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Locations: Hinsdale, IL: 630-920-0190 | Wilmette, IL: 847-256-5910
Hours: Mon-Sat 10-5, Sun 12-5 Central

Spode "Woodland"
Spode China
Paving the way for Art
The English had always had a long-standing desire for Chinese porcelain. To be in possession of such a splendid item was reserved for only the wealthiest of the wealthy. Josiah Spode began developing a formula in 1789 to capture the translucent, whiteness of the porcelain imported from China. His final formula indeed rivaled that of the finest eastern porcelain.
His formula became known as bone china. Six parts calcined bovine bone, four parts china stone and three and half parts china clay are the bases with which bone china is still produced today. The bone ash that added warmth to the glassy grey-white body of hard paste porcelain is why Spode china became so wildly popular 200 years ago and remains highly coveted today.
Another process for which Josiah was renown for was underglaze blue transfer printing on earthenware. To adapt the process from the production of small porcelain wares to larger earthenwares required the creation of more flexible paper to transfer the designs from the copper plate to the biscuit earthenware body, and the development of a glaze recipe that would bring the color of the blue cobalt print to a brilliant perfection. Working with two skilled printers and an engraver Josiah was able to develop the process and went on to be the first to commercially produce underglazed blue printed earthenware.
Over the years Spode china has not changed, but the company has undergone many changes. There are four distinct periods of ownership: 1770-1833 known as Spode 1833-1847 known as Copeland and Garrett 1847-1970 sole Copeland ownership 1970-2009 owned by Copeland but renamed to Spode for the 200th anniversary
In 2009 Spode ceased production in it's own facility and was purchased by Portmeirion Group. Some Spode purists say it's an end of an era, while others praise Portmeirion for saving Spode from a certain death.
Over 200 patterns of Spode china exist. Some of these patterns have been produced for over a hundred years, while others were developed for a specific client and have never seen the light of day out of those owner's hands. From 1820-1971 Spode received several Royal Warrants, a very prestigious honor for any manufacturer in the Potteries.
The Potteries are the towns in an area of Staffordshire, England. They are also commonly known as the 'Stoke' short for Stoke-on-Trent. Some very famous pottery manufacturers have been long time neighbors of the Spode factory; Wedgwood, Royal Doulton, Moorcroft, Johnson Tiles, and Portmeirion. The Stoke is still the center for the British ceramic industry today and is the largest regional producer of clayware in the world.

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