Delftware or Delft pottery, also known as Delft Blue : Delfts blauw), is a general term now used for Dutch tin-glazed earthenware, a form of faience. Most of it is blue and white pottery, and the city of Delft in the Netherlands was the major centre of production, but the term covers wares with other colours, and made elsewhere. It is also used for similar pottery that it influenced made in England, but this should be called English delftware to avoid confusion.(Dutch
Tin-glazing is the process of giving ceramic items a tin-based glaze that is white, glossy and opaque, which is normally applied to red or buff earthenware. The opacity and whiteness of tin glaze encourage its frequent decoration with overglaze colour. Majolica, delftware and faience are among the terms used for common types of tin-glazed pottery. An alternative is lead-glazing, where the basic glaze is transparent; some types of pottery use both.
Earthenware is glazed or unglazed nonvitreous pottery that has normally been fired below 1200°C. Porcelain, bone china and stoneware, all fired at high enough temperatures to vitrify, are the main other important types of pottery.
Delftware is one of the types of tin-glazed earthenware or faience in which a white glaze is applied, usually decorated with metal oxides, in particular the cobalt oxide that gives the usual blue, and can withstand high firing temperatures, allowing it to be applied under the glaze. It also forms part of the worldwide family of blue and white pottery, using variations of the plant-based decoration first developed in 14th-century Chinese porcelain, and in great demand in Europe.
Faience or faïence is the conventional name in English for fine tin-glazed pottery on a buff earthenware body, at least when there is no more usual English name for the type concerned. The invention of a white pottery glaze suitable for painted decoration, by the addition of an oxide of tin to the slip of a lead glaze, was a major advance in the history of pottery. The invention seems to have been made in Iran or the Middle East before the ninth century. A kiln capable of producing temperatures exceeding 1,000 °C (1,830 °F) was required to achieve this result, the result of millennia of refined pottery-making traditions. The term is now used for a wide variety of pottery from several parts of the world, including many types of European painted wares, often produced as cheaper versions of porcelain styles.
Ceramic glaze is an impervious layer or coating of a vitreous substance which has been fused to a ceramic body through firing. Glaze can serve to color, decorate or waterproof an item. Glazing renders earthenware vessels suitable for holding liquids, sealing the inherent porosity of unglazed biscuit earthenware. It also gives a tougher surface. Glaze is also used on stoneware and porcelain. In addition to their functionality, glazes can form a variety of surface finishes, including degrees of glossy or matte finish and color. Glazes may also enhance the underlying design or texture either unmodified or inscribed, carved or painted.
An oxide is a chemical compound that contains at least one oxygen atom and one other element in its chemical formula. "Oxide" itself is the dianion of oxygen, an O2– atom. Metal oxides thus typically contain an anion of oxygen in the oxidation state of −2. Most of the Earth's crust consists of solid oxides, the result of elements being oxidized by the oxygen in air or in water. Hydrocarbon combustion affords the two principal carbon oxides: carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. Even materials considered pure elements often develop an oxide coating. For example, aluminium foil develops a thin skin of Al2O3 (called a passivation layer) that protects the foil from further corrosion. Individual elements can often form multiple oxides, each containing different amounts of the element and oxygen. In some cases these are distinguished by specifying the number of atoms as in carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, and in other cases by specifying the element's oxidation number, as in iron(II) oxide and iron(III) oxide. Certain elements can form many different oxides, such as those of nitrogen.
Delftware includes pottery objects of all descriptions such as plates, vases and other ornamental forms and tiles. The start of the style was around 1600, and the most highly regarded period of production is about 1640–1740, but Delftware continues to be produced. In the 17th and 18th centuries Delftware was a major industry, exporting all over Europe.
A tile is a thin object usually square or rectangular in shape. Tile is a manufactured piece of hard-wearing material such as ceramic, stone, metal, baked clay, or even glass, generally used for covering roofs, floors, walls, or other objects such as tabletops. Alternatively, tile can sometimes refer to similar units made from lightweight materials such as perlite, wood, and mineral wool, typically used for wall and ceiling applications. In another sense, a tile is a construction tile or similar object, such as rectangular counters used in playing games. The word is derived from the French word tuile, which is, in turn, from the Latin word tegula, meaning a roof tile composed of fired clay.
The earliest tin-glazed pottery in the Netherlands was made in Antwerp where the Italian potter Guido da Savino settled in 1500,and in the 16th century Italian maiolica was the main influence on decorative styles. The manufacture of painted pottery spread from Antwerp to the northern Netherlands, in particular because of the sack of Antwerp by the Spanish troops in 1576 (the Spanish Fury ). Production developed in Middelburg and Haarlem in the 1570s and in Amsterdam in the 1580s. Much of the finer work was produced in Delft, but simple everyday tin-glazed pottery was made in places such as Gouda, Rotterdam, Haarlem, Amsterdam and Dordrecht.
The Low Countries, the Low Lands, or historically also the Netherlands, is a coastal lowland region in northwestern Europe, forming the lower basin of the Rhine, Meuse, and Scheldt rivers, divided in the Middle Ages into numerous semi-independent principalities that consolidated in the countries of Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, as well as today's French Flanders.
Antwerp is a city in Belgium, and is the capital of Antwerp province in Flanders. With a population of 520,504, it is the most populous city proper in Belgium, and with 1,200,000 the second largest metropolitan region after Brussels.
Maiolica, also called Majolica, is Italian tin-glazed pottery dating from the Renaissance period. It is decorated in colours on a white background, sometimes depicting historical and mythical scenes, these works known as istoriato wares. By the late 15th century, several places, mainly small cities in northern and central Italy, were producing sophisticated pieces for a luxury market in Italy and beyond.
The main period of tin-glaze pottery in the Netherlands was 1640–1740. From about 1640 Delft potters began using personal monograms and distinctive factory marks. The Guild of St Luke, to which painters in all media had to belong, admitted ten master potters in the thirty years between 1610 and 1640, and twenty in the nine years 1651 to 1660. In 1654 a gunpowder explosion in Delft destroyed many breweries and as the brewing industry was in decline, they became available to pottery makers looking for larger premises; some retained the old brewery names, e.g. The Double Tankard, The Young Moors' Head, and The Three Bells.
Pottery is the process of forming vessels and other objects with clay and other ceramic materials, which are fired to give them a hard, durable form. Major types include earthenware, stoneware and porcelain. The place where such wares are made by a potter is also called a pottery. The definition of pottery used by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), is "all fired ceramic wares that contain clay when formed, except technical, structural, and refractory products." In archaeology, especially of ancient and prehistoric periods, "pottery" often means vessels only, and figures etc. of the same material are called "terracottas". Clay as a part of the materials used is required by some definitions of pottery, but this is dubious.
The use of marl, a type of clay rich in calcium compounds, allowed the Dutch potters to refine their technique and to make finer items. The usual clay body of Delftware was a blend of three clays, one local, one from Tournai and one from the Rhineland.
Marl or marlstone is a calcium carbonate or lime-rich mud or mudstone which contains variable amounts of clays and silt. The dominant carbonate mineral in most marls is calcite, but other carbonate minerals such as aragonite, dolomite, and siderite may be present. Marl was originally an old term loosely applied to a variety of materials, most of which occur as loose, earthy deposits consisting chiefly of an intimate mixture of clay and calcium carbonate, formed under freshwater conditions; specifically an earthy substance containing 35–65% clay and 65–35% carbonate. It also describes a habit of coralline red alga. The term is today often used to describe indurated marine deposits and lacustrine (lake) sediments which more accurately should be named 'marlstone'. Marlstone is an indurated rock of about the same composition as marl, more correctly called an earthy or impure argillaceous limestone. It has a blocky subconchoidal fracture, and is less fissile than shale. The term 'marl' is widely used in English-language geology, while the terms Mergel and Seekreide are used in European references.
Tournai, known in Dutch as Doornik and historically as Dornick in English, is a Walloon municipality of Belgium, 85 kilometres southwest of Brussels on the river Scheldt. In the province of Hainaut, Tournai is part of Eurometropolis Lille–Kortrijk–Tournai, which had 2,155,161 residents in 2008.
The Rhineland is the name used for a loosely defined area of Western Germany along the Rhine, chiefly its middle section.
From about 1615, the potters began to coat their pots completely in white tin glaze instead of covering only the painting surface and coating the rest with clear ceramic glaze. They then began to cover the tin-glaze with clear glaze, which gave depth to the fired surface and smoothness to cobalt blues, ultimately creating a good resemblance to porcelain.
During the Dutch Golden Age, the Dutch East India Company had a lively trade with the East and imported millions of pieces of Chinese porcelain in the early 17th century.The Chinese workmanship and attention to detail impressed many. Only the richest could afford the early imports. Dutch potters did not immediately imitate Chinese porcelain; they began to do so after the death of the Wanli Emperor in 1620, when the supply to Europe was interrupted. "Potters now saw an opportunity to produce a cheap alternative for Chinese porcelain. After much experimenting they managed to make a thin type of earthenware which was covered with a white tin glaze. Although made of low-fired earthenware, it resembled porcelain amazingly well."
Delftware inspired by Chinese originals persisted from about 1630 to the mid-18th century alongside European patterns. Around 1700 several factories were using enamel colours and gilding over the tin-glaze, requiring a third kiln firing at a lower temperature. Later, after Japanese Imari ware had become popular in the late 1600s and early 1700s (when it too tried to fill the gap of the Chinese shortage), Delft began making their own 'Imari ware' copying the classic 'flower vase on a terrace surrounded by three panels with cranes and pine design'. Oriental styles in Delftware remained popular into the early 1700s but then declined when Chinese porcelain became available again.
Delftware ranged from simple household items – plain white earthenware with little or no decoration – to fancy artwork. Most of the Delft factories made sets of jars, the kast-stel set. Pictorial plates were made in abundance, illustrated with religious motifs, native Dutch scenes with windmills and fishing boats, hunting scenes, landscapes and seascapes. Sets of plates were made with the words and music of songs; dessert was served on them and when the plates were clear the company started singing.The Delft potters also made tiles in vast numbers (estimated at eight hundred million ) over a period of two hundred years; many Dutch houses still have tiles that were fixed in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Delftware became popular and was widely exported in Europe and even reached China and Japan. Chinese and Japanese potters made porcelain versions of Delftware for export to Europe.
Some regard Delftware from about 1750 onwards as artistically inferior. Caiger-Smith says that most of the later wares "were painted with clever, ephemeral decoration. Little trace of feeling or originality remained to be lamented when, at the end of the eighteenth century, the Delftware potteries began to go out of business."By this time Delftware potters had lost their market to British porcelain and the new white earthenware. One or two remain: the Tichelaar factory in Makkum, Friesland, founded in 1594 and De Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles ("The Royal Porcelain Bottle") founded in 1653.
Today, Delfts Blauw (Delft Blue) is the brand name hand painted on the bottom of ceramic pieces identifying them as authentic and collectible. Although most Delft Blue borrows from the tin-glaze tradition, it is nearly all decorated in underglaze blue on a white clay body and very little uses tin glaze, a more expensive product. The Koninklijke Tichelaar Makkum factory in Makkum, Friesland continue the production of tin-glazed earthenware.
Delft Blue pottery formed the basis of one of British Airways' ethnic tailfins. The design, Delftblue Daybreak, was applied to 17 aircraft.
Porcelain is a ceramic material made by heating materials, generally including kaolin, in a kiln to temperatures between 1,200 and 1,400 °C. The toughness, strength, and translucence of porcelain, relative to other types of pottery, arises mainly from vitrification and the formation of the mineral mullite within the body at these high temperatures. Though definitions vary, porcelain can be divided into three main categories: hard-paste, soft-paste and bone china. The category that an object belongs to depends on the composition of the paste used to make the body of the porcelain object and the firing conditions.
English delftware is tin-glazed pottery made in the British Isles between about 1550 and the late 18th century. The main centres of production were London, Bristol and Liverpool with smaller centres at Wincanton, Glasgow and Dublin. English tin-glazed pottery was called "galleyware" and its makers "gallypotters" until the early 18th century; it was given the name delftware after the tin-glazed pottery from the Netherlands, which it often copied, but "delftware" is not usually capitalized.
Majolica is a word for painted pottery, whose use is not always precise, and can be confusing. Note the different spellings, often confused, which can have different meanings, as follows.
"Blue and white pottery" covers a wide range of white pottery and porcelain decorated under the glaze with a blue pigment, generally cobalt oxide. The decoration is commonly applied by hand, originally by brush painting, but nowadays by stencilling or by transfer-printing, though other methods of application have also been used. The cobalt pigment is one of the very few that can withstand the highest firing temperatures that are required, in particular for porcelain, which partly accounts for its long-lasting popularity. Historically, many other colours required overglaze decoration and then a second firing at a lower temperature to fix that.
Medieval Islamic pottery occupied a geographical position between Chinese ceramics, then the unchallenged leaders of Eurasian production, and the pottery of the Byzantine Empire and Europe. For most of the period it can fairly be said to have been between the two in terms of aesthetic achievement and influence as well, borrowing from China and exporting to and influencing Byzantium and Europe. The use of drinking and eating vessels in gold and silver, the ideal in ancient Rome and Persia as well as medieval Christian societies, is prohibited by the Hadiths, with the result that pottery and glass were used for tableware by Muslim elites, as pottery also was in China, but was much rarer in Europe and Byzantium. In the same way Islamic restrictions greatly discouraged figurative wall-painting, encouraging the architectural use of schemes of decorative and often geometrically-patterned tiles, which are the most distinctive and original speciality of Islamic ceramics.
Hispano-Moresque ware is a style of initially Islamic pottery created in Al Andalus or Muslim Spain, which continued to be produced under Christian rule in styles blending Islamic and European elements. It was the most elaborate and luxurious pottery being produced in Europe until the Italian maiolica industry developed sophisticated styles in the 15th century, and was exported over most of Europe. The industry's most successful period was the 14th and 15th centuries.
Underglaze is a method of decorating pottery in which painted decoration is applied to the surface before it is covered with a transparent ceramic glaze and fired in a kiln. Because the glaze subsequently covers it, such decoration is completely durable, and it also allows the production of pottery with a surface that has a uniform sheen. Underglaze decoration uses pigments derived from oxides which fuse with the glaze when the piece is fired in a kiln. It is also a cheaper method, as only a single firing is needed, whereas overglaze decoration requires a second firing at a lower temperature.
Mintons was a major company in Staffordshire pottery, "Europe's leading ceramic factory during the Victorian era", an independent business from 1793 to 1968. It was a leader in ceramic design, working in a number of different ceramic bodies, decorative techniques, and "a glorious pot-pourri of styles - Rococo shapes with Oriental motifs, Classical shapes with Medieval designs and Art Nouveau borders were among the many wonderful concoctions". As well as pottery vessels and sculptures, the firm was a leading manufacturer of tiles and other architectural ceramics, producing work for both the Houses of Parliament and United States Capitol.
Alan Caiger-Smith MBE is a British studio potter and writer on pottery.
Tin-glazed pottery is earthenware covered in glaze containing tin oxide which is white, shiny and opaque ; usually this provides a background for brightly painted decoration. It has been important in Islamic and European pottery, but very little used in East Asia. The pottery body is usually made of red or buff-colored earthenware and the white glaze imitated Chinese porcelain. The decoration on tin-glazed pottery is usually applied to the unfired glaze surface by brush with metallic oxides, commonly cobalt oxide, copper oxide, iron oxide, manganese dioxide and antimony oxide. The makers of Italian tin-glazed pottery from the late Renaissance blended oxides to produce detailed and realistic polychrome paintings.
Royal Tichelaar Makkum is a Dutch pottery company in Makkum. After initially producing bricks and later pottery and tiles, the company has focused on traditional decorative pottery since 1890. As the company in Makkum has always made ceramics, Royal Tichelaar Makkum is regarded as one of the oldest companies in the Netherlands.
Gzhel is a Russian style of blue and white ceramics which takes its name from the village of Gzhel and surrounding area, where it has been produced since 1802.
A tulip vase, or pyramid vase, is a vase designed to put cut flowers and especially tulips in, but it primarily serves as a decorative showpiece. They were first made in the Netherlands in the 17th century and were decorated with Delfts blauw or Chinese decoration. Replicas of the original tulip vases were made in China and were imported by the Dutch East India Company.
Lead-glazed earthenware is one of the traditional types of glazed earthenware, which coat the ceramic body and render it impervious to liquids, as terracotta itself is not. Plain lead glaze is shiny and transparent after firing. Coloured lead glazes are shiny and either translucent or opaque after firing. Three other traditional techniques are tin-glazed earthenware, which coats the ware with an opaque white glaze suited for colored designs, salt-glazed earthenware such as stoneware, and the feldspathic glazes of Asian porcelain. Modern materials technology has invented new vitreous glazes that do not fall into these traditional categories.
Ceramic art is art made from ceramic materials, including clay. It may take forms including art ware, tile, figurines, sculpture, and tableware. Ceramic art is one of the arts, particularly the visual arts. Of these, it is one of the plastic arts. While some ceramics are considered fine art, as pottery or sculpture, some are considered to be decorative, industrial or applied art objects. Ceramics may also be considered artefacts in archaeology. Ceramic art can be made by one person or by a group of people. In a pottery or ceramic factory, a group of people design, manufacture and decorate the art ware. Products from a pottery are sometimes referred to as "art pottery". In a one-person pottery studio, ceramists or potters produce studio pottery.
Willem Jansz Verstraeten was a Dutch Golden Age tin-glazed maiolica maker in Haarlem.
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