During the late 18th century, hand-painted Chinese porcelain imports were all the rage, especially the blue and white wares. When these treasures from the Far East became expensive and hard to obtain, English potters embraced new technologies of the Industrial Revolution to make affordable replicas. Josiah Spode perfected the transfer printing process with blue under glaze. In transfer printing, a design is hand-engraved on a copper plate. Glaze is applied to the plate and the design is transferred onto tissue. The tissue is applied by hand to each piece. The pieces are treated in a water bath, which dissolves the tissue, leaving the design. A clear, durable glaze is then applied over the entire piece. Initially, the designs were copied exactly from the Chinese imports, but eventually the English potters added more familiar scenes, showing an influence from the Romantic Movement in literature and art.
Spode's Blue Italian depicts classical ruins in a pastoral Italian countryside. The border is an exact copy of an Imari design, with delicately etched wave and flower motifs. The rural scene also shows Oriental influence, especially in the clouds and trees, yet the architecture and human figures are unmistakably European. The collection is in the Camilla Cottage Shape, with many footed pieces and a distinctively peaked handles. This unusual combination of Eastern and Western elements has made Spode's Blue Italian dinnerware a timeless and intriguing choice for your table. Hand engraved plates are made for each different piece of the Spode Blue Italian collection of transferware. This skilled craftsmanship is evident in the intricate and varied designs on each creation. This collection is microwave and dishwasher safe and features some oven-to-tableware.