Vision Fountain started scanning items during the winter lock-down for Nantgarw China works. The idea behind the project is the creation of “virtual cabinet” that allows anyone to look in detail at historical and artistic objects from the world’s finest porcelain maker, situated just outside Cardiff, Wales, UK.
Nantgarw, which produced porcelain in 1813, has recently started producing porcelain on the original site. Highly skilled artisans and artists fire and hand paint the porcelain. Nantgarw China Works is a fantastic example of Welsh heritage and contemporay art meeting, exemplifying the fact that cultural history and contemporary art cannot be separated.
“Frit” (above) the raw materiel that is used to make the world’s finest porcelain at the Nantgarw China Works in south Wales, UK. This is the first Nantgarw frit made for 200 years. The frit is the in the “secret” incredient that enables the porcelain to become translucent.
Slumped Nantgarw porcelain c1814. While of exceptional quality when perfect, Nantgarw porcelain was extremely difficult to fire in the bottle-ovens and upto 90% of it ended up slumped or distorted. The losses led to porcelain production only lasting four years.
A cast iron clay pipe mould c1870. Up to 10,000 pipes a week were made at Nantgarw China Works right up until the 1920s when the arrival of cigarettes ended the industry.
A clay pipe made at the Nantgarw China Works c1870 in South Wales, UK. The clay pipe, with a plant and a dragon pattern, in the bowl and has the words “Nantgarw” on one side of the stem and “Pardoe” on the otherside. The markings come from an iron mould that was used to make the penny pipes. Pardoe refers to the Pardoe family who owned the China works through several generations and made clay pipes until 1920 when the popularity of cigarettes mede the pipes obsolete.