Tuesday, November 10, 2009

... with pottery stuff too...


This spectacular bowl, part of the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, is made of earthenware covered with an opaque tin glaze and painted in lustre, a metallic pigment. It is decorated with a ship that has the arms of Portugal on its sail, and it may well have been commissioned by a Portuguese maritime merchant. It was long presumed that this bowl came from the famous lustre potteries around Valencia on the east coast of Spain. They were active from around 1300, when this region was under Christian rule, although the techniques employed (notably the tin glaze and lustre decoration) were of Islamic origin. It is thought that these techniques were introduced to Valencia by potters from Málaga, a port on the south coast of Spain that remained in Muslim hands until 1487.

In 1983 scientific analysis of the clay body of the bowl showed that it contained schistose inclusions characteristic of the wares from Málaga itself. The bowl, which can be dated to the mid 15th century, therefore demonstrates that the lustre workshops of Málaga were still producing ceramics of outstanding quality during the last decades of their existence. It stands at the end of one great tradition and at the beginning of another.

16 comments:

O Docker said...

Most sailors are familiar with the second book of Cipriano Piccolpasso's Li tre libri dell'arte del vasaio in which he describes the lustre preparation as a mixture of silver, copper, and iron salts or oxides, together with red ochre and vinegar that is applied to the surface of the glaze whereupon the kiln's temperature is raised to approximately 600 degrees C, when smoking organic substances are added to create a reducing atmosphere in the kiln.

But I was just shocked when I realized that lustre consists of a heterogeneous metal-glass composite film, just hundredths of a nanometer thick, that is remarkably like modern metal-glass nanostructured composites synthesized for high technology applications.

Go know, right?

Joe said...

Pottery? Really???????? How many caipirinhas have you had today? I am absolutely dismayed that you thought of this before me. I need a drink!

Tillerman said...

Antolin made me do it...

Greg and Kris said...

My response was going to be: Pottery? Really?

But then I see that Joe already said it and those Brazilian mojitos gave him just the right edge, so that he included eight q-marks. Genius!

Um, I mean Genius!!!!!!!!!

So I won't try and top him.

But, really, pottery?

O Docker said...

Geesh, no one cares about Cipriano Piccolpasso and the heterogeneous metal-glass composite film? All you care about are caipirinhas?

And you call yourself sailors?

Joe said...

O Docker,
You are just way too smart for us mere mortals. What kind of drink is this red ochre and vinegar concoction? Not only are you a master of time and space, but you are an alchemist to boot!

Greg,
If I left now, how long would it take me to drive to Portland? I hear that you are blending up a batch of Margaritas. I need a drink!!!!!!!!

Antolin said...

there is certainly a connection between sailing and pottery...at Davis Island YC we have several potters, I sold my windmill this weekend to a couple and the wife is a potter, another windmill friend from Connecticut (sp) is also a production potter (Birch Mountain Pottery), my pottery teacher races now and then on a j105 so go figure...I am just a "wanna-be" potter at this time though...

now this "Antolin made me do it" line...is a "reach" ha ha ha but Tiller has a good blog going and if it takes some nautical pottery to teach all of us something then..go for it Tiller boss! O Docker had a great comment which taught me some...and...pottery is awesome to serve rum and cokes in or mojitos or those Brazilian drinks as well...

Antolin

Carol Anne said...

Antolin, when I read that your yacht club had several potters, I was expecting them to the West Wight kind. We have a few of those in New Mexico -- including one that's been advertised in the newspaper as "only sailed once!" (The exclamation point was in the ad, not my addition.)

JP said...

Maybe I should check out the V&A next time have some spare time.

Too often have ignored it as being too much frocks and furniture for my tastes, but a bowl like that would be ok.

Tillerman said...

Go for it JP. I look forward to reading on your blog a guide on "Where to find representations of sailing boats in the V&A."

Zen said...

oK, Now I have to find my pottery and post , to keep up, argggg.


O-Dude: excellent, I had no idea. Are we talking wood Kiln ?

tillerman said...

Please keep up Zen. Tuesday was Pottery Day. Wednesday is "If Glenn Beck Were A Sailor" Day.

Zen said...

Shucks I missed out!

Instead of going to the hospital and visiting family, helping support little old ladies, getting evicted, I should have been doing something important, like keeping up with the blog day post. Arggggg

Hmm Maybe I can use the Wayback machine and correct this, gross neglect on my part.

Hmmmm now what did I do with Mr Peabody's number...

tillerman said...

Oh, my apologies Zen. I just read the post in your "land" blog about all the troubles you are struggling with. I had no idea. I am sure that all your blogging friends wish you well and are hoping that things work out for you and your family.

Zen said...

Thanks T-man. No worries...

Acually while at the hospital I saw a sign about Wifi zone in the waiting area and thought, shucks I should have brought my laptop...I could post, I have a feeling I'm missing something

:-)

Anyway sometimes we have to just adjust our sails and beat upwind in life. The storm will pass. Chin up and all that.

_/)

Pat said...

And sometimes we have to remove all sails, canvas, and top-hamper and deploy a storm anchor. That's when it helps to have a hearty crew of sailing friends.

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