Monday, March 4, 2013

I'm Blue, Are You?

Did you know that cobalt decorations on white ware began in the 9th century in the Middle East?  Cobalt blue pigments were dug out of  mines in Iran and exported to China, where eventually the technique of painting the blue onto the porcelain pieces was perfected.

The technique used to make the porcelain pieces was a highly protected secret throughout several centuries.  When blue and white export pieces were made for the European market by the 17th century, the Europeans began wanting to make their own.  By the middle of the 18th century a technique was developed in Europe to print blue patterns onto already glazed ceramics.  This technique involved engraving a pattern on a flat copper plate, then coating it with ink and transferring the pattern onto a strong, but thin, piece of paper.  The paper was then positioned ink side down onto the ceramic surface. Afterwards the paper and the ceramic ware were placed into cold water.  The paper floated off, leaving the design.

Blue and white china is now made practically all over the world. I started collecting blue and white china in the early 1980s.  It all began with two tiny Japanese plates that my mother gave me.

My collection has grown and I own pieces from many different countries.






The Former USSR

The United States

And, of course, England

The blue and white pitcher on my table today is by Deruta, made in Italy.

I have never bothered to count how many pieces of blue and white that I own, but there are many! Since blue is "the" color this year, I thought I would share a little of my blue and white obsession with you and use it as an excuse to set a pretty table!

Instead of using the traditional blue and white transferware, I decided to take a more modern approach and use some new salad plates that I recently bought on sale at Dillard's.  They are simply called "Blue Floral" by Noble Excellence. I really like the several different shades of blue in them.

Joining the plates on the table:

Tablecloth from Dillard's
Placemats from Belk's
Napkins from Etsy
Chargers from One King's Lane
Blue Dinner Plates from Old Time Pottery
Dragonfly Napkin Rings from Steinmart
Stemware, Libbey from Dollar Tree and Bavarian Crystal red wine stems
Flatware from my Grandmother - "Presentation" silverplate

Do you have a blue and white obsession? One of the books that I own that I highly recommend, if you love transferware is The Dictionary of Blue and White Printed Pottery 1780-1880, Volume I by A. W. Coysh and R.K. Henrywood.  They wrote a Volume II, which I do not own, but I imagine that it is just as informative as the first one.

I suspect that many of you are just as obsessed with blue and white, as I.  Is there anything any prettier? Just look at this room from "Traditional Home" magazine!

I guess that I need to thank my mother publicly for getting me started on my collection.  Who influence you?  Are you blue???


Sharing at:

Cuisine Kathleen for Let's Dish

Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday

The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays

A Stroll Thru Life for Table Top Tuesday


  1. Hi Diane, I do own some blue and white and hopefully I'll show that next week. I love all your pieces, especially the English one. Thank you for all our information. How sweet that your Mom was the one that influenced you with your obsession!!

  2. Your table looks lovely! I love blue & white. You have such a beautiful collection of blue & white pieces.

  3. as always you have set a lovely table. although I am the one and only woman alive that is not a fan of blue and white, I think yours is very pretty..I just look at it this way..all the blue and white china I DO NOT collect is left available for all of you..LOL
    love, Mona
    and I love your stories.....

  4. Simply gorgeous! Your collection of blue and white is wonderfully varied. I love the blue tablecloth as backdrop, with the white placemats to really make the dishes pop.

  5. Diane, what a lovely collection you have!! Since it's all the same color theme, you can mix them all up. I love your pretty new salad plates. Stunning table.. xo marlis

  6. Diane, you and I belong to the same club....lovers of blue and white! Your table is beautiful. You have a wonderful collection. Cherry Kay

  7. Beautiful...there really is nothing quite like blue and white on a table.
    Green is my favorite color, but I have more blue and white than any other!

  8. This is an awesome post! I love blue and white and love reading about it as well as looking at it.

    - The Tablescaper

  9. Diane,
    I love blue and white and I love learning the history you shared. You have inspired me to get out my blue and white and use it! Dianne

  10. How pretty your blues are! What a lovely collection you have.

  11. What a pretty table! Blue and white together always make a statement!

  12. I do love blue and white, don't have as much as you do. Very pretty table, and I liked the history lesson too!

    Thanks or linking to Let's Dish! Don't forget the big blog crawl next Wed.!

  13. Heck, yes, I love blue!!! If I had my druthers (uh oh...that's the country in me ascending!), most of our home's interior would be in blue and white!!! My day is coming, but for now I'm just longing for it! You've got some rockin' pieces from all over the world! It's neat to see them side by side and compare the differences. I guess I have never really taken note. It's cool how you broke it up a little with the addition of the pink plate...very creative move! I think I have that photo from Traditional Home magazine on my Pinterest page because I loved it so much. Just classic!

  14. I too have my mother to thank for an obsession with blue and white dishes, or -- maybe just dishes period. You have a beautiful collection.

  15. Diane, I also have a collection of blue and white china, and I love it! You have some beautiful pieces, and your table setting is so pretty. Very informative and pretty post. laurie

  16. Diane, you have some pretty blue and white and the table is most inviting. I have a small group of blue and white that I've collected slowly through the years. I like to group them together. I need to look for the reference book. I don't have it or any others on the subject for that matter. All the best for a delightful weekend......Sarah

  17. What an iteresting post, and such fabulous blue and white china collection! I'm sure you cherish each and every precious piece you have collected.
    I am partial to blue Delft, and hope to be able to take a trip to Holland someday to purchase more of it.
    It was wonderful visiting you through Seasonal Sunday!

  18. Beautiful table and wonderful collection!!! Interesting history also. I am also a lover of blue and white, it started when I was young and dressed in some shade of blue all the time, then discovered flow blue dishes....the rest is history!!!

  19. Oh YES! We are always blue at our cottage. :) Blue and White are my "go-to" color combo. :)

    Your table is lovely!


  20. Hi Diane..Like it for calling my garden a secret garden.If you come over here we can have our tea in the garden...:):)thank you to stop have wonderful collection of the blues.table looks beautiful with blue pink and white combo....Have a great week ahead,,,Hugs...Sujatha...:):)

  21. Hi Diane, I love blue and white. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful collection.

  22. I always enjoy seeing your beautiful tablescapes! I love blue. This is a stunning table.


  23. Beautiful. Blue is a favourite.
    Love from South Africa

  24. Beautiful pieces! What a lovely collection. If I had a little more dish storage space, I have a feeling there would be a lot more blue and white around here too. Thank you for sharing the history as well; so interesting!

  25. How interesting to learn about how blue on white came to be--thank heavens it did; it brings so many of us so much joy! Your table is lovely, as always. Thank you for stopping by and commenting on my "new" china cabinet and the blue and white. I've always loved blue and blue and white, and I started buying miscellaneous pieces long ago, then about 10 years ago I was in charge of the mother-daughter tea at our church and ladies signed up to host/decorate a table...I HAD to have blue and white dishes for what I had in mind, and when I found the 2 Spode patterns that was IT! I'm so glad I took that plunge/splurge! Thanks for stopping by, Diane! ~Zuni

  26. Diane, thanks so very much for visiting my blog today. I'm crazy over your blue and white....and it's happened almost by accident! Yeah, I have accidentally fallen in love with blue and white.
    Thanks for a lovely post. Helen

  27. Hello Diane, your collection of blue and white is lovely. Very pretty table and the little history lesson is just great. I had no idea.

  28. Oh my sweet Diane; you have a gorgeous collection of blue and white..each piece is lovely, from the dishes to eaxh piece, I adore blue and white. Thank you for dropping by and for your sweet and kind comment, you made my day. Hugs,

  29. Great to have you be a part of Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

  30. Oh how I love blue and white. Absolutely beautiful post, Diane.

  31. How interesting, I didn't know that. You do have some gorgeous blue and white pieces. Fabulous tablescape. Thanks for joining TTT. Hugs, Marty