Colour in Clay

About the film

A Technicolor study of English pottery, the skill of the potter, and the modern mechanised factories of Wedgwood.

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  • Release year - 1941
  • Director - Darrel Catling
  • Production company - G.B. Instructional
  • Producer - H. Bruce Woolfe
  • Cinematographer - Jack Cardiff
  • Composer - Jack Beaver
  • Narration - E.V.H. Emmett
  • Running time (minutes) - 10 mins 35 secs

Original description

The pottery industry

'A film of potters at work. They use modern scientific methods and machinery, but, like their forefathers, these craftsmen are artists. The art of the potter is centuries old. English pottery is beautiful in shape and design; it reflects the colour of the English countryside.'

(Films of Britain - British Council Film Department Catalogue - 1942-1943)

Did you know?

  • The film is set in one of the Wedgwood factories near Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, though it it thought to feature both the Barlaston and Etruria Works.
  • The pattern seen on the transfer paper in the film at 06:56 was manufactured extensively by Wedgwood, and is known as ‘Cornflower’ (AK8023).
  • At 03:25, the "piece of Omar Kayyám" the narrator jokingly makes reference to is believed to be, ‘All this of Pot and Potter—Tell me then/ Who is the Potter, pray, and who the Pot?’ [Omar Khayyám, Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyám (1120), Stanza 87. FitzGerald's translation].

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