Saturday, April 24, 2010

So, you think you know the whole orign of transferware story?

Welcome to Sunday Favorites. This is my first time participating. I love the idea! Chari at Happy To Design is holding a giveaway in celebration of one year of Sunday Favorites.

You can enter my Giveaway HERE

Although John Brooks, an Irish engraver is credited with having the first patent for the transferware printing technique in 1751, it was John Sadler and Guy Green of Liverpool, who independently discovered  the process, who are credited with perfecting the technique in 1756. If you’re a transferware buff, you may already have known this as the names John Sadler and Guy Green are often associated with the early onset of transfer printing. However, did you know just how Sadler and Green came up with the idea? Do you know their history? I bet you’d be amazed to know that Benjamin Franklin made claims to having his finger in the inventive pie of the transfer printing process. Interested? Well, read on.

John Sadler was the son of Adam Sadler. Adam found himself interested in the typographical arts while being quartered with a printer when serving his time as a soldier during the wars in the Low Countries. After his active duty, Adam Sadler married a Miss Bibby and shortly thereafter opened up shop as a printer in the New Market at Liverpool using the skills which he had honed during his time spent in the Low Countries. Adam, apparently, was also known to be a good musician and made the printing of music and loose ballads his specialty.

One of Mr. Sadler’s loyal customers, a poor urchin by the name of Guy Green, who, when he had a penny to spare, would visit Mr. Sadler and buy a ballad. Mr. Sadler befriended Guy upon realizing he was a sharp young lad and took him into his service. The two developed a father–son type of relationship which continued on and eventually Guy succeeded his benefactor in the print business. Adams son, John, born around 1720, was apprenticed as an engraver and opened his own shop in 1748 which was very successful. In fact, John’s shop was so successful that envious shop owners, on the grounds of a very old regulation that only freeman of the town be permitted to keep shop, asked the Corporation of Liverpool to remove him. Sadler was able to defend his business against the Corporation, proving they did not have the right to the outdated law that would shut him down. The lawsuit drew attention and, as a result of Sadler’s victory, many outsiders to Liverpool set up shops which ultimately furthered prosperity there.

Like his father, John was a kind man who showed compassion to the less fortunate. He would give extra prints he had to the children living nearby who would in turn go the local potteries and ask for the ‘wasters’ which were broken or un-saleable pots and pottery. The children would affix the prints to the pottery and use them as decoration in doll houses and play. When John saw the decoration he wondered, “What if pottery could receive an impression from a wet print, and then be fixed by firing afterwards”. This thought sparked what would later come to be known as one of the greatest stories of mass production ever. John, who had apparently developed a close relationship with Guy Green, probably like that of brothers, upon envisioning the idea of a piece of pottery with a print upon it, immediately and confidentially called on Guy Green to explore the possibilities of his new idea.

John and Guy first chose tiles to print on and after seven years of experimentation, had nearly perfected the process. Tiles were chosen because they were flat which made them easy to print on, and Liverpool had developed a competitive market with Holland for producing tiles that almost universally decorated the hearths and chimneys of the time. The two men claim to have printed upwards of 1200 tiles in a six hour period, using copper plates.

Soon, the famed Josiah Wedgwood entered into a business agreement with Sadler and Green and sent thousands upon thousands of pottery pieces to their factory to be transfer printed on his creamware. Shortly thereafter, many English potters, including the great Josiah Spode, began using the transfer printing process.

I like history…it’s like a romantic fairytale but played out and come to fruition, so I’m fascinated by the story of transferware. I am a person of catechism-ic what if’s? What if Adam Sandler had never stayed with a printer during his time as a soldier? What if he had not had a son? What if John’s shop had been closed by the Corporation? What if John was a man of little imagination? I tend to play these questions out in my mind (I do this with ALOT of things) and ponder different outcomes. The one thing I know for sure, regarding transferware, is that it would have ultimately made its mark on history…and my home. In fact, doing some research on the subject, I found this very interesting letter written by Benjamin Franklin in 1773, which in part reads:

"Now, we are speaking of inventions, I know not who pretends to that of copper-plate engraving for earthen ware, and I am not disposed to contest the honour with anybody, as the improvement in taking impressions not directly from the plate, but from printed paper, applicable by that means to other than flat forms, is far beyond my first idea. But I have reason to apprehend that I might have given the hint on which that improvement was made; for more than twenty years since, I wrote Dr. Mitchell from America proposing to him the printing of square tiles for ornamenting chimneys, from copper plates, describing the manner in which I thought it might be done, and advising the borrowing from the booksellers the plates that had been used in a thin folio called "Moral Virtue Delineated," for that purpose * * * Dr. Mitchell wrote me in answer that he had communicated my scheme to several of the artists in the earthen way about London, who rejected it as impracticable".

 An early printed blue tile by Sadler depicting a British ship within a border of scrolls and plants below.  Circa 1756-61 photo credit: National Maritime Museum

An extremely rare creamware plate by Wedgwood, of which only 15 are known to have been printed, entitled 'The Cock and The Fox' from Aesops Fables.  Circa 1770-75
photo credit:


by: Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

THE Body
Benjamin Franklin
(Like the cover of an old book
Its contents torn out
And stript of its lettering and gilding)
Lies here, food for worms.
But the work shall not be lost
For it will (as he believed) appear once more
In a new and more elegant edition
Revised and corrected
The Author.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Pink Paisley ~ Transferware, Pillows & History

Reminder:  GIVEAWAY ends in a few days.  Enter HERE

 I've always liked most anything with a Paisley design. For Pink Saturday, I'm sharing a little about Paisley.  Did you know that the name given to the widely recognizable print comes from the town in Scotland from which it received its name?
The modern name comes from the town that produced the design the most, that of Paisley in Renfrewshire, Scotland.

The Paisley pattern can be traced back to India in the first half of the 17th century where the East India Company produced the designs. It was during the 19th century that the production increased after soldiers returning from the colonies brought home with them wool shawls from India. 

I found some pretty pinks with Paisley Designs for Pink Saturday.
First I am sharing the new pillow covers I got at Swoon Studio, an Etsy shop specializing in hand made pillow covers.  I saw these and loved the muted olives, taupes and pinks.  They just arrived today and I love my paisley pillow covers.  If you've got some pillows you want to freshen up or change seasonally these are perfect...or buy new ones to fill these covers.  Swoon Studio has alot of great pillow designs including French birds, damasks, rustic florals and more.  Mine are made from a linen-cotton blend and trimmed in a suede piping.   I could easily purchase several sets to interchange pillows for different looks.

Paisleys can also be found on transferware.  Here is a pink transferware platter by Johnsons Brothers...pattern name...Paisley.  It's very popular!  I have a few pieces in my Etsy shop in other colors.

and a bone china cup and saucer by Royal Standard of England

James Kent of England produced this pretty pink transferware's the same pattern as above.  Some very old patterns were produced by several different companies until the Registration of Designs Act was established in 1842.  My guess is that this is a very old pattern!

I'm linking up to Beverly at How Sweet the Sound for Pink Saturday
If you like Pink...then this is the place to be every Saturday.

and to

 A Few of My Favorite Things Saturday at Bargain Hunting and Chatting with Laurie

Dreaming of Lighted Pot Racks

I just discovered this CSN website with the hugest selection of lighting accessories I think I've ever seen.  My sister says I have more lamps in my house than anyone she's ever known.  I can't help it.  I'm a light-a-lamp-o-holic. When I wake up in the morning I turn on just about all the lights, or should I say the lamps, throughout my house.

Shawn and I put a little pub table in our kitchen that serves as extra space for food preparation.  We'd like to put a pot rack over it but need extra lighting there as well. I found these pot racks with lights at this site and fell in love with a few of them.  I love this Olde World Styled Chandelier.  I love that the lights look like candles.

 I don't think you can go wrong with anything that has an Oil Rubbed Bronze finish!  Isn't this gorgeous?

And another lighted pot rack to dream about is this one in a finish called Kentucky Bronze.  It looks like it's hammered.  Love this too....

Maybe I'll be fortunate enough to have one of these in my kitchen.  I'd be thrilled with any of them!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Gourmet Cookies and a Giveaway

 Deservedly given the nickname, 'The Candy Queen' as a child I think that means I'm officially qualified to know if a sweet is really 'sweet' or not.  Today I discovered my favorite fact three of my favorite cookies and they are so sa-weet!    I ordered some cookies from Sweet Cheeks Bakery a few days ago and today they arrived at my door via Priority Mail.  Although I could easily NOT have shared these with the kids, I did.   

I served them up on my tea cart in the dining room with some of my Masons Vista red tranferware pieces.
Sarah  at Sweet Cheeks Bakery seals her cookies in airtight packaging so they arrive super fresh.  This is my first time ordering baked goods online...I am so impressed.  These are truly some of the best cookies I've had. 

My favorite was called Lemon Limerific...a delicate, buttery shortbread cookie iced with a tangy sweet lemon lime glaze infused with sugar.  I never thought I'd discover my favorite cookie in my 40's but these are it! 
These are great for everyday eating, a pretty ladies tea and of course as a  Mothers Day Treat (hint to Shawn...Nancy wants more Lemon Limerific cookies).

We all agreed that these Orange You Glad It's Double Chocolate Cookies are some of the best chocolate cookies we've ever had.  Sarah describes them as "a perfectly chewy chocolate-orange cookie with a mixture of milk and semi-sweet chocolate chips and pecans rolled in orange zest infused sugar and baked to perfection", and I could not agree more.  I love anything chocolate but the addition of double chocolate and the citrus orange is a winning combination in my book.  Can you see the bits of orange zest in this?  Yummy for my tummy...and yours!

Overall this one got the vote for favorite amongst my 6 kiddos...Chewy Oatmeal  Cranberry with White Chocolate and Honey.  That is exactly what they are and I'm not kidding when I say they taste as good as they sound...and look.  Gobs of white chocolate, chewy cranberries (almonds too if you like) and classic oatmeal.  Heaven for our mouth's!

I had a cup of tea with my cookies.

Sarah at Sweet Cheeks Bakery has generously offered to give a dozen cookies away  to one of  the Nancy's Daily Dish readers...the winner gets to choose from any variety in her store.  To enter, just do the following:

1) Visit Sweet Cheeks Bakery & choose the cookies you'd like if you're the winner, then come back to my blog and leave another comment stating the cookie name. 
2)  Blog about this contest...come back and leave another comment with your blogs permalink where you've bogged about the giveaway.
3) Tweet about the giveaway (you can follow me on Twitter too... I'm Transferware or click the link on my sidebar.  Come back and let me know you've tweeted this (please leave your twitter username)
4) Become a follower and then leave a comment to let me know you have done so.  If you're already following leave a comment to let me know you're a follower.

The winner will be randomly selected by a numeral generator.  I use



Good luck everyone and thanks for participating!

I'm linking up to:

Hodge Podge Friday at It's a Hodge Podge Life

Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday
Wednesday Tea For Me and Thee at Silken Purse 
Pink Saturday at How Sweet The Sound

Follow Me Fridays at The Trendy Treehouse

Talk About it Tuesday

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Myott Transferware ~ A brief history and a tablescape

Myott, Son & Co. Ltd., an earthenware producing factory operated originally from the Alexander Pottery in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, in the North of England. It was established in 1898 and run by two brothers, 
Ashley and Sydney Myott.  With growing demand for their wares, the company expanded and moved to the Brownfield's Works in Cobridge, which is North of Stoke-on-Trent.  By 1925 they had extended the operation to the adjacent Upper Hanley Pottery.

 Myott began producing hand painted Art Deco wares of which the varied range of pitchers and vases were in high demand.   Many of these pieces survive today suggesting that output was extensive.  These Deco pieces display the famous gold Myott crown mark on the base. White ware was produced for the Cunard shipping company with the provision of cubist style tea sets.

Until recent years, the history of the Myott Pottery at Stoke and Cobridge has been somewhat mysterious due to a fire taking place in 1949 which is said to have destroyed many of the official records and pattern design books.  Definitive evidence relative to the Myott company was found in this letter dated to 1898:
The company relocated again after 1949 to the larger Crane Street Pottery in Hanley and in 1969 were taken over by an American corporation Interpace. 1976 saw the company merge with Alfred Meakin Limited. The name was then lost after the company was taken over by the Churchill Group.

Myott produced many transferware patterns in addition to the Art Deco pieces.  Tonight my tablescape is using the pattern Bermuda, it is a rich chocolate brown transfer with handpainted shades of burgundy, yellow and green.  It's stunning!

I began with an embroidered organza napkin angled on the table.  
Next I added four vintage lace trimmed napkins that I placed at an angle on the table, allowing each to hang over the edge a bit.  These are some my Mom gave me...she used them for dinner parties when I was a little girl....all those many moons ago....

I then added my new favorite Medallion placemats by Heritage Lace.  They are a richly detailed lace in a chocolate brown color.  I love the shape and love how the pattern shows so beautifully with the white underlay.  I got these at Priscillas Lace and Linens.  

 This online shop sells over 750 Heritage Lace items...everything from placemats to draperies.  The selection is enormous.  I am their number one stalker...uh, er I mean fan.  Each time I visit I spend at least 1/2 an hour perusing the beautiful linens Priscilla's has to offer. My want list totals about 750 items...yes I want every single thing in the store.  The hardest thing about shopping here is making a final selection...but it's still sooooo much fun!  I wish all decisions were so hard! ;-)

Next I added my beautiful Myott Bermuda plates

I made a centerpiece using a glass, gold trimmed vase inherited from my Great Aunt and Uncle.  It's a little art deco/modern but I liked it for this.  I topped it on an antique Spode compote to add some height.  Next I took this beaded bottle cover (you can buy similar bottle covers at Always Elegant)
I placed the cover over the vase, partially, and allowed the majority to hang freely inside with the dangled edges hanging over the rim of the vase

 I added some ruffly ivy that is burgundy on the underside positioning it to come up and extend out over the compote. 

I then added just a touch of forsythia to bring out the yellow in the plates and add a little more Spring color to my simple arrangement. 

 Next I added small tea lights around the base of the vase.  The soft glow of the candles created a warm ambiance.
 I pulled in more color with red cut glass goblets, etched cordials hold gold embroidered burgundy organza napkins and my .25 a piece green glass bowls.

And another splash of color was added with my Barenthal flatware which I'm crazy about.  These have ornate detailing and marbleized handles. 

These are some of my favorite colors together.  

As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.  
~Henry David Thoreau~

Marty for Tabletop Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life

I'm linking up with Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday

Thriftyville Thursday at Tales from Bloggeritaville

Colorado Lady for Vintage Thursday
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home

Hodge Podge Friday at It's a Hodge Podge Life

Transformation Thursday at The Shabby Chic Cottage
 A Few of My Favorite Things Saturday at Bargain Hunting and Chatting with Laurie