Creamware was developed in the 1740s and was essentially a fine quality earthenware body covered in a creamy lead glaze. Its strength, versatility, and practicality eclipsed the previously successful delftwares and saltglazed stonewares. It became one of the most successful ceramic bodies ever produced and was used with many different decorative treatments. Refinements in the basic ingredients of creamware and lead glaze allowed the potters to create whiter bodies which led to the use of underglaze blue painting. The blue decoration on creamware was developed in the early 1770's and enabled the British potters to copy designs from Chinese porcelains. This allowed them to produce wares which could compete with both Oriental and English porcelains at advantageous prices.

During the second half of the 1770s various potters introduced a hint of blue into the lead glaze which created a brighter, whiter body more like Chinese porcelain. The potters at the time referred to this development as chinaglaze but it has since become widely known as pearlware. Contrary to popular belief it was not Josiah Wedgwood who first introduced the blue tinted glaze. Wedgwood began to market his 'pearl white' in 1779 but other potters in both Staffordshire and Yorkshire were already producing ware with blue tinted glazes by that date.

Underglaze blue painted ware was a huge commercial success in both the home and export markets but was comparatively short lived. Developed around 1775 its popularity was eclipsed by underglaze blue printed ware by the end of the century though some of the less commercially driven factories continued to produce the more popular painted designs into the first decade of the nineteenth century.

Painted in Blue

Underglaze blue painted pieces are keenly collected today but until the publication of Painted in Blue in 2006 there had been no comprehensive study of these wares. This lavishly illustrated work by Lois Roberts, published by the Northern Ceramic Society, is the product of over 20 years of painstaking observation of painting styles and pattern details. Now examples from seventeen potters in Staffordshire alone can be recognised together with many examples from Yorkshire, the South West and South Wales. Lois has also carried out important work on recognising as yet unattributed groups, this work being ongoing.

Softback, 19 x25 cm, 165 pages. Over 500 illustrations

Dated in Blue

Dated in Blue is a catalogue of dated underglaze blue painted earthenware, both creamware and pearlware, from 1776 to 1800 with the emphasis on illustrations. Inscribed ceramics have always been highly prized by collectors, dated examples being the most important. These commemorative pieces are not easy to find but 194 are recorded here, most illustrated with multiple views. For the first time collectors and ceramic researchers have a range of these important pieces gathered together in one publication. A study such as this can never be complete but the examples shown form a significant research archive. The study includes sections on related pieces and reference groups.

Softback, 25x21cm, 143 pages. Over 450 illustrations.