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Topic: Ceramics

Ceramic Manufacture & Decoration

  Ceramics Manufacture  Ceramics are made by baking various types of clay in a kiln. The type of pottery produced depends on the clay and the temperature of firing in the kiln. There are three basic types of pottery: earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. (Pottery is any ceramic shaped as a vessel, such as a pot […]  Continue Reading »

Chinese Ceramics – Antiquity

  Bronze Age (1500-476 BC} Chinese Bronze Age pottery was mainly grey but small quantities of white pottery were produced. This “proto-porcelain” seems to have been produced almost by chance. Kaolin (the main constituent of porcelain) was relatively common and the temperature required to smelt bronze (1100 degrees C) happens to be close to the […]  Continue Reading »

Islamic Ceramics

In the seventh century, Arab armies created an empire in the Middle East and around the Mediterranean. Artisans were able to move easily between the various states of this empire sharing ideas and techniques. One result was that for almost a thousand years, the Islamic countries produced some of the world’s finest ceramics. The earliest […]  Continue Reading »

European Ceramics – Gzhel

Gzhel pottery began in the 14th century with wares made by potters in their homes in a group of villages located southeast of Moscow. These potters soon started to organize into workshops which eventually became a factory. The earliest pieces were earthenware, painted solid white with distinctive blue designs. Majolica pottery, with coloured glaze designs […]  Continue Reading »

European Ceramics – Sevres

In 1745, the French had established a factory at Vincennes with a 20-year monopoly on the production of porcelain in the style of Meissen. In 1748, the technique for gilding porcelain was discovered and, from 1749, gilding. In 1752, an underglaze blue, called “bleu lapis”, was introduced. From that time, the use of dark blue […]  Continue Reading »

European Ceramics – Russian Imperial Porcelain

The first porcelain manufactory in Russia was founded in 1744. The factory produced wares exclusively for the Russian Imperial court and the ruling Romanov family. This Russian porcelain was similar to German porcelain in composition, although made from of Russian ingredients. In the beginning, its decoration was monochrome and simple but by the 1760s, fine […]  Continue Reading »

European Ceramics – Villeroy & Boch

François Boch and his three sons set up a pottery company in the village of Audun le Tiche in the Duchy of Lorraine (now in France) in 1748. In 1766, one of François’ sons, Pierre-Joseph, received authority from Empress Maria Theresia of Austria to set up a “Manufacture Impériale et Royale” in nearby Luxembourg to […]  Continue Reading »

English Ceramics – Spode

Josiah Spode established a potworks in Stoke-on-Trent, in 1767. His early products were earthenwares and a range of stonewares including black basalt and jasper, which had been popularised by Josiah Wedgwood. Josiah Spode developed underglaze blue transfer printing on earthenware in 1783–84. In about 1789, his son, also called Josiah, perfected the technique of producing […]  Continue Reading »

English Ceramics – Maling

The Maling pottery was founded by Robert Maling near Sunderland, in north-east England, in 1762 and transferred to Newcastle upon Tyne in 1817. Robert Maling’s son, Christopher, made the business famous when he developed machinery for manufacturing jam jars. Maling became the world’s largest supplier of jam jars and built the huge Ford ‘B’ Pottery, […]  Continue Reading »

English Ceramics – Pilkington’s Lancastrian

  In 1888, four Pilkington brothers, who were colliery owners, encountered excessive quantities of clay while drilling for coal. They were advised by William Burton, a chemist at Wedgwood, that the clay would be suitable for manufacturing decorative tiles. The Pilkiington brothers began making tiles and William Burton joined the company in 1893. William Burton […]  Continue Reading »

English Ceramics – Mochaware

Mochaware is a type of utilitarian pottery decorated with coloured slip bands on a white and buff-colored body. It has branching markings resembling the natural geological markings on moss agate, which was called “mocha stone” because it was imported from the port of Mocha in Yemen. (Mocha coffee came from the same port.) Mocha decoration […]  Continue Reading »

English Ceramics – The Willow Pattern

The Willow Pattern Story There was once a Mandarin who had a beautiful daughter, Koong-se. He employed a secretary, Chang who, while he was attending to his master’s accounts, fell in love with Koong-se, much to the anger of the Mandarin, who regarded the secretary as unworthy of his daughter. The secretary was banished and […]  Continue Reading »

English Ceramics – Susie Cooper

Susie Cooper was born in 1902 in Staffordshire and joined A.E Gray and Company as a production line paintress in 1922. Her talent was quickly recognised and in 1924 she became the resident designer. Her work was characterised by daring use of bright colours and geometric banded patterns. In October 1929, she set up her […]  Continue Reading »

American Ceramics – Haviland

There have been five different, but related, Haviland china companies operating in several different countries over more than 170 years. In New York in 1838, David and Daniel Haviland started a china importing company, D G & D Haviland David recognised the demand in America for white bone china in the style which had been […]  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 »