Blue and White
I love the way you can be drawn to something for one reason and end up some place completely different. In this case, I simply liked the detailed pattern of a friend’s blue and white porcelain teacup. I ended up not only with a painting, but transported to 18th century Germany. The “Blue Onion” pattern was introduced by Europe’s oldest porcelain manufacturer, Meissen, in 1740, and inspired by blue and white patterns from China. From there, I researched further to learn that the distinctive blue glaze used in Chinese porcelain for centuries came from cobalt ores imported from Persia. It turns out that cobalt oxide can withstand the highest firing temperatures required for porcelain. I like to think of this enduring color passing through centuries, from glaze makers to artists around the world, to a single teacup painted in cobalt from my small watercolor paint box.
Wonderful melding of artistry and history. thank you.
Glad you like the combination!
Wunderful! You captured the spirit. And such an interesting text. Thank you!
Thanks Annette. So much to learn. Turns out this pattern was adapted from the Blue Onion and made by a company in England, which called it “Blue Nordic.”
In China the it was a pomegranate pattern, but in no one in Saxony had ever seen a pomegranate, so they moved to “onions”.
I think, that almost every family in Eastern Germany had dishes with this pattern – not originally painted but industrial made.
I learned that the pattern was mass produced at some point, both on porcelain and ceramic. Interesting about pomegranates and onions! Thanks!
You have captured the delicacy of this China so beautifully, I especially love the fluted saucer and your shadow colours. I drew some of my mum’ s much loved plates and dishes for Inktober and found a real appreciation of the colours and patterns used and that fascination with their history which you describe so well. It made me realise they are easy to overlook, but are well worth a bit of thought and study!
So true, Jane. I love doing the research and finding a whole new world. There is a lot to learn from painting tea cups– seems like a simple thing, but requires perspective, shading and shadows, and then whatever level of detail you want to add. It’s easy to get lost in the patterns.
Johnson Brothers Blue Nordic, unless I’m mistaken. This teacup takes me right back to my mother’s kitchen. Beautifully detailed work, Jean!
Wow! The journey continues! You are right. A quick Internet search looks like this is a match. My friend’s mother-in-law collected tea cups; I dont know much more than that. It’s a world I know little about, but it is fascinating.
Wonderful Jean…one of my favorite parts of art is doing the research about a special little thing you have found along the way!
I agree Rhonda. That’s a big motivator for me. Art is a window into learning for me. I love the way it forces you to really look at something, which grows a sense of curiosity.
This is fabulous, and an unexpected surprise from your nature sketches! Although, I guess there is some” vegetation” in the pattern.
Glad it was a nice surprise. I like to mix things up occasionally!
I love the circularity of this story, Jean, and didn’t know about the pigment used for the Chinese blue and white porcelain. The painting is charming – I like the band of lace and the way the saucer disappears. There’s a blogger in Belgium who paints old china cups, sometimes on top of text, and photographs the painting with the cup. Here’s a link.
Only thing better than blue and white and blue and yellow. It makes me happy.
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Last week I had the opportunitiy to visit Meissen and the porcelain manufactury. It was interersting to see that the handmaking process is almost the same as 200 years ago. In a demonstration workshop one can get a insight in the creation an decoration of traditional porcelain. https://bewohntesgelaende.blog/2019/12/07/porzellan/
How wonderful that you got to see that first hand. Thanks for sharing the link!
Reblogged this on sketchuniverse and commented:
😛 WELL LOVELIES, WITH A BIT OF COLOURS LIKE BURNT SIENNA AND OCHER YOU CAN ACHIEVE THE BEST COFFEE ON THE PAPER. THAT’S THE MAGIC WATERCOLOR TECHNIQUE.
It is more than beautiful! Thank you for sharing!