In my next pair of posts I would like to dazzle you with pictures, place Majolica in art/ceramics history, and show you how I am applying it to a series of pendants and charms. Ready? Cool…
Majolica is a tin glazed pottery – which translates as a colored earthenware clay body, with an opaque white (tin-based) glaze. Decorations are painted on top of the white glaze…
“Tin-glazed pottery is pottery covered in glaze containing tin oxide which is white, shiny and opaque. The pottery body is usually made of red or buff colored earthenware and the white glaze was often used to imitate Chinese porcelain. Tin-glazed pottery is usually decorated, the decoration applied to the unfired glaze surface by brush as metallic oxides… The makers of Italian tin-glazed pottery from the late Renaissance blended oxides to produce detailed and realistic polychrome paintings.
The earliest tin-glazed pottery appears to have been made in Iraq in the 9th century… From there it spread to Egypt, Persia and Spain before reaching Italy in the Renaissance, Holland in the 16th century and England, France and other European countries shortly after.” (Thanks Wiki)
1. Dish with bird, in Islamic-derived style, Orvieto, ca.1270-1330
2. A Hispano-Moresque dish, with Christian monogram “IHS“, . Valencia, c.1430-1500.
3.Iznik dish – British Museum. Dated 1540-1550.
4. Persian Pottery from the city Isfahan, 17th century.
Tracing its history is an amazing cultural trek across the Medieval landscape. And I love that kind of thing… Persian pottery —- Islamic Moorish Spain—Renaissance Italy—then a jump to the left (Is the Time Warp playing in your head now?) and into Victorian England where they really change it up… It’s Maiolica in Italy. It’s Faience in France. It’s talavera in Mexico… I can’t get enough!
|1. An albarello (drug jar) from Venice or Castel Durante, 16th century. Approx 30cm high
2. plate depicting the birth of Venus, by Francesco Xanto Avelli of Rovigo, 1533
3. Coppa amatoria depicting Elena Bella, majolica, from Castel Durante, Urbino, c. 1540–50
4. storiato decoration on a plate fromCastel Durante, c.1550-1570
|1. detail of plate by William de Morgan Victorian era/late 1800’s
2. G Jones majolica quail game tureen
3. from Pinterest… sorry no details.
4. 19thc Victorian French Majolica Palissy Ware. Pike Fish Platter
And the modern contemporary era? Yes, many current potters are still using the age-old techniques in new ways, with modern aesthetic sensibilities!
|1&3 – Posey Bacopoulos
2 &4 – Linda Arbuckle