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History of The Willow Pottery
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The term willow was used quite a bit to describe many of the copies of the blue and white porcelain imported into England from China during the last half of the eighteenth century.
After the British pottery artists improved their technique to make the blue and white porcelain, the trade with China naturally stopped.
For about a hundred and fifty years, the willow pattern has been the pattern that just about every British pottery manufacturer has used and even though at times its popularity has dipped, it eventually returned to being a favorite among the people and now is again at the center of its popularity.
At that time the craze for collecting souvenirs from the east was at its height and this dainty little design instantly became popular again.
It was copied, with some variations, by other pottery artist and although at first sight all willow patterns look alike, the different makes can be distinguished by various small details, such as the number of apples, the figures on the bridge, and the design of the crooked fence.
All early pottery artist, however, used the same shade of cobalt blue.
We have since had many other shades of lighter and darker tones, even browns or blacks, but the cobalt blue has remained the favorite.

There are very few other makes of china that are more attractive than a really good specimen of the willow pattern, with their exquisite markings and minute detail carefully and accurately copied, but on the other hand, nothing can be more depressing than mass produced imitations.
Thomas Minton was famous for Minton pottery, a cream colored and blue printed earthenware majolica, bone china, and Parian porcelain; his factory was one of the best in the Victorian period for its art porcelains.
He was also responsible for the famous so called Willow pattern.

Blue Willow Plate
Engraved by Thomas Minton for Thomas Turner of Caughley, Shropshire, in the year 1780, it was closely followed by Royal Worcester, Spode, Adams, Wedgwood, Davenport, Clews, Leeds and Swansea.

Changes to the Willow Pattern:

The original willow pattern did not have the apple tree or the two doves, these were added later.
The differences were slight and mainly in the treatment or the painting of the border, with either a lattice work or conventional butterfly being used and details of the fence in the foreground are different.
The original Chinese Willow which Minton copied, had no bridge with people crossing over and it is not known whether the stories connected with it started in China or England.
It was probably England because the main parts of the story were not included on the original plate.

In youth , we learn...in age, we understand.

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Have you ever come up with a good idea while working with your handmade pottery and thought that you would like to share it with others? You have? Well, why not send it to us and we will add it to the tips page for all to see.

Handmade pottery can be a very gratifying hobby that produces fun and satisfying results. For many people it's an enjoyable release that is created by working an inanimate mound of clay into a beautiful work of art that you made through your artistic abilities.

The best way of starting out is to take a few lessons from Youtube. You will probably waste quite a bit in materials when you first get started. Figuring out how to truly make handmade pottery correctly and shape into what you want it to be can be quite an ordeal. The different tools that a normal shop will have can be fun to try. You will soon see which ones you like to use the most and then when you are ready you will know which ones to buy.

With the help of the internet, you can now purchase most if not all of your ceramic and pottery tools and supplies online. We are located far from any well supplied dealers and yet working with reliable ceramic and pottery suppliers online has allowed us to recieve most of our orders within a timely manner.

When you get all set up, just enjoy the hobby and have fun at it. Some people get pretty serious and start selling their creations at craft fairs and small stores, but others just like to create items for themselves, relatives, and friends. Whichever kind of handmade pottery you desire to endeavor, enjoy the hobby and have fun doing it.

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