“Blue and white wares” (in Chinese 青花 qīng-huā) designate white pottery and porcelain decorated under the glaze with a blue pigment, generally cobalt oxide. The decoration is commonly applied by hand, by stenciling or by transfer-printing, though other methods of application have also been used.
The first blue and white wares were as early as the ninth century in Henan province, China; although there were shards found there, the only three pieces of complete “Tang blue and white” in the world were recovered from Indonesian Belitung shipwreck in 1998 and later sold to Singapore. In the early fourteenth century mass-production of fine, translucent, blue and white porcelain started at Jingdezhen, sometimes called the porcelain capital of China. Chinese blue and white porcelain was once-fired: after the porcelain body was dried, decorated with refined cobalt-blue pigment mixed with water and applied using a brush, coated with a clear glaze and fired at high temperature. Production of blue and white wares has continued at Jingdezhen to this day. Blue and white porcelain made at Jingdezhen probably reached the height of its technical excellence during the reign of the Kangxi emperor of the Qing Dynasty (reigned 1661 to 1722).
At Rakar in Overland Park, we have a large selection of Blue and White pottery. Come in and check it out!