Why do we love blue and white pottery? Perhaps because they are the natural colours above us-blue for sky and white for clouds. Therefore, the colour combination seems significant to us.
For centuries blue and white ware has been popular in various cultures.
Blue and white porcelain went into mass production in China during the 14th century supported by importation of cobalt blue pigment from Persia. The early blue motifs were often Persian in nature and when combined with Chinese fine white porcelain the elegant blue and white ware we know today was created.
During the 17th century the Chinese exported to Europe where blue and white pottery was in great demand. However, the Chinese rebellion in the 1640’s destroyed many kilns and the production moved to Japan for about 100 years until the Chinese manufactures recovered.
The Dutch, in Delft, began to manufacture their own blue and white tin glazed ware from about 1640. By the 18th century other Europeans began to produce their own blue and white ware and so Chinese imports into Europe diminished.
The popular willow pattern is an entirely English design from the late 1800s.
I adore blue and white pots and have many in my garden. I tend to group them together to enhance the effect. I purchase them from a variety of stores but many I find in my local China Town where, with astute bargaining, I buy at a sound price.
Here are a few examples of the blue and white ware in my garden.