This film is part of Free

The Hands of the Potter

The age old methods of hand making pottery are shown to survive into the post-war era, with a few technological innovations, in the "mother of the potteries”.

Sponsored film 1947 27 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for Yorkshire Film Archive


This is a fine example of one of the many films made by the highly accomplished filmmaker Charles Chislett for the Church Pastoral Aid Society. This film gives a detailed picture of the process of making pottery in 1947 at the earthenware manufacturer of Wood and Sons in Burslem, the birthplace of Josiah Wedgwood, in the Potteries. Chislett has enhanced what may have been a rather dry offering by weaving it around a whimsical story involving his two children Rachel and John.

Chislett, a banker from Rotherham, was a prodigious filmmaker, with films of his family, and many sponsored by industry, but more especially for the CPSA after the war, of which he was an active member. He would also give film shows and lectures to accompany them, raising thousands of pounds for charity. The film would have been taken in one or more of the Woods factories in the Trent, New Wharf and Stanley Potteries. Woods was established in 1865, although Ralph Wood had become renown for his Toby Jugs a century earlier. In 1947 they would have employed about 1,000, going into receivership in 1981. Chislett was helped to make the arrangements by Revd. A W Jones, the vicar of St Paul’s in Burslem, seen in the film.