Monday, December 27, 2010

T is for Transferware

The transferware printing process was developed by John Sadler and Guy Green of Liverpool England in 1756. Transfer printing on earthenware, ironstone, porcelain and bone china is a process whereby a design is etched onto a copper plate which is then inked. The next step transfers that design to a special tissue which is then laid onto the piece, glazed and fired. Transferware pieces have a crispness to the pattern, resembling a decal. Elaborate transfer patterns are a direct response to the plain utilitarian white ware of the times. Only the affluent could afford colorful dish ware, which was a labor intensive process involving hand painting by artists. Due to its ability to be mass produced, transferware became an affordable luxury, with 'Chinese blue' an early favorite along with Asian-inspired motifs. It was initially produced in one color only, with blue the priciest and brown the least expensive. There were many hues of blue, red -'pink', black -'jet', brown -'sienna', purple - 'mulberry', and green. Flow Blue was a mistake due to high heat of firing and, later, the addition of lime and/or chloride of ammonia to achieve the effect. Although considered a manufacturers error, flow blue became the most popular color from the mid 1800's to the early 1900's. Patterns include Romantic, Aesthetic, and Historic. Transferware is often registered and dated under the English system of marks and numerals. Its value is determined by the date, rarity of the pattern, and print quality. The most collectible items were made in the early 19th C, yet early 20th C transferware is fairly abundant and easy to find. Enjoy the hunt!


Carol said...

Good Morning Maria,
I love your collection of Transferware! Lovely! It is so interesting to read about the history and printing process. I hope you are enjoying the remaining Holiday Season. Many Blessings in the New Year! Carol

Manuela@TPOH said...

What a beautiful collection! I LOVE LOVE transferware and enjoyed seeing yours.


Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Hi Maria, What a beautiful collection of Transferware! I collect the blue and white and I also have a few pieces of red transferware. These are some of my favorite things.

Christine E-E said...

I love learning from other bloggers - what they like/love & what the information they share about their interests. I want to make sure the Adrienne (she participates in WEEKWORD) reads this post. She has a beautiful collection of transferware also...

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