Ceramic - Pottery Dictionary

by Susan Mussi

BLUE - One of the first colors used in pottery.

ca: BLAU - Un dels primers colors usats en ceràmica.

es: AZUL - Uno de los primeros colores usados en cerámica.

Blue was one of the first colors used in glazes, blue cobalt oxide has been found in Egyptian and Persian pottery. In Spain, where the Majolica ceramic method began in Europe, blue was one of the first colors and it was used in many different shades as can be seen on plates, jars, floors and wall tiles.

a) The first photo shows different shades of blue on a tile. The top color on the left is a purer blue and on the right the same blue prepared with a little black; the ones underneath are the same shades increasingly watered-down.
b) This photo is included to show the immense possibilities there are for painting with one color.
c) Rabbit: decorated in Catalonia in the 17th Century.
d) Saint: decorated in Talavera in the 17th Century. This shows the two main blues. The dress is a turquoise and the border is a dark blue. This light blue was used more in the south of Spain and Portugal.
e) Shopping: decorated in Manises, Valencia, in the 18th Century.

The last three photos are shown with the permission of the Barcelona Ceramic Museum.
Read more about: Museu de Ceràmica de Barcelona.
Read more about: Majolica: 3 – Decorating / Majolica: Colors (f) Painting with one color