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Pottery and porcelain

American Ceramics – Mikasa

Mikasa was established as a trading company in the 1930s. In the 1950s, Mikasa added ceramic dinnerware to its range. It has since become their main product. Mikasa China does not manufacture dinnerware; instead, it imports product, initially mostly from Japan, but now from some 150 factories in 20 different countries. This arrangement allows it […]  Continue Reading »

Australian Ceramics

When the first white settles arrived in Australia in 1788, one of the first things they did was send clay samples to England for analysis. Josiah Wedgwood examined the samples and declared them excellent for making pottery. (He used the clay to make the “Sydney Cove Medallion”, a neoclassical relief depicting the figure of Hope […]  Continue Reading »

Australian Ceramics – Bendigo Pottery

George Guthrie, the founder of the Bendigo pottery, began his first pottery business, Camperdown Pottery, in Sydney in 1851. His most successful product was ginger beer bottles. Following a downturn in the market, Guthrie moved to Melbourne and then to Sandhurst (later called Bendigo) on the Victorian goldfields, where a superior white clay had been […]  Continue Reading »

Australian Ceramics – Premier Pottery

The Premier Pottery was established at Preston, in Melbourne, by Walter Dee and Reg Hawkins, two potters who were out of work as a result of the Depression. At first, Premier Pottery produced functional pieces very similar to English wares. But Dee soon began experimenting with glazes and developed a technique of overlaying different coloured […]  Continue Reading »

American Silver & Ceramics – Gorham

The Gorham company was founded, as Gorham Silver, in 1831. Initially, Gorham manufactured spoons and other small silver items from coin silver. From about 1850 to 1940, Gorham silverware was highly influential. William Christmas Codman, one of Gorham’s most noted designers, created the Chantilly design in 1895, which became the most famous of Gorham’s flatware […]  Continue Reading »

Meaning of Chinese Decorations

Many of the decorations which are used on Chinese ceramics have special meanings. These are some of the common ones. Bamboo: promotion or perfect personality. Bat: hapiness. (In mandarin, the word for “bat” sounds like the word for “happiness”.) Carp: doing well in business. (In mandarin, the word for “carp” sounds like the word for […]  Continue Reading »

Japanese Ceramics

Pottery has been made in Japan since Neolithic times (from before 4,500 B.C.). Early wares employed techniques and styles imported from China, Korea an even as far away as Vietnam. A favoured technique was to cord or woven material onto pots while still soft, giving a ribbed effect. Japanese Jomon period cord pattern wares were […]  Continue Reading »

Korean Celadon

Korea has the second longest tradition of porcelain production in the world (after China). Korean potters first produced porcelain in 918, during the Koryo Dynasty. Although contemporary with the Chinese Sung Dynasty, the Koryo potters took their inspiration from the earlier Tang Dynasty Yue wares. These were grey-green vessels (called “celadon” in the West or […]  Continue Reading »

Thai Ceramics

The ceramics industry in Thailand began early in the Sukhotai period (around 1350) when potters migrated south to escape the Mongol invasion of Sung Dynasty China. They congregated near Sawankalok. The Sawankalok pots were early examples of mass production. The items to be fired were stacked in kilns with metal plates separating the various layers. […]  Continue Reading »