Blue and White: British Printed Ceramics

In January 2015 we are opening a display about blue and white printed ceramics. A strongly British phenomenon originating in the 18th century, this display features the wide variety of designs and decoration that continue to appeal to potters, artists and consumers today.

This blog will take you behind the scenes as we prepare for the display and give further insights about the ceramics featured in the show from the V&A collections, the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, the Spode Museum Trust, the Wedgwood Museum, private collections, contemporary artists, factories and designers.

The display has been generously supported by The Headley Trust.

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Plate
Made in Staffordshire, about 1810-1820
	Mark: imitation of a Chinese emblem, printed in blue
Lead-glazed earthenware
55-1870

‘Here be Dragons’

This is one of the most striking pieces of ceramics that will be in the forthcoming V&A display Blue and White: British Printed Ceramics   The dragon on this earthenware soup plate appears to be swirling in the air ferociously grasping a flaming shell-like object in its claws. It is highly unlikely the decorator of this object […]

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Satirical print, seven men standing in front of the window of Darly's print shop looking at his caricature publications in the window. 14 July 1772 Etching

© The Trustees of the British Museum

Back to School

Continuing preparation for the forthcoming V&A display Blue and White: British Printed Ceramics I went back to school last week, well a ceramics summer school at Ellesmere College in Shropshire. The Northern Ceramic Society generously sponsored a bursary for me to attend as this year the programme was particularly relevant; ‘The Curious Art': Printing on […]

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'After Willow' designed by Robert Dawson for Wedgwood, 2005 (V&A C.300-2009) Given by Josiah Wedgwood and Sons

Beyond Willow

The ‘Willow’ pattern is one of the most famous British ceramic designs. The scene of a temple with bridge, boat and willow tree was inspired by images found on Chinese ceramics, but was the creation of British manufacturers in the late-18th century. The love story it supposedly depicts was invented later as a clever marketing […]

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Quite a long reading list to get through!  © Victoria and Albert Museum

Lost in a good book

One of the best resources at the V&A is the National Art Library, a major public reference library for the fine and decorative arts. The library collections are also spread across the Museum’s departments and I am fortunate to have access to a wealth of relevant texts in the Ceramics Section Library relating to the […]

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In the stores  © Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent

Always be prepared

With just under seven months until the Blue and White: British Printed Ceramics display opens preparation is fully underway. Research began in 2013 with visits to the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, the Wedgwood Museum and the Spode Museum Trust in Stoke-on-Trent to explore their collections of blue and white. Working with the curators Miranda […]

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