Blue and White: British Printed Ceramics

On January 31 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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To the source

In a recent post for the display Blue and White: British Printed Ceramics Florence Tyler posed the question ‘Can a display exist without objects?’. Well there are certainly ceramics in the display, you will be pleased to know, but there are some things missing: the original artworks that inspired the ceramic decoration.       The V&A Ceramic Galleries were built […]

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Florence pushing a trolley of objects through the gallery

To the left, to the left: Installation Part 2

Can a display exist without objects? (One of the big philosophical questions of our time). I think not. So with the cases clean, loan objects condition checked and labels installed, we were ready to embark on the most exciting part of the process: installing the objects! This involved lots of trips back and forth from […]

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Curator Rebecca Wallis stands on a stepladder cleaning the wall case

Stepladders, Spode and a Squeegee: Installation Part 1

The time has come to install the Blue and White display! Last week we said goodbye to the previous Gallery 146 show of Simon Carroll’s work, which has now been shipped off to the Ruthin Craft Centre in Wales. This has left the gallery empty and ready for us to start creating a mesmerising world […]

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© Richard Brendon - Willow Gold Lifestyle

Richard Brendon: Contemporary blue-and-white ceramics

I am excited to be exhibiting some of my work in Blue and White: British Printed Ceramics at The Victoria and Albert Museum. A London based designer and British bone china specialist, I pride myself on producing contemporary ceramics that fit my ethos of being considered, refined and dynamic designs.   My inquisitive nature has led me to […]

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Detail of the Potteries Willow © Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent.

The Potteries Willow

The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent, is very pleased to be able to lend a number of pieces from its collection to Blue and White: British Printed Ceramics. One of the pieces chosen is a plate decorated with The Potteries Willow pattern. This pattern was designed by Peter Brears (better known as a food […]

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European ceramics on display at the Malay Heritage Centre

Scottish Ceramics in Singapore

My first encounter with Scottish ceramics was during a study trip to Singapore in 2012. A group of European ceramics on display at the Malay Heritage Centre had caught my eyes. The curator said that they were recovered from the current site, formerly a Malay royal palace, during two archaeological excavations in 2000 and 2003. […]

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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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