This exhibition, set up like someone’s home invites you to step into the intriguing world of Flow Blue, a captivating style of porcelain and white earthenware whose origins, some argue, can be traced back to a serendipitous event in 1820s England. The general time period of collectible flow blue spans from the early time period of creation from the 1820s to the 1920s.
Imagine the allure of blurred blue glaze boldly contrasting with the radiant white background of earthenware, a visual spectacle that ignites the passion of antique collectors. This unique expression of artistry emerged from the skilled hands of the Staffordshire potters, etching an enduring legacy through its intricate patterns.
In the 1800s, with Chinese porcelain captivating hearts, English potters aspired to emulate its charm. Enter the innovation of a salt glaze on earthenware, casting a dazzling white spell upon firing. The quest for the elusive porcelain secret, kaolin, led to a mosaic of techniques, catering to the refined tastes of the upper echelons who avidly collected these exquisite pieces.
Delve into the creation of historical plates, where the enchanting process of transferware unfolded—a meticulous dance involving copper plates, chemical glaze, and stencils applied to pristine white canvases, such as bowls and plates. These masterpieces underwent a transformative journey in the kiln, where a firing process magically transferred the stenciled image, breathing life into three-dimensional works of art.
Legend has it that the inception of “flow” blue china was a fortuitous accident—an abundance of chemical or glaze that caused the blue to bleed and blur onto the surrounding white canvas. And so, with this unintentional stroke of brilliance, a craze was born, forever cementing Flow Blue as a distinctive chapter in the annals of porcelain craftsmanship.
This Exhibition is open from January 26 – May 11, 2024 and is in the Rebecca Cole Gallery. The work is from the collection of Vivian Kromer.
The Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and admission is free. For more information visit pearlmfa.org.