William Hackwood (c1757–1839)

Josiah employed a number of talented modellers - most notably William Hackwood and later Henry Webber - to work at Etruria to prepare the artists' works for ceramic production. The workload was heavy, needing to keep up with the public's demand for novelty and to meet Josiah's ever-expanding catalogue of wares on offer. He could, he wrote, do with ‘half a dozn more Hackwoods'.

William Hackwood was first taken on at the Wedgwood Etruria factory in l769, Wedgwood describing him as an 'ingenious boy'. He worked in adapting, re-modelling and finishing busts and bas reliefs; he was '... of the greatest value and consequence in finishing fine small work'. He rose to be head of ornamental art at Etruria, and served two generations of Wedgwoods over 63 years, producing many memorable bas-relief works.

Many of the l8th century portrait medallions are by his hand, and include portraits of Josiah Wedgwood I, George III and Queen Charlotte. A few signed works also exist; the portraits of Garrick and Shakespeare were signed on the truncation. This was a practice of which Wedgwood disapproved, and Hackwood was instructed not to repeat it.

 

Images

One of a pair of candlesticks representing Autumn and Winter, in green jasper. Modelling attributed

One of a pair of candlesticks representing Autumn and Winter, in green jasper. Modelling attributed