Flow blue was a type of transfer pottery produced by Staffordshire, England, potters beginning in about 1820. Sold mostly in the U.S. market, flow blue was similar to traditional blue-and-white pottery, except that the blue color was deliberately blurred, an effect achieved by adding a cup of lime or ammonia to the kiln during glazing.
English manufacturers of antique flow blue included Wedgwood, Johnson Brothers, Minton, Royal Doulton, and Swansea. Patterns ranged from Blue Danube to Idris to the classic Willow. As for the objects themselves, they included toilet wares and teapots, plates and platters, vases and garden seats, and even dog bowls.
One interesting subset of flow blue is the blue-marble effect. All-over patterns such as Lazuli lent itself to this look: When given the flow-blue treatment, the pattern would blur so that from afar the object resembled a piece of carved, blue-veined marble.
By World War I, U.S. potteries were producing most of the flow blue for the domestic market, causing English potters to exit the business, which had never been popular in the U.K. to begin with. The desirability of the ware waned in both countries between the wars, but interest picked up again in the U.S. in the 1960s. Because large amounts of 19th-century flow blue had been shipped to, or manufactured in, the U.S., flow blue remains fairly reasonable to collect.
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Recent News: Flow Blue China
Source: Google News
At Home: Small touches can create homey farmhouse feelThe Daily News Journal, September 26th
Bell says one of the most popular dish designs is known as “Blue Willow” or “Flow Blue,” because the blue ink bled into the white background slightly. Heavier, restaurant plates and mugs also fit into this style. Other popular choices for a farmhouse...Read more
A magical history tourBiddeford Journal Tribune, September 26th
Below: The dining room of the Edmund E. Goodwin house in Springvale sports reproduction Victorian wall paper and a dining table set with white linen and period flow blue place settngs. SPRINGVALE — The dining table is ready, set with snowy white linen...Read more
London shop a favourite of many artistsWaterloo Record, September 19th
It's from the first period of British "flow blue" production, a style resulting from a happy accident where the blue dye bled resulting in a publicly favourable colouration. It was made in great quantities for export to North America from 1840 to 1860...Read more
Fall Catalogued Auction of Antiques, 20th Century Design, Fine & Decorative ...Maine Antique Digest, September 11th
Featuring a large and important private collection of more than 500 pieces of R. S. Prussia and related china including many rare portrait and scenic examples; large selection of other ceramics including collections of Chintz, flow blue, and Meissen...Read more
Mapping lava flows in IcelandPhys.Org, September 10th
An aerial photo shows the edge of the Holuhraun lava flow (blue line), where the lava went over a combination of sand and bedrock. Two types of lava appear on either side of the red line: smooth pahoehoe on the right and rubbly a'a on the left...Read more
Works by Guillermo Heiter, Ben Benn, Picasso, Miro, Giacometti will be sold ...ArtfixDaily, September 7th
Also sold will be taxidermy birds, a weathervane, railroad lanterns, inkwells, Flow Blue and other ironstone, a pate-sur-pate collection, Capodimonte, primitive tools, a tooled leather saddle, a drop-front desk, a Victorian carved sofa, marble-top...Read more
Bowling Green hosts Flow Blue club conventionBowling Green Daily News, July 16th
The event will open to the general public at 10 a.m. on Sunday, with vendors selling Flow Blue dishware. Membership to the FBICC is $45 per year and may be obtained at the convention center or at flowblue.org, where payments can be made with PayPal or ...Read more
Blue flow has fallen out of fashionazcentral.com, May 12th
Question:I purchased about a dozen pieces of flow blue in the Normandy pattern during the 1980s. Because the pieces I have are at least a century old and in excellent shape, I assumed they would also be easy to sell. I was wrong. I am unable to find a...Read more