Pioneers - Industrial Revolution
Week 2 - The Industrial Revolution & Design Pioneers
Josiah Wedgwood (1730-1795)
Wedgwood's success based on ability to make good quality wares and to cater for a defined market: knowing what people wanted to buy. Perfected creamware, an earthenware material used for making dinner sets. With royal patronage, it was labelled Queen's ware. Became one of the most successful industrial ceramic wares. Invented Jasperware, a fine stoneware used for vessels in the Neo-Classical style (18th-c designs still produced today).
transformed a country craft into an efficient industry, balancing economic
restraints against innovative technologies and good design. Early on,
he was aware of need for marketing strategies and advertising: pioneer
of modern marketing techniques. He understood that 'ornamentation was
good business'. London showroom, pattern books, catalogues. Marketed
"good taste" to the masses by ensuring technical excellence
and stylishness in his products. Exported to USA. wedgwood.co.uk
Josiah Spode (1733-1797)
rival, who claim to the the 'original' manufacturers of Fine China.
Josiah Spode, like Wedgwood, was a great innovator. He developed several
processes including a superior formula for Fine Bone China, and the
development of the process of laying a blue underglaze. One of their
most popular styles, Willow, is a classic example of Chinoiserie.
Once the process of transfer printing designs was developed (allowing effective mass production), a great number of manufacturers sprung up. Rather than a handpainted luxury for the upper classes, dinnerware became far more affordable. From Spode's original Willow pattern, many spin-offs developed. These are often called the "Blue and White" style, of which there are hundreds of manufacturers and patterns. Some of these have been continuously produced for over two centuries.
Thomas Chippendale (1718-1779)
Chippendale reorganised furniture production by giving workers increasingly
specialised tasks, by making production methods more efficient, and
by integrating marketing into production; but mass production was achieved
later, in the 19th-c. Furniture design strongly influenced by architecture:
Classical, Rococo, Chinoiserie, Gothic etc. Decoration of structure
was important because "ornament signifies wealth" (Ibid) -
concept of status and respectability as a commodity. Chippendale supplied
furniture and an interior design service to his customers: an integrated
Matthew Boulton (1728-1809)
Boulton commercialised the metal industry. He
adopted new technology of steam power for his factory, which also influenced
the industrialisation of textiles. He combined manufacture and merchandising
under one roof. Like Wegdwood, Boulton consistently imporved techniques
and products, making a wide range of products of high standard in various
materials including polished steel jewellery, silver-plated cutlery.
metal buttons, buckles, tools, trinkets etc. His works include Rococo
and Neoclassical pieces.
Michael Thonet (1796 - 1871)
It's so difficult to fit Michael Thonet into a neat little box because he was in so many way apart from his time. I've put him in Design Pioneers as his early designs influenced Modernism in their simplicity. Le Corbusier used Thonet's bentwood chairs in his houses and over 40 million Thonet chairs have been produced.
His processes for bending wood and the idea of interchangeable components and flatpacking have been among the most influential ideas in modern furniture production and design.
Contextual factors to consider:
Some key technical innovations:
Meanwhile, in Fine Art:
graphics, text and design: copyright retrokat.com 2001-4
References: Based on lecture notes prepared by P. Garn-Jones. Additional material by Kat Black.
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