Nantgarw China works
Nantgarw China Works is the only surviving early 19th century porcelain works in the United Kingdom. In the years 1813-1814 and again in the period 1817-1820 the finest porcelain in the world was produced here in Wales by William Billingsley, one of the most remarkable porcelain painters and manufacturers of his time.
At Nantgarw China Works William Billingsley perfected his porcelain recipe with the addition of a variety of ingredients known only to him He succeeded in producing the finest porcelain ever made. Nantgarw Porcelain is unique in that it is a bone ash/frit based soft-paste porcelain body which no other porcelain can come close to in translucency or whiteness. Furthermore, the glaze on Nantgarw porcelain is the perfect complement to enamelled decoration giving the colours true vibrancy and allowing the decoration to merge into the glaze. Nantgarw China Works is still extremely active in encouraging, supporting and promoting contemporary artists working with ceramics. The China Works currently provides studio space and facilities to outstanding ceramicists who create, fire and exhibit new work on the premises. These artists actively pass on their skills to both adults and children through regular workshops at China Works. In 2017 Nantgarw China Works undertook a project to recreate the original recipe for Nantgarw Porcelain which had been lost for over two hundred years. This successful completion of this project has enabled our current artist in residence to start making new contemporary work from this exceptional porcelain body. A small number of items made from this porcelain will be sold to help support the sustainability of the museum.