Ceramics - Episode Two: A Fragile History
First broadcast: BBC Four 17 October 2011
The second film in Ceramics: A Fragile History series, charts the journey of Stoke-on-Trent, as a city built on clay and the heart of Britain's once world-leading ceramics empire. On the back of the new 17th-century vogue for tea, pottery in Britain exploded into a cutting-edge industry, a source of enormous national pride and an internationally renowned export.
The programme introduces the key characters responsible for putting British ceramics on the map: from Josiah Wedgwood, innovator, artist and marketing genius and Josiah Spode, who revolutionising the industry by inventing bone china, to the 20th-century ceramicists Clarice Cliff and Susie Cooper who designed ceramics that were elegant yet affordable. It also uncovers how demands for cheap labour since the 1980s have forced the closure of all but a handful of these great factories.
Contributors include A.N. Wilson, Neil Brownsword, Lucy Worsley, Miranda Goodby, Emmanuel Cooper and Matthew Rice.
Click on a selection of objects featured in the programme to view more details