Wedgwood Institute Burslem
1869 Brick with highly decorated terracotta facade. Built as a library and school for arts and sciences. Brick with terracotta dressings under plain tiled roof. Rich ornamented facade depicting the months of the year, above, mosaic signs of the zodiac. 10 terracotta bass reliefs depict processes in manufacture of pottery designed by M.H. Blanchard or Rowland Morris. Arched entrance surmounted by a bust of Josiah Wedgwood.
Josiah Wedgwood, 'The Father of English Potters' was born on 12th July 1730, in Burslem. He was the youngest of thirteen children of the potter Thomas Wedgwood who died in 1737 (or 1739). When Josiah was nine he left school and was apprenticed to an older brother to be a "thrower and handler" at the family pottery at Churchyard Works. The thrower's skill was considered to be the most highly rated of all the potters' and only those apprentices expected to become master potters would be taken on.
At the age of eleven Josiah suffered from smallpox, and unable to work he instead read and researched the craft of pottery. This fired his imagination to the possibilities ahead.