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Wedgwood chose the name Jasper because he felt that his refined pieces resembled that of the cryptocrystalline quartz Jasper.The production of Jasperware in 1775 was the result of more than 10,000 experiments with various clays and glazes.
Consequently, Whieldon allowed Wedgwood to take with him the formulae that had resulted from his experiments at the Whieldon shop.Obsessed with “the new art” or, what is now called “neo-classicism,” Wedgwood set out to reproduce the piece for the British National Museum.Wedgwood’s reproduction of the vase was so successful that it was ordered to tour the European Continent by the Royal Academy.At the age of 38, Wedgwood’s right leg had to be amputated.Following his illness, Josiah Wedgwood found himself dissatisfied with the pottery business.In 1789, Wedgwood reproduced the famous “Portland Vase.” The excavation of the vase was ordered by Pope Urban VIII during the 1630’s.
The vase reflects the art of Augustan Classical era during the early 1st century.In an early letter to a friend, he described his dissatisfaction by saying he was tired of learning the “art, misery, occupation, and employment of throwing and handling.” He left the Churchyard Works and retired to his grandfather’s country estate.For a brief period, Josiah Wedgwood was a partner with the Cliff Bank firm.While working with Whieldon, Wedgwood devoted much of his time to experimenting with clay formulas and glazing techniques.Within 3 years, Wedgwood had a desire to open his own pottery mill.It was easy to produce, relatively inexpensive to make, easily decorated, and desired by royalty and commoner alike.