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Wishing you More Spring!
While not consistently sunny nor warm we know that spring is here. Some signs for me are the tulips of Nieuw Amsterdam, the street fairs & the design center events.  Oh yes, lest I forget, final grading.  And, the college senior exhibits. 

This month NYC is having two special 2nd annual events:  NYCxDesign which includes Bklyn Design, ICFF & Surtex shows.  And, drum roll please, IFDA's Take a Seat Charity Auction in conjunction with NY Cottage & Garden magazine at Room&Board in Soho. Hope to see  you there!

My thirst for the Decorative Arts continue.  Article this month is on Transferware.  Take a taste.




May Flowers in the 'Hood 
The Tulips of Madison Park, Manhattan
My Upcoming Educational Programs
WFCP Webinar:  Design Directions & Trends:  May 19 at 2pm EST


Fashion Institute of Technology: W. 27 St. @ 7th Ave. Manhattan

New York University: Woolworth Bldg. & Field Trips

Sourcing for Interior Design: July 18, 19, 25, 26 from 10am-5pm 



A Taste forTransferware

Western trade with the Orient in the 17th&18th centuries conjures up the finest in luxury goods such as silk, spice, tea & porcelain.  Blue & white porcelains, hand-painted with pictures of pagodas, chrysanthemums & rivers called "export ware" were a treat for the wealthy Europeans looking for a window into the exotic world.  Hand-painting as we all know hardly comes cheaply. Back then, goods traveling on a slow boat from China certainly did not come cheaply either.Time, like quality hand-work, is money.
But by the mid-18th c. English pottery factories in the Staffordshire region came up with a solution to transfer, if you will, the idea of the export ware closer to home with the invention of transfer printing.  Ink of any color is transferred from an engraved copper plate to tissue paper which is then applied to a fired ceramic form (or body).  The piece is fired again at a lower temperature to set the ink design, then glazed & fired a final time at high temperature.  The result is a finely designed, uniform & durable product of good quality, produced at a fraction of the cost of Chinese export ware.
It became a popular source of table top for the growing middle class households including specialty items for children. By the early 19thc. the range expanded well beyond the popular choice of blue & white chinoiserie ("in the Chinese style"). Other exotic scenes emerged such as views of India and Egypt.  Closer to home themes such as slices of the domestic life and pleasures of the countryside emerged as well as
documentation of American patriots and landmarks.

Later in the 19th c. the influence of the Arts & Crafts, Aesthetic Movement and Anglo-Japanese styles brought about more floral, Japanese motifs such as fans with earthy ink colors mainly of brown and green. 

Finding transferware to  collect (& hopefully to use) is easy.

Knowing what to pay for it is more difficult. Price points vary considerably based on intricacy of design, rarity, color, manufacturer, provenance & condition.  I just went with violet, my birth flower.


Where to buy?  Certainly auctions like Doyle, Christies &  Sotheby plus reputable antique shops will offer well-documented pieces, but at a price.  Try Ebay. My sources are estate and garage sales and thrift shops.


Happy Hunting!    

Susan J. Slotkis 
Profiles - Personalized Interiors
For more information on interior design services,  consultations & seminars visit the website 
www.susanslotkis.comUntil the next time...