Monday, 31 October 2011

Jug of the Month - October


This is a Burleigh jug in Black Calico, and I've chosen it to be jug of the month because of HRH Prince of Wales. Our paths keep crossing. We were in Stoke together last week - I was in the now defunct Spode factory looking at the BCB exhibition, while he was across town visiting the Burleigh factory. He was launching "The Prince's Regeneration Trust's conservation and regeneration of the last working Victorian pottery in the UK."
Then on Saturday I found our names together on the same page of the RWA Autumn exhibition catalogue....

I visited the Burleigh factory a couple of years ago when I was researching my dissertation, and bought my jug then. The Burleigh website says of Blue Calico...

"Burleigh's famous deep cobalt blue pattern has been made continuously in our factory for over 40 years. Its popularity continues as ever! Although unique, this pattern was derived from early Victorian patterns which had their roots in Chinese porcelain, representing the spring with fallen prunus blossom onto cracked ice."

They produce a red calico, and the black has been discontinued.

The factory tour is amazing. Here's how the ware is made...

"Underglaze transfer printing is our speciality at Burleigh. This labour intensive decorating method has been in use for over 200 years. We are now the last English pottery company that still continues this traditional and highly skilled hand decorating process.

After the clay piece has first been fired to “biscuit”, the decorating process is then as follows:

1) The tissue paper is printed from a hand-engraved copper roller. The tissue rolls off the printing machine and is then carefully cut out by a transferrer.

2) The tissue is applied to the biscuit ware, and is rubbed on with a brush and soft soap.

3) The tissue paper is then finally washed off leaving the pattern transferred onto the biscuit piece.

4) The piece is fired again to harden on the pattern. It is then dipped in glaze and fired for a third time, leaving the pattern under the glaze, thus ensuring that the pattern will never fade or wear off.