Beyond Blue: Wedgwood Celebrates History of China-Making

Article excerpt

MENTION WEDGWOOD and you may think of classic blue and white china.

How about green ivy, bright hummingbirds, or pink and orange flowers? Or dancing elephants? Or Peter Rabbit?

These, too, are Wedgwood patterns, just some of the more than 60 the company is making after two centuries in the china business.

Lord Wedgwood, the eighth generation of his family to represent the china company, will be in St. Louis Monday, Nov. 21 to talk about china - new and old patterns, plus special holiday ware - and his family's long china-making history. Wedgwood will be in Dillard's Galleria fourth-floor china department from noon to 3 p.m. and from 7 to 8 p.m.

"It's just extraordinary in my travels the number of people I meet who have Wedgwood collections of various sizes. And the collectors are of all ages - right across the board," Wedgwood said in a phone interview from the company's home office near Stoke-on-Trent in England's Midlands.

"This time of year, there's great interest in our holiday pieces," he said. Wedgwood makes a variety of pieces to celebrate the holidays - from classic blue or white ornaments to colorful Christmas plates.

"We have a whole range of products (besides Jasper): bone china with blue elephants inspired by some old designs; a hummingbird pattern; and Clio, sort of a melange of flowers," which is one of Wedgwood's favorites.

"It's colorful and dramatic," he said of the multicolored floral-bordered china that's popular with people who like to mix and match patterns on their tables.

Some of the new products will mark a celebration of Josiah Wedgwood's work. There will be special prestige pieces - reproductions of antiques - and pieces to mark the bicentennial of his death in 1795. "A whole range of pieces will be made by our special-skills unit. It's an area of production that requires the best skills of our most experienced people. …