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What’s In A Name – Part 2

On these 3 pieces of Gaudy Welsh the Blue Flows

Gaudy Welsh pottery is a type of colourful and heavily decorated pottery that originated in Wales in the early to mid-19th century. The term “Gaudy” is believed to be derived from the word “gaudy,” meaning showy or ostentatious, reflecting the vibrant and elaborate designs of the pottery. Gaudy Welsh pottery typically features bold, hand-painted patterns with a combination of bright colours. The Gaudy Welsh palette is composed mainly of underglaze cobalt blue, with a pink lustre (that appears copper when applied overglaze onto the cobalt blue) red, blue, green, yellow, russet

You can see the Pink/Copper Lustre on these piece

Gold lustre, silver or gold gilding, is not considered a true part of the Gaudy Welsh pottery palette.

Pieces that include this should be described as gaudy-esque rather than Gaudy Welsh.

The pieces below are Gaudy Welsh with the correct palette  and lustre – note the Cobalt Blue does not Flow

 Common motifs include floral patterns, geometric designs, and scenes with birds or other animals. The pottery was often produced in small workshops or cottage industries in Wales, particularly in the towns of Swansea and Nantgarw.

In Wales, ‘Gaudy Welsh’ was generally known as ‘Swansea Cottage’ and is still referred to by this name by an older generation.

Later it became known for being produced in the Staffordshire potteries

Close-up of the colours and the gilding

Ongoing research shows that over 150 factories have been firmly established as producers of Gaudy Welsh Pottery.

From Scotland’s Anderson Glasgow Pottery to Yorkshires Turpin & Co. and also Twigg. Not excluding those in Sunderland, Staffordshire, Bristol and Wales (Cambrian, Llanelli and Ynysmeaudwy).

Gaudy Welsh pottery gained popularity during the Victorian era and was exported to various countries, including the United States. It was often used as everyday tableware, but some pieces were more decorative and served as display items.

Polychrome pottery refers to ceramic vessels or objects that are decorated with multiple colours. The term “polychrome” is derived from the Greek words “poly,” meaning many, and “chroma,” meaning colour. In the context of pottery, polychrome pieces are distinguished by their use of a variety of colours in the decoration, as opposed to monochrome pottery, which uses a single colour.

The application of multiple colours allows for intricate and detailed designs, and it has been a common practice in the history of pottery and ceramic art across various cultures and time periods. Polychrome pottery can feature a range of decorative elements, including patterns, scenes, symbols, and imagery.

Different techniques can be employed to achieve polychrome effects on pottery, such as hand-painting, slip-trailing, sgraffito, and glaze application. The use of multiple colours enhances the visual appeal of the pottery and allows artists to create vibrant and expressive pieces.

Polychrome pottery has been created by diverse cultures throughout history, from ancient civilizations to contemporary artists. Examples include the polychrome pottery of ancient Greece, Native American pottery, traditional Mexican Talavera ceramics, and many others. The specific styles and motifs vary widely depending on the cultural and artistic traditions of the time and place in which the pottery was produced.

Ground Colour

In pottery, the term “ground colour” refers to the primary colour of the background or base layer of a ceramic piece. It is the colour that forms the backdrop against which other decorative elements or patterns are applied. The ground colour sets the overall tone of the pottery and influences the visual impact of the finished piece.

The ground colour is typically applied before additional decorative techniques such as painting, glazing, or other surface treatments are added. This base colour can be a solid colour or may include subtle variations, textures, or patterns. The choice of ground colour can greatly affect the final appearance of the pottery, influencing how other colours and decorations interact with it.

For example, in the context of antique ceramics, you might hear about the ground colour in reference to traditional European porcelain or Chinese ceramics. Certain historical styles and periods favoured specific ground colours, and these choices can help experts and collectors identify the origin and age of a particular piece.

Understanding the role of ground colour is essential in pottery as it is a foundational element that contributes to the overall aesthetic and visual impact of the finished ceramic work.

Note the ground colour was usually applied AFTER the initial transfer decoration had been placed and glost-fired.  This can be confirmed by examining pieces that show ground colour overlying the transfer design.  Ground colours were fired at cooler temperatures than the glost firing and may have coincided with either enamel “clobbering” or gilt application..