In 1759 Josiah Wedgwood, aged just twenty-nine, started as an independent potter in Burslem, Staffordshire, England. He began to experiment avidly with clay, exploring its many possibilities. Creative, energetic, an astute business man and patron of the arts, he quickly became Britain's most inspired and successful ceramics pioneer. His genius led English pottery from a cottage craft to an art form and international industry. Since 1940, at the Wedgwood factory at Barlaston, England, modern technology has been combined with the ancient skills of throwing, modelling and decorating.