcelain. The industry spread from Holland to English centers, chiefly, Lambeth, Bristol, and Liverpool. The old Dutch ware is spelled with a capital and the English ware with a small initial letter. Numerous nineteenth-century and modern reproductions of the old ware create problems and hazards for the collector.
Earthenware. Any opaque ware which is fired once for biscuit and a second time for glaze.
Enamels. The vitreous colors which have been fixed upon the ware in the kiln. Done over the glaze, they stand out upon it.
Encaustic painting. Decoration mainly in red and white on, black basaltes, invented by Wedgwood in 1769 to imitate the decoration on vases excavated on Italian sites.
Engine-turning. Decoration produced on the turner's lathe by a species of eccentric chuck first used by Wedgwood in 1763 for geometric, diced, fluted, and basketwork effects.
Firing. The process of turning clay into pottery by baking it in a special oven or kiln. The heat varies according to the nature of the ware from 80o to i25o degrees Centigrade, and the time of firing from 16 to 6o hours.
Fluting. Vertical or spiral channeling, usually semi-circular, done on the unfired clay with a tool, by hand, in a mold or on the engineturning lathe, as devised by Wedgwood in 1763.
Glacier. A vessel of two or more parts for cold desserts, the lower part holding ice.
Glaze. The transparent glassy coating which covers the surface of porcelain and much earthenware, rendering it impervious to liquids.
Intaglio. A design sunk below the surface so that the impression made from it is in relief.
Japann'd ware. A name for pieces with a brilliant shining black glaze made by WhieldonWedgwood.
Jasper. The name given by Wedgwood to a body invented by him in 1774.
Kaolin. The Chinese name for the fine white clay used in making porcelain.
Luster. An iridescent surface obtained by metallic oxides.
Majolica. A nineteenth-century earthenware covered with brightly colored lead glazes introduced at the Wedgwood works in 186o and made by many other potters. The name was derived from an entirely different low fired earthenware, covered with a white, opaque, tin-enamel, made in Italy during the Renaissance.
Marbled ware. Earthenware veined and mottled by sponging or combing together different colored slips.
"Pearl" ware. A whiter body than cream color, and resembling porcelain, being translucent or opaque, depending on the temperature in firing.
Petuntse. The Chinese word for the felspathic clay called by western potters China stone, one of the essential ingredients of true porcelain.
Queen's ware. See Cream color. Wedgwood used the capital Q, since the ware was named for Queen Charlotte.
Rococo. A light and graceful decorative style, popular in the reign of Louis XV, featuring scrolls, shells and z-ocaille or rock-work.
Rosso antico. A variety of Wedgwood's redware for ornamental uses, named for the Egyptian marble by that name.
Salt glaze. A transparent hard glaze with pitted surface obtained by throwing salt into the kiln at a certain temperature. When the salt volatizes, a chemical reaction takes place between the salt fumes and the silica in the clay, causing the glaze to form on the ware.
"Scratch blue." A method of decorating salt glaze whereby a design scratched in the wet clay with a pointed tool was dusted with powdered zaffre or cobalt before firing.
Slip. Liquid clay of the consistency of cream.
Sprigging. Molded decoration applied in relief to the surface of ware.
Throwing. The art of shaping round articles on a revolving wheel.
Tortoise shell. A ware in imitation of tortoise shell obtained by oxides of manganese, copper, antimony, and ochre yellow sponged on over the dry clay, the colors blending in an interesting way under a smooth glaze when fired.
Turning. The process of finishing a cheese-hard piece of ware on a lathe, shaving it to the desired line, putting in any beading, or reeding, and burnishing with a hard tool.