Once porcelain experimentation began on the Continent, from the mid-seventeenth century onward, the new trade venture inspired discussion of the porcelain arts that formulated a relationship between the artisan and the object. In these public discourses -- published analyses, treatises, and descriptions of the trade -- the purpose of the porcelainier was made to disappear behind the mechanical and chemical demands of the craft. My recuperation of the porcelainier's vision in this article appeals to the only written tradition in which that voice can be heard: patent documents. Correspondence exchanged between artisans and the crown from the early days of experimentation (1670-1700) to the royal regulation of the industry (1750s) offer evidence of the visionary ideas that porcelainiers brought to practising and promoting their craft.
Jones, Christine A.
"The Hidden Life of Porcelainiers in Eighteenth-Century France,"
2, Article 8.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.mcmaster.ca/ecf/vol23/iss2/8
Christine A. Jones is associate professor of French and Compar a tive Literary and Cultural Studies in the Depart ment of Languages and Literature at the University of Utah. She has published on the French literary fairy tale, early modern performance studies, and teaching theatre in the grammar classroom. Her current book is on the 100-year quest to make porcelain in France.