In the early days of the Industrial Revolution, English ceramists were instrumental in the invention of two new ceramic techniques: stoneware and creamware.
Creamware represents a major contribution by English potters to the history of European ceramics. Its large-scale production from the 1760s onwards also provided one of the first concrete manifestations of the Industrial Revolution. Finer and more resistant than traditional earthenware and less expensive than porcelain, creamware proved to be hugely popular with the middle classes. This new ceramic technique was an ideal medium for printed decoration, also perfected in England towards the mid-18th century.
The production of earthenware “in the English manner” gradually spread to the continent, especially to northern and eastern France. In Switzerland, the Zurich and Nyon porcelain manufactories sought to diversify their output with goods that were easier to sell. Creamware was first made in in Carouge in 1803, and continued to be produced there until the early 20th century.
It was also in England, mainly in Staffordshire, that fine, coloured stoneware (such as black basalt wares and jasperwares, with moulded, applied decoration) was developed in the mid-18th century, which was rapidly imitated throughout Europe.
Soup tureen. Baylon manufactory, Carouge, 1822
H. 50.5 cm
Photo : Jacques Pugin