Josiah Wedgwood, Manufacturing and Craft

Robin Holt, Andrew Popp

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Craft and industrial manufacture are often seen as dichotomous, with craft being marginalized during the process of industrialization. We want to look beyond this position, searching for craft in places where it has gone unnoticed and where it might have bloomed anew in the interstices created by industrialization. We explore these questions by studying Josiah Wedgwood’s innovative craft and experimental practices, developed through a close reading of his extensive published correspondence. What we offer is a reinterpretation of Wedgwood’s practices positioned against the existing historiography, both standard and revisionist. Our reinterpretation is developed through application of a theoretical–methodological framework of phenomenological micro-history, in which craft is thought of primarily as a space that makes possible what Martin Heidegger called ‘occasioning’.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Design History
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)99-119
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - May 2016


  • Crafts
  • Manufacture
  • Wedgwood

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