Page:A tour through the northern counties of England, and the borders of Scotland - Volume I.djvu/62

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placed in saggars, or circular pans, made of Staffordshire crucible clay, open at the top, and about eight inches deep, the flat bottoms of which are strewed with calcined flint, to prevent the adhesion of the articles to them. The kiln usually holds about one thousand five hundred of these saggars, and frequently from twenty-five to thirty thousand pieces of ware. Here they continue thirty-seven hours, exposed to such a violent heat as to render them red-hot, but carefully protected from flame. On coming out they are said to be in the biscuit state, that is, having the appearance of an unglazed tobacco-pipe. If any blue be in the pattern of the articles, the figures are traced upon them at this time with a hair pencil, dipped in a mixture of a purple colour; and being suffered to dry, they are then immersed in a red liquid, called the glaze, of the consistence of cream, chiefly composed of white lead and ground flint. This adheres to every part of the articles, which are placed to dry in a room of a certain temperature, from whence they come out with a ground of a pale pink colour, and the pattern of a dingy purple. Being perfectly dry, they are given to the trimmer, who smooths the surface of the article, and rubs off any little inequalities of the glaze; the most unwholesome part of the whole process, as he frequently inspires