Japanese Porcelain In Home Decorating – Before the early 17th century, all the porcelain used in Japan was imported from China, but the ruling Tokugawa Shogunate in Japan wanted to he free of the Chinese merchants and, during raids carried out on Korea, captured their native potters.They brought them back to Japan and settled them inland at Arita, which became the main area of production after 1616 when the correct type of clay was found locally.
Compared with lavishly decorated Continental wares, early English porcelain may seem relatively unsophisticated – but to many collectors this simplicity is fundamental to its appeal.
English makers tended to be much slower than their Continental counterparts in discovering how to make porcelain. One of the first English porcelain factories – Chelsea – was established by a French silversmith, Nicholas Sprimont in 1745, nearly half a century after porcelain had first been made in Germany and France. Wares made by Chelsea were mainly intended for the luxury end of the market and are among the most sought-after of all English porcelain. During this eighteenth century the practice of factories selling their ware, white and glazed, to men with decorating establishments of their own was very common. These workers were known as ‘outside decorators’, because their workshops were unconnected with a particular factory. Chelsea was one of the most famous places for this kind of activity.
Helen Beard is a ceramics, illustrations and watercolor genius. High above the hubbub of London’s Clerkenwell, two minutes from Smithfield market, she is at work. Part of the artistic community at Craft Central on St John’s Square, her third-storey studio has bird’s eye views over streets and rooftops. The whitewashed walls and pale blue rubber flooring impart a calm, light and spacious feeling. Helen’s studio is neat as a new pin.
In one corner is a round kiln; over by the window are the low-slung potter’s wheel and stool where she pulls and pushes hunks of the best ‘buttery’ Limoges clay into pieces of fine porcelain – beakers, mugs and straight-sided, cylindrical bowls. The 29-year-old artist is equally well groomed. With glossy auburn hair, freckled skin and sparkly eyes, she fizzes with enthusiasm and laughs a lot; keeping trim through her work.
The Wedgwood is a famous British pottery company, originally founded by Josiah Wedgwood c1795, the thirteenth child of an impoverished potter, and possibly the most famous name ever associated with pottery.Wedgwood merged with Waterford Crystal in 1987 to become Waterford Wedgwood. The factory was a pioneer of new products such as those modelled by William Greatbach, and coloured with lead glazes developed by Josiah Wedgwood during his partnership with the Staffordshire potter Thomas Whieldon.
Perfected the fabulous blue ceramic stoneware or jasperware decorated with white relief that antique Wedgwood pottery is most known for today.