Friday, May 16, 2008

Blue & White .... and ORANGE!

Blue & White pottery has long been a ceramic collector's favourite - ever stylish, ever classic, but also ever inventive. Its origins are in the orient but it has been copied and translated by European potters, particularly in Holland and England with their tin glazed deltware. Blue and White ceramics span centuries and continents and utilise both pottery and porcelain, handpainting and transfer printing. Although the early partnerships of L.P, P&B, P.B&S. only did a limited amount with Blue & White, preferring instead to concentrate on coloured enamel designs and plainer tealeaf ironstone wares, Bishop & Stonier (BISTO) took up the challenge. I have only recently come across this site for buying B&W, but thought i'd post the link here as tey have a few bits from the company - The first picture in this posting is of two vases which use a blue and white floral pattern called "India". Rather boldly, the background is coloured in a vivid orange. This orange colour became more and more popular into the 1920s and 30s as designers like Clarice Cliff and Susie Cooper used it for their graphic, geometric designs. Whereas Cliff and Cooper used the colour orange for its own aesthetic merits, Bisto tended to keep it in the background. I have seen a few pieces of Bisto that tried to mimic Clarice Cliff's style, but i'm afraid to say, it was a sad imitation. I must say, however, i think in the case of these India vases, the orange works extremely well in setting off the beautiful Blue & White design, perhaps because orange is the complimentary colour for blue. I have a couple of other examples to show you where orange has been used by Bisto as a background to the main design: a vase with fruit design - a blue transfer print, handcoloured with enamels; a ginger jar with oriental dragon design.

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Sometimes, life doesn't turn out the way you expected. And sometimes, it is exactly as it was 'meant' to be. But whilst i'm not a believer in fate or fatalism, I do believe that life is a both a learning experience and an obstacle course to be climbed and clambered over in the most creative way possible! In doing so, you'll get to where you should be even if it's not where you'd imagined.