Antique Flow Blue Pottery
Flow Blues pottery has a very old and interesting history.
By Sharon Stajda,
Flow Blue, sometimes referred to as flowing blue, is a stone china that is decorated with mainly oriental patterns. This wonderful style of pottery was first produced in Staffordshire from about 1825, while the old blue china with historical scenes was still being made and before light-toned scenic China became popular. The flow blue stone china base distinguished it from the softer pottery base of old blue or light-toned scenic china. The Flowing blue color is produced by the action of volatile chlorides upon ceramic colors. The designs are applied to the china surface with ceramic colors, and in the kiln, they are exposed to a chlorinated atmosphere. The vapor causes the cobalt in the glaze to spread and blur, into a flowing blue tone, this is the main reason it was labeled Flow Blue.
Putting A Value On A Piece Of Flow Blue Pottery
The value of any given flow blue piece is determined by the depth of color and the way the color has spread. Sometimes the flow blue pattern is too blurred to be considered attractive. Although Flow Blue is the popular and most pleasing color, many of the same patterns were also made in Flowing Brown and Flowing Purple. Cobalt oxide is used for blue, and nickel oxide for brown. The china base for flowing color was stone, usually ironstone, and thus pieces are often marked "Pearl Stone " or "Stone China" or something similar, in addition to the name of the pattern, and the maker. The design motifs of the various Flow Blue patterns are of oriental inspiration. The majority of the flow blue patterns include a temple, a bridge, and a tree. The tree may be a bamboo, a willow, or a flowering tree. Often a boat is included.
Flow Blue Patterns
The motifs are assembled and arranged differently by each Flow Blue artists, and thus the patterns of the various manufacturers vary although they include similar motifs. Also, although the motifs are oriental, the interpretation is Western in spirit and the border is often definitely English in motif as well as feeling. This difference is readily seen by comparing a piece of Flow Blue with a piece of English Willow ware which is decidedly oriental in feeling.You can still find odd pieces of Flow Blue in the most antique shop, but it takes some real patience to assemble any form of dinner service or tea set. However, once you have purchased a few pieces of Flow Blue, you will feel most certainly feel its charm. Most likely you will realize you have found yourself a new hobby, in collecting Flow Blue.Flow Blue china is available within the price range of the average collector's purse. But keep in mind, the older pieces can be very costly.
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