Looking to a Bristol Identity

In a further attempt to investigate a further Bristol ‘locational identity’ (Kwon, 2002), I headed back to Bristol Museum and Art Gallery. What I discovered was that Bristol was a principle city in the development of Porcelain production in the UK, before Wedgwood got his hands on the patent. Cookman (the original discoverer of a UK porcelain recipe) and Champion used Bristol’s geographical attributes to produce porcelain  – equal to Chinese – and could easily ship their wares across the UK and abroad.

Some further information is outlined in these snippets from Bristol Museum and Art Gallery:

The very clear – and not well known – link between Bristol and Porcelain got me quite excited. I headed to Central Library to discover more and was fortunate to find a text (Owen, 1873) about Champion and Bristol Porcelain. The book was largely correspondence between Champion, his family and clients. However, spaced throughout the book were these fantastic etchings (above). I got very excited at this point to see that the etchings in the book were the exact examples on display at the Museum.

These discoveries, despite providing a historical context to ceramic production in Bristol also provided me with some materials and process to consider borrowing for my own work.

Reflection for action:

  • Porcelain as an important clay in Bristol
  • Industial production
  • Designs and Patterns – relief

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