A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921.
Go to Home Page


Sub-order 1.—Makers of Bricks, Pottery and Earthenware

118.—Other Skilled Workers

Back to List of Occupational Codes

acid worker
cleans specks and stains off finished ware with a small mop stick which has been dipped into hydro-fluoric acid and french chalk.
bat maker
(i) a batter-out (q.v.) who makes flat refractory slabs, for use as partitions in saggers or kilns;
(ii) see frame filler.
batter-out (saggers), sagger batter-out
hammers out with a heavy wooden mallet on a fire heated metal table thick slabs of plastic material (mixed sagger marl and "grog") used for making saggers in readiness for sagger maker (q.v.).
bottom knocker, sagger bottom knocker
a sagger maker's attendant (q.v.) who makes "bats" of coarse marl mixed with "grog," to form bottoms of saggers.
box maker
a sagger maker (q.v.) who makes fireclay boxes with open ends, for holding in place majolica tiles in kilns.
breaker, colour stone
see crusher, colour.
brusher, ware brusher
cleans up biscuit ware, i.e., ware after its first fining, by brushing away sands dust, etc., and any unevenness with a stiff brush; sometimes specifically designated, e.g., earthenware biscuit brasher.
clay tobacco pipe moulder, clay pipe maker, clay tobacco pipe maker, clay tobacco pipe potter
pierces prepared roll of partially dried pipe-clay with an oiled wire to form bore; presses clay into one half of metal mould; fits on. other half and places mould into a hand press fitted with steel die which passes through the mould into clay and forms head and bowl; removes pipe from mould and withdraws wire; in some cases, fills each half of mould separately, pressing wire down centre of one half.
cleaner, biscuit
see scourer, biscuit.
cleaner, dippers'; glost cleaner
see scourer, glost.
cleaner, ware
(i) see scourer, biscuit;
(ii) see scourer, glost.
colour drying kiln man, colour drying man, colour kiln fireman
attends fires under a boiling pan, or "kiln" (as distinguished from an oven built for high temperatures), in which ceramic colours are evaporated.
colour dry sifter ; lawner
sifts ground colour material through a fine lawn sieve.
crank maker
fashions, by hand, fireclay stands, known as "cranks," having three feet, on which high-class articles of flat ware are placed for glost firing.
crusher, colour; colour stone crasher ; colour stone breaker
breaks stone, by hand or power driven stone crusher, in preparation for grinding, in a ceramic colour-making establishment or department.
dental moulder
pours porcelain slip or powder, or presses paste, by hand into moulds, to make artificial teeth.
(i) see scourer, biscuit;
(ii) see scourer, glost.
dust damper
spreads clay dust (dry powdered clay) on damp plaster slabs, to allow it to absorb moisture before being taken to press shop to be made into tiles, etc.; cf. clay preparer (104).
flat knocker
shakes powdered flint from between flat articles of china ware, after firing, by knocking edges of a pile of such articles on a leather pad.
flow maker
prepares "flow" in powder or cake form, to be put into glost saggers (open fireclay boxes in which ware is placed for firing, after dipping in glaze) when "flown" effects are desired, i.e., a blurred or indistinct outline to pattern (usually found in decorations carried out in blue, canton, or green); mixes ingredients as directed and presses in press into small cakes of required size or fills powder into special cups.
frame filler, sagger frame filler ; bat maker
a sagger maker's assistant (q.v.) who hammers out a uniform thick slab of material (mixed sagger marl and "grog"), with which he fills a frame for use of sagger maker (q.v.).
glaze kiln hand
feeds fires, and attends to frit kiln in which are "fritted" (fused) some of materials used for making potter's glazes.
greenhouse hand, man, worker ; hot house man
a warehouseman (q.v.) who takes charge of warehouses in which ware is stored in the "green" state, i.e., dried hut before first firing; fetches, stacks and carries ware for potter's overlooker (101) (q.v.).
grinder, colour raw material
grinds raw materials in pan or other mill, in a ceramic colour-making establishment or department.
grinder, ware
see polisher, glost.
shapes roofing pantiles, or other curved tiles, by placing slabs of clay received from pantile maker (102) (q.v.) on a wooden "horse" or stand and pressing with another horse, the two horses being shaped concave and convex.
hot house man
see greenhouse hand.
idle back maker
see mould maker.
knocker-out (pottery), (slang)
see bottom knocker.
(i) see colour dry sifter;
(ii) passes glaze "slip" (fluid glaze) through a sieve of fine silk lawn, or fine metal gauze to remove any large articles, as it flows into glaze tub rom tap of glaze ark.
lead house man
general term for workers employed in any capacity in department where glazes are mixed, "fritted/' and stored; includes glaze grinder, fritter (109) (q.v.).
looker-over (pottery)
inspects decorated, painted, or plain biscuit-ware, i.e., ware after first firing, but before glazing, and removes specks of colour, or other blemishes.
carries by hand articles made by thrower (105) (q.v.) to heated drying chamber and issues to fettler (105) (q.v.) when firm enough to be handled; in some cases, carries article from drying chamber to turner (105) (q.v.) to be turned; sometimes does work of potter's overlooker (101) (q.v.).
miller, colour
colour millman, mixes ground colours for use in decorating pottery.
modeller, clay
makes clay models of images, statues, etc., for use in mould-making, either by building up model gradually from a mass of clay with his fingers, or by shaping a block of clay to required form with wooden tools and with his fingers.
modeller (pottery)
models new shapes of pottery for trade, working to plans made by himself or by head setter-out (q.v.).
modeller, terra cotta; ornamental modeller (terra cotta)
models in plaster clay, by hand, using small hand tools, original pieces of terra cotta ware from which moulds are made, rarely an employee, but works in own studio and sells productions to manufacturers.
model maker (bricks and tiles)
makes, with fine clay, from designs of draughtsman (982) (q.v.), models of ornamental bricks and tiles.
mosaic artist
works in a pottery, designing pavements, mural decorations, etc., to be carried out in mosaic.
mosaic cutter ; tesserae cutter, tesserae maker
cuts up strip-shaped tiles of vitreous biscuit ware or other material into small blocks, to be used in making mosaic work, by scratching with a diamond cutter and breaking with a small hammer.
moulded maker
see mould maker.
mould maker, pottery mould maker
idle back maker (slang), moulded maker; makes potters' moulds by pouring plaster of Paris into "oases" or on to "blocks" and allowing it to solidify.
mould maker (bricks and tiles)
constructs wooden casing round a mould, caulks cracks with suitable material; pours in plaster of Paris, which is allowed to set into shape of master mould.
mould maker, magnesite
a mould maker (q.v.) who specialises in making moulds of magnesite.
pattern maker
a potter (105) (q.v.) who makes pots, etc., following designs of head setter-out (q.v.), carried out by draughtsman (932) (q.v.). and passes them to mould maker (q.v.) who makes moulds from them.
picker, pin; stilt picker, thimble picker
examines thimbles, stilts, spurs, etc., used to support articles for firing in glost oven, and rejects those that are unfit for further use.
polisher (bricks, etc.) ; smoother
polishes surface of bricks and tiles by rubbing them with a piece of wood or metal to close up surfaces and make them less porous; cf. pantile polisher.
polisher, glost ; ware grinder
removes small irregularities from surface of ware, after glost firing, with small emery wheel and polishes ware with wheels of softer materials, e.g., cork.
polisher, pantile
brushes weather surface of pantile, after partially drying and thwacking, with slip of finely prepared clay, and smooths over or polishes with flat piece of wood having an edge shaped to form of pantile.
rubber, biscuit
see scourer, biscuit.
rubber, glost
see scourer, glost.
rubber, ware
(i) see scourer, biscuit;
(ii) see scourer, glost.
sagger (or segger) maker
makes saggers, i.e., receptacles in which ware is placed for setting in kiln, by building up fireclay to shape required by hand, or, in some cases, by machine.
sagger maker's assistant, sagger maker's attendant
a sagger batter-out, bottom knocker or a frame filler (q.v.) who assists sagger maker (q.v.).
sanitary mason
cuts supply pipe holes and outlet openings in baths, etc., after they have been fired, using hammer and special chisels, drilling machine, etc.
scourer, biscuit ; chinaware scourer
biscuit cleaner, biscuit rubber, dresser, ware cleaner, ware rubber; brushes powdered flint from china ware or sand from earthenware, after it has come out of "biscuit oven" in which it receives its first firing.
scourer, glost ; chinaware scourer
dipper's cleaner, dresser, glost cleaner, glost rubber, ware cleaner, ware rubber; removes superfluous glaze adhering to ware after dipping, with a knife or with a wet sponge.
selector, ware ; sorter, ware sorter
examines ware, under supervision of warehouseman (q.v.), and grades it into firsts (best quality), or seconds (inferior quality), and breaks up ware too damaged to be used; .stacks ware; if working in glost warehouse, removes inequalities by chipping with a "sorting" tool.
setter maker
a sagger maker (q.v.) who makes "setters," i.e., small fireclay boxes in which fine china flat articles can be tedded singly for biscuit firing.
setter-out, head
plans out work for modeller or model maker (q.v.) and for mould maker (q.v.); is assisted by draughtsmen (932) (q.v.) who embody his setting-out in designs.
cements together tiles and other shaped articles for hearths, kerbs, etc.
see polisher (bricks).
sorter, kiln sorter
sorts bricks, etc., after withdrawal from kiln, grading them according to quality, and rejecting imperfect ones.
sorter, ware sorter
see selector, ware.
stopper (biscuit warehouse)
fills up cracks and holes found in ware during process of manufacture, cf. repairer, restorer (108).
tesserae cutter, tesserae maker
see mosaic cutter.
applies special tests to finished articles, e.g. hydraulic tests to stoneware bottles, electrical tests to high-tension insulators, etc.
threader-up (pottery)
strings small electrical fittings or other small articles together on wire, with a washer between each, so that all can be dipped (glared) at once.
trimmer (artificial teeth)
trims artificial teeth, after they have been moulded, with brush, file, and cloth, by hand.
is in charge of warehouse where ware is stored; supervises assembly of sets of ware by ware selector (q.v.) and issues them to various process workers, e.g., painters, dippers, packers; keeps large orders together, to ensure that all parts are finished at about same time; sometimes specifically designated, e.g., biscuit warehouseman, glost warehouseman.
washer, colour
removes impurities from ceramic colouring materials after grinding, by washing them with water in a fine sieve or through a filter.
white glaze worker
general term for any worker employed in white glazing process; includes slip maker (104), dipper (107), fireman (109) and oddman (110) (q.v.).

Back to List of Occupational Codes

From: A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921,
Ministry of Labour, 1927. Digitised by Peter Christian, August, 2016.   This text is in the Public Domain.