Decorating Porcelain Ware, Trenton, N.J.

Special Collections > Keystone Slides
tiff scanned file from original glass slide
There is nothing more beautiful than an artistic piece of pottery. It may be beautiful because of its design, or its color, or its decoration, or all three combined. In a way these are separate departments of art. But the coloring and the decoration must fit the design. You have seen beautiful vases with on decorations painted on them. Their beauty was in their shape and in their colors due to the combining of clays. On the other hand, many of our pieces of pottery are valuable chiefly because of their decorations. Emperors of Rome had their deeds recorded on bowls and vases by means of pictures. So also with the Egyptians. These pieces were usually painted in a series of circles, each circle showing a number of scenes. In this way history has been handed down to us. Perhaps you have seen a piece of old blue china with a picture on it to show some city or some event. The art of decorating pottery is old, but some improvements have been made. Formerly the painting was done on the ware before it was glazed. The roughness of the clay made fine lines impossible. Now we fire a glaze on the fashioned clay. This glaze may be of lead-oxide, alkalines, feldspar, or salt. After the glaze is on, the ware is decorated and then re-fired. In the Trenton factory here pictured is a group of artists decorating the glazed ware. Here are painted on our porcelain ware many designs that make our dishes pretty. Trenton has one establishment that does nothing but decorate pottery. In the first half of the 19th century machine-made pottery took the place of hand-made. In the last 60 years we have had better taste. Now we value the hand-painted china far above the other. Keystone ID: 22097 Note: All titles, descriptions, and location coordinates are from the original Keystone Slide documentation as supplied by the Keystone View Company. No text has been edited or changed.
Copyright by the Keystone View Company. The original slides are housed in McConnell Library's Special Collections.