Industrial Revolution came later to Sweden than it did to England.
The first land-based steam engine was installed in Sweden in 1807,
allowing pottery wheels that were driven by belts and powered by
steam engines to greatly increase the efficiency of ceramic production.
Gustavsberg was one of only two manufacturers of porcelain
in Sweden in the nineteenth century. In the eighteenth century,
most porcelain goods were imported from China. By the end of the
nineteenth century, however, Swedish factories were producing quality
porcelains using varying amounts of a white clay called KAOLIN,
the most essential ingredient.
Although many pieces were made in molds, vases and
jars were thrown on a potter's wheel. To perfect the final shape,
the potter held a wood or porcelain mold against the inside of the
jar while following the outside with his other hand as it turned
on the wheel. Faults were smoothed out on a turning LATHE
after the piece was partially dry. When completely dry, it was polished,
placed in a SAGGER
(a protective clay box), and fired in a kiln. The temperature for
firing varied with the quality of the porcelain; the higher the
temperature, the greater the porcelain's strength. After the first
firing, the jar was GLAZED
according to the designer's plan, and then fired a second time.
Some designs were mass produced using stencils or templates. Glaze
"recipes" were developed to produce consistent, specific
colors. The Gustavsberg factory became famous for the matte green
glaze and SGRAFFITO
decoration found on this covered jar. Sgraffito is achieved by overlaying
the clay body with a thin layer of glaze or SLIP
in a contrasting or darker color; then the overlayer is partially
scraped away to reveal the color beneath. When the object is fired,
the pattern is slightly raised from the surface. This emphasizes
the decoration by outlining the forms. In this jar, the green color
was the second layer, the overlayer, and what was scraped away reveals
the "background" of the lighter first layer.