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Feb

18

14th century development Blue and white porcelain

By Ceramic Design



In the early 14th century mass-production of fine, translucent, blue and white porcelain started at Jingdezhen, sometimes called the porcelain capital of China. This development was due to the combination of Chinese techniques and Islamic trade. The new ware was made possible by the export of cobalt from Persia (called Huihui qing, 回回青, “Islamic blue”), combined with the translucent white quality of Chinese porcelain. Cobalt blue was considered as a precious commodity, with a value about twice that of gold.Motifs also draw inspiration from Islamic decorations. A large portion of these blue-and-white wares was then shipped to Southwest-Asian markets through the Muslim traders based in Guangzhou.

Chinese blue and white porcelain was once-fired: after the porcelain body was dried, decorated with refined cobalt-blue pigment mixed with water and applied using a brush, coated with a clear glaze and fired at high temperature. From the 16th century, local sources of cobalt blue started to be developed, although Persian cobalt remained the most expensive. Production of blue and white wares has continued at Jingdezhen to this day. Blue and white porcelain made at Jingdezhen probably reached the height of its technical excellence during the reign of the Kangxi emperor of the Qing Dynasty (reigned 1661 to 1722).

Feb

18

Tang and Song blue-and-white

By Ceramic Design



The first Chinese blue and white wares were as early as the ninth century in Henan province, China; although only shards have been discovered. Tang period blue-and-white is even rarer than Song blue-and-white and was unknown before 1985. The Tang pieces are not porcelain however, but rather earthenwares with greenish white slip, using cobalt blue pigments which probably originated in the Middle-East.The only three pieces of complete “Tang blue and white” in the world were recovered from Indonesian Belitung shipwreck in 1998 and later sold to Singapore.

Feb

14

Later trade of Chinese export porcelain

By Ceramic Design



As trade developed, finer quality wares were shipped by private traders who rented space on the Dutch East India Company ships. The bulk export wares of the 18th century were typically teawares and dinner services, often Blue and white decorated with flowers, pine, prunus, bamboo or with pagoda landscapes, a style that inspired the Willow pattern. They were sometimes clobbered (enamelled) in the Netherlands and England to enhance their decorative appeal. By the late 18th century, imports from China were in decline. Tastes were changing and competition from new European factories with mass-production brought about industrialisation took its toll.

Highly decorative Canton porcelain was produced throughout the 19th century but the quality of wares was in decline. By the end of the century, Blue and white wares in the Kangxi style were produced in large quantities and almost every earlier style and type was copied into the 20th century.

Feb

14

Wares and figures of Chinese export porcelain

By Ceramic Design



Although European crests on Chinese porcelain can be found as early as the 16th century, around 1700 the demand for Armorial porcelain dramatically increased. Thousands of services were ordered with drawings of individuals’ coats of arms being sent out to China to be copied and shipped back to Europe and, from the late 18th century, to North America. Some were lavishly painted in polychrome enamels and gilding, while others, particularly later, might just incorporate a small crest or monogram in blue and white. Chinese potters copied the popular Japanese Imari porcelains. Chinese Imari continued to be made for export into the second half of the 18th century, examples being recovered as part of the Nanking cargo from the wreck of the Geldermalsen.

 

Qing export porcelain with European Christian scene, 1725-1735.

A wide variety of shapes, some of Chinese or Islamic pottery origin, others copying Faience or metalwork were made. Oriental figures included Chinese gods and goddesses such as Guanyin (the goddess of mercy) and Budai (the god of contentment), figures with nodding heads, seated monks and laughing boys as well as figures of Dutch men and women. From the mid-18th century, even copies of Meissen figures such as Tyrolean dancers were made for export to Europe. Birds and animals, including cows, cranes, dogs, eagles, elephants, pheasants, monkeys and puppies, were popular.

From around 1720, the new Famille rose palette was adopted and quickly supplanted the earlier Famille verte porcelains of the Kangxi period. Famille rose enamels for the export market included the Mandarin Palette. Specific patterns such as tobacco leaf and faux tobacco leaf were popular as were, from around 1800, Canton decorated porcelain with its figures and birds, flowers and insects. Many other types of decoration such as encre de chine or Jesuist Wares, made for Christian missionaries, pieces with European subjects like the Judgment of Paris, or Adam and Eve, were made for the European market.

Feb

13

Early China porcelain trade

By Ceramic Design



Wares from the 16th century include Kraak porcelain, Yixing stonewares, Blanc-de-Chine, Blue and white porcelain, Famille verte, noire, jaune and rose, Chinese Imari, Armorial wares and Canton porcelain. Chinese export porcelain is generally decorative, but without the symbolic significance of wares produced for the home market. With the exception of the rare Huashi soft paste wares, Chinese porcelain is hard paste made using china clay and Chinese porcelain stone, baidunzi. While rim chips and hairline cracks are common, pieces tend not to stain. Chinese wares are usually thinner than Japanese and do not have the Japanese stilt marks.

Dutch 17th Century still- life painting by Jan Treck, showing late Ming Blue and white porcelain export bowls (1649).

In the 16th century, Portuguese traders began importing late Ming dynasty Blue and white porcelain porcelains to Europe, resulting in the growth of the Kraak porcelain trade (named after the Portuguese ships called carracks in which it was transported). In 1602 and 1604, two Portuguese carracks, the San Yago and Santa Catarina, were captured by the Dutch and their cargos, which included thousands of items of porcelain, were auctioned, igniting a European mania for porcelain. Buyers included the Kings of England and France. Many European nations then established trading companies in the Far East, the most important being the Dutch East India Company or VOC. The trade continued until the mid-17th century when civil wars caused by the fall of the Ming dynasty in 1644 disrupted suppliers and the European traders turned to Japan.

Export porcelain vase with European scene, Kangxi period.

As valuable and highly-prized possessions, pieces of Chinese export porcelain appeared in many seventeenth-century Dutch paintings. The illustration (right) shows a painting by Jan Treck that includes two Kraak-style bowls, probably late Ming, the one in the foreground being of a type called by the Dutch klapmuts. The blue pigment used by the artist has faded badly since the picture was painted.

Under the Kangxi reign (1662–1722) the Chinese porcelain industry at Jingdezhen was reorganised and the export trade was soon flourishing again. Chinese export porcelain from the late 17th century included Blue and white and Famille verte wares (and occasionally Famille noire and jaune). Wares included garnitures of vases, dishes, teawares, ewers, and other useful wares, figure models, animals and birds. Blanc-de-Chine porcelains and Yixing stonewares arrived in Europe giving inspiration to many of the European potters.

For the potters of Jingdezhen the manufacture of porcelain wares for the European export market presented new difficulties. Writing from the city in 1712 the French Jesuit missionary Père François Xavier d’Entrecolles records that “…the porcelain that is sent to Europe is made after new models that are often eccentric and difficult to reproduce; for the least defect they are refused by the merchants, and so they remain in the hands of the potters, who cannot sell them to the Chinese, for they do not like such pieces”.

Feb

13

Blanc de Chine

By Ceramic Design



Blanc de Chine is a type of white porcelain made at Dehua in the Fujian province. It has been produced from the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644) to the present day. Large quantities arrived in Europe as Chinese Export Porcelain in the early 18th century and it was copied at Meissen and elsewhere.

The area along the Fujian coast was traditionally one of the main ceramic exporting centers. Over one-hundred and eighty kiln sites have been identified extending in historical range from the Song period to present.


From the Ming period porcelain objects were manufactured that achieved a fusion of glaze and body traditionally referred to as “ivory white” and “milk white.” The special characteristic of Dehua porcelain is the very small amount of iron oxide in it, allowing it to be fired in an oxidising atmosphere to a warm white or pale ivory colour. (Wood, 2007)

The porcelain body is not very plastic but vessel forms have been made from it. Donnelly, (1969, pp.xi-xii) lists the following types of product: figures, boxes, vases and jars, cups and bowls, fishes, lamps, cup-stands, censers and flowerpots, animals, brush holders, wine and teapots, Buddhist and Taoist figures, secular figures and puppets. There was a large output of figures, especially religious figures, e.g. Guanyin, Maitreya, Lohan and Ta-mo figures.

The numerous Dehua porcelain factories today make figures and tableware in modern styles. During the Cultural Revolution “Dehua artisans applied their very best skills to produce immaculate statuettes of the Great Leader and the heroes of the revolution. Portraits of the stars of the new proletarian opera in their most famous roles were produced on a truly massive scale.” Mao Zedong figures later fell out of favour but have been revived for foreign collectors.

Notable artists in blanc de Chine, such as the late Ming period He Chaozong, signed their creations with their seals. Wares include crisply modeled figures, cups, bowls and joss stick-holders.

Many of the best examples of blanc de Chine are found in Japan where the white variety was termed hakugorai or “Korean white”, a term often found in tea ceremony circles. The British Museum in London has a large number of blanc de Chine pieces, having received as a gift in 1980 the entire collection of P.J.Donnelly.

Aug

30

Ceramic Tile Decorating Ideas

By Ceramic Design



  • Ceramic tiles are tiles made from clay that has been fired, similar to pottery. Typically ceramic tiles also include a glaze and are made into nearly any color. The tile is most commonly used in places like kitchens and bathrooms. When homeowners choose to create their own ceramic tile design, they have a choice between different colors, sizes and styles.

Plan Colors

  • Because ceramic tiles can come in such an array of shades, homeowners have the freedom to choose between many different colors. The options can overwhelm some homeowners, but it is necessary to remember that colors should always follow style. If homeowners want a cheering kitchen, they should focus on pale fruit colors. A Tuscan kitchen lean more toward ambers and golds, while striking modern designs are made using both very dark and very light tile.

Create Murals and Mosaics

  • Murals and mosaics are some of the most common tile decorations. A mural is actually painted on a set of tiles, while a mosaic is made of many small tiles placed together. These are very useful for decoration, but only use them in areas where there are no other patterns or pictures to distract from the tile work itself.

Use Accent Tiles

  • Accent tiles are special tiles designed to place along borders or in the center of tile arrangements. Most accent tiles are glass or mirror tiles, which can create useful effects, especially in areas like bathrooms. Homeowners should not overuse accent tiles but limit them to patterns using many more muted tiles.

Intersperse Tile With Other Materials

  • One modern fashion uses ceramic tiles but installs them in the midst of other materials. A floor might consist of a dozen large ceramic tiles installed into squares cut out in wood planks, using the tiles as accent marks. Tile are installed in other mediums like concrete too, which is one of the most expensive options but can create a striking effect.

Lay Tile in Unexpected Areas

  • Homeowners can cut many types of tile cut and fit it into unexpected areas, creating an unusual style that works well if homeowners want to add individual touches to their homes. Homeowners can tile cabinets in between doors, the sides of bar areas, the walls or entryways and other areas where tile is not often used but makes an area more resistant to spills and scuffs.

Aug

30

Kitchen Ceramic Tile Design Ideas

By Ceramic Design



Ceramic tile is hands down the best floor and backsplash covering for kitchens because of its durability, beauty and affordability relative to other kinds of hard tiles. Ceramic also is the most versatile of tiles, with a vast range of available colors, sizes and finishes. Whatever you decide to do with the ceramic in your kitchen, make sure you use a strong cement board backing, secure the tile with thinset adhesive, grout it as instructed and seal the grout against moisture and stains.

  1. Tile Mural Backsplashes

    • The backsplash behind your sink is a great place to showcase your artistic taste. Look in artisan shops and online for ceramic tiles that are painted by artists and then glazed, so they can be hung like regular ceramic. You can get individual, self-contained painted tiles that are interspersed among regular tiles of a complementary color for a panel-art look. Or get an entire mural scene done on separate tiles that you hang together in specific order so the picture is formed across the grout lines.

    Mosaic Tile Designs

    • Mosaic tiles, which can be as small as 1/2 inch across, are sold in large mesh-backed sheets, with the tiles already affixed and properly spaced. To get a special shape for a group of tiles, you just cut the mesh between the tiles. Put different groups of differently colors tiles together on your kitchen floor to form shapes, scenes, and even words–or just your own patterns. The ceramic is laid with thinset mortar like any other kind of tile.

    Mixing Finishes

    • Ceramic tiles come in all sorts of different levels of finishes, including high-glaze, flat matte, rough stone and semi-gloss. Try getting your floor tiles all in the same color but in three or four different surface textures. Lay them interspersed with one another in a specific pattern, or just randomly. It initially appears to be a solid-colored floor, but the differences in the finishes give it a subtle depth. To avoid over-doing it, pick just one of the finishes for the backsplash. High glaze is best because of its moisture resistance.

Jun

9

Ceramic Money Boxs – Elephants

By Ceramic Design



We make hand-made and unique elephant money boxs with the trunk up, straight out, or downwards, depending upon the weather.

Well, you have to make the decision somehow.

Jul

12

The NMMU Ceramic Design

By Ceramic Design



 ceramic-design.jpg

The NMMU Ceramic Department offers outstanding facilities and a vibrant staff that are constantly involved with current trends and events. The department has a comprehensive Ceramic Design course and a Ceramic Fine Art component.

 

The Ceramic Design Course is geared to equip learners with the necessary techniques and information for starting their own business once they graduate. The course runs over 3 years, and covers clay hand building, slip casting, press moulding, plaster mould making, jiggering, transfer printing, throwing, glaze and kiln technology. At 3rd year level, learners are encouraged to experiment with their own concepts and to formulate new designs that may become the start of their signature range.

The course also touches on the business component of running a small ceramic studio. Learners are given instruction on costing wares, product evaluation, marketing and product design. Furthermore, learners are exposed to direct selling to the public through the department’s Red Earth Clay Project initiative, an “earn and learn” project, which facilitates an in-house gallery.

 

The Ceramic Fine Art component is primarily focused on the conceptual nature of the artwork. The instruction concentrates on the fabrication of the proposed pieces and their installation and purpose.