Utensils as art:
Blue and white porcelain
The blue-and-white painting on ceramics includes underglaze painting in blue tones (mainly cobalt oxide is used) on a white shard. Such items are painted by hand, rarely with a stencil or print.
This direction is developed in many countries from China to Europe. And it all started in the IX century, when in the center of Iran found cobalt blue and transported as raw material to China.
China (Qinghua Porcelain)
White and blue tea utensils appeared in the Celestial Empire during the Northern Song Dynasty (960 - 1279). The finest porcelain, decorated with blue patterns, quickly won the hearts of the Chinese. Since then, the production of Qinghua porcelain has been continuously developing. And in the 17th century, white and blue dishes came to Europe, where it caused a real sensation. The influence of Qinghua porcelain on the cultural life of China remains significant to this day.
Japan (Imari)
White and blue tea utensils appeared in the Celestial Empire during the Northern Song Dynasty (960 - 1279). The finest porcelain, decorated with blue patterns, quickly won the hearts of the Chinese. Since then, the production of Qinghua porcelain has been continuously developing. And in the 17th century, white and blue dishes came to Europe, where it caused a real sensation. The influence of Qinghua porcelain on the cultural life of China remains significant to this day.
Netherlands (Delft porcelain)
In the 17th century, mass pottery originated in Delft, the Netherlands, when the city was experiencing a "Golden Age" associated with the rise of maritime trade. Here was one of the offices of the Dutch East India Company, whose ships brought to the country samples of Far Eastern blue and white and polychrome products. The feature of Delft porcelain was repeated glazing with transparent lead glaze and final firing at low temperatures, which made the product close to faience. Delft masters imitated the decor of the popular in Europe blue and white Chinese porcelain, as well as decorated their products with traditional Dutch landscapes, biblical stories and flower arrangements. Delft porcelain is still one of the symbols of the city and a popular souvenir.
Germany (Meissen porcelain)
In 1709, the German alchemist Johann Betger developed his own technology for making the world's first solid porcelain, characterized by strength, high resistance to heat and acids, as well as a clean bell with a light blow on it. A year later, the first production plant opened in Meissen. Immediately developed stable pigments, which are still used. Initially, the products were decorated with paintings depicting natural beauty and ornaments in Chinese and Japanese style. But over time, they were replaced by German motifs - mainly lace patterns and flowers. The most popular were and remain products with an "onion pattern". Meissen porcelain is still made by hand.
Russia (Gzhel porcelain)
After a trip to Delft, Peter I ordered to open a porcelain factory in Russia, which began the development of Gzhel porcelain art. Not far from Moscow is the Gzhel region, which consisted of about thirty settlements. Earthenware and porcelain tableware from these places is unmistakably recognizable by the blue underglaze painting with characteristic patterns. Any interior or table porcelain from the hands of Gzhel masters, who were often illiterate peasants, was a real masterpiece of hand-painted ceramics and porcelain.
England
In England, blue underglaze painting appeared around 1820 in Staffordshire and was mainly supplied to the American market. The blue and white porcelain was like faience with the only difference that the blue painting was specially "stained". This effect was obtained by adding ammonia or lime to the furnace during glazing. Porcelain ware with a blue painting was made by the English firms Wedgwood, Minton, the Johnson Brothers. Most often in this technique painted a variety of tableware: tea or coffee steam, a set of plates, jug, tray, as well as interior porcelain, such as flower pots and vases.
Blue and white porcelain can be an art object, as well as an additional decorative element in interior design, especially in light colors.
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