Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Roberts depicted as Roosters (and hens, and chicks)

There's been so much 'clucking' around blog land about Bella Vista's Rooster party that I just had to participate. What fun!  This gave me that extra motivational push I needed to hang something in the laundry room I've wanted to hang for some time!  I've done a tablescape around a Rooster but first want to show off my favorite rooster item.  This is a painting my Mom did for me 10 years ago.  She painted this to fit in a special place in our previous house.  What's so special about it is that she represented my children, husband and our home in the painting.  We have six children, four boys and two girls.  Mom depicted the Hen with four chicks (our four boys)  on the left and the Rooster with two chicks (our two girls) on the right. 

A close up of the boys and me :-)

note the sign directing visitors to our house
and Rooster Shawn and the girls ;-)
That's our former house in the background...the kids and I miss that place!

Now for some English transferware...yep, there are even transferware roosters! Here's a large pitcher by famed ceramicist Clarice Cliff of Royal Staffordshire in Charlotte pattern. 
Here's the rooster's nesting hen mate....just in from England! I was so excited to add this to my budding collection of Charlotte. I got a little bonus as I was able to track down two of these!  The other is for sale in my Etsy shop.  (10% off everything in my shop if you mention my blog).
Also from Clarice Cliff / Royal Staffordshire are these red transferware plates with roosters and flowers around the edge.  I've only come across this pattern once and it sold rather quickly. 

Now, onto my tablescape.  I was originally thinking I'd use some vintage transferware soup bowls I have with roosters in the scene but most of them are at my shop so I looked around the house and decided to go with a Tracy Porter cookie jar in a Rooster shape.  The colors seemed a perfect compliment to Royal Doulton's Pomeroy. 

For some reason unbeknown to me, I have a tendency to use drapes as tablecloths.  In this setting I used two panels, also from my former home, across the table.  It seems everybody and there dog had this Qeensland Crimson fabric.  I love it! The crimson background plays shows off the fruits and flowers in the fabric and compliments nicely the Pomeroy plates and rooster sitting atop a pile of fruits and vegetables.

Each of the Royal Doulton Pomeroy plates have an ever so slight difference between them:

Red gingham dinner napkins are doubled with embroidered rooster luncheon napkins and adds an extra touch of casual 'country'.

Vintage glassware...the clear beaded foot glasses are a GW find and the blue stemware is Fostoria, given to me years ago by my Mother in law.

My centerpiece was made by placing the Rooster cookie jar on about a 6" high plate stand and winding a garland of fruits, greenery and twigs around and through the base.  I then placed big, creamy white cabbage roses and apples around the base to coordinate with the plates and tablecloth (drapes!).  

You can't depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus. 
Mark Twain

Linking to: Barb @ Bella Vista for her 2nd annual Rooster Party!  Thanks Barb!
Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday
Centerpiece Wednesday at the Style Sisters
Show Off Your Cottage Monday
Just Something I Whipped Up
Making the World Cuter
Toot Your Horn Tuesdays 
Vintage Thingie Thursday at Colorado Lady
Hodge Podge Friday @ It's a Hodgepodge Life
Feature Yourself Friday
Frugal Friday
Trendy Treehouse Blog hop
Show Off Your Cottage Monday
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home
A Few of My Favorite Things at Bargain Hunting with Laurie
Home is Where my Story Begins 

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

So, you think you know the whole orign of transferware story? & A SALE!

A few of you have have asked me about the story of transferware so I'm reposting this article I published in my camera is broken so it will be a couple of days before I get it back from the shop! 

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.


Mention this blog post and receive a 10% discount on any purchase from my Etsy shop now through August 7th!  10% will be refunded to your Paypal account within 24 hours of purchase and is applicable towards the purchase price only (not toward shipping, although I do combined  shipping discounts which are figured automatically!)
This offer is good on furniture purchases too!!!