Green Glazed Refined Earthenware
These wares are characterized by brightly-colored (usually green or yellow) translucent lead glazes on a cream colored refined earthenware paste.
In 1740 Enoch Booth introduced a cream-bodied refined earthenware that was soon being manufactured by many potters in Great Britain (Noël Hume 2001:204, 209; Towner 1957:2). The development of cream colored earthenware, which was fired twice, marked a major transition in the English pottery industry. Each vessel was first fired to a bisque or biscuit stage; at that point it could be decorated further before being glazed and fired again. Some of the earliest manufactured cream and white-firing earthenwares were coated with deeply colored glazes.
In partnership, Thomas Whieldon and Josiah Wedgwood developed a rich green-glazed cream-colored ware in 1759. Press-molded and slip cast fruit and vegetable shaped table and teawares were glazed in realistic colors. These cauliflower, melon and pineapples wares were popular in the 1760s (Barker 1991), but made through at least the early 1780s (Hildyard 2005:92). Some of these molded patterns evolved from decorative elements on white salt glazed stoneware and stoneware molds were used in some instances to produce these earthenwares.
These wares have a hard, somewhat porous body, and thin walls. Calcined flint, feldspar, and occasionally kaolin or other local clays, were added to the white-firing ball clay (Kybalová 1989:13). Iron impurities in the clay were responsible for the cream color of this ceramic (Halfpenny 1986:14).
Bisque (or biscuit-fired) wares were dipped into a liquid colored glaze containing lead oxide, copper oxide, flint and sometimes small amounts of clay. Fruit and vegetable shaped teapots and coffee pots would have clear and colored glazes painted onto the bisque-fired surface to create a realistic appearance. Green glazes contained copper oxides and yellow glazes contained iron oxide.
In 1759, Whieldon and Wedgwood developed a rich green-glazed cream-colored ware. In combination with bright yellow translucent glaze, these green glazes were used to create the melon, cauliflower and pineapple vessels popular in the 1760s. It was also used to glaze vessels with rims molded with dot, diaper and basket, barleycorn, and other molded motifs.
Sprig molded motifs, often highlighted with gold gilt, were sometimes used on green glazed refined earthenware.
Green glazed wares were most commonly produced as teapots, coffee pots and plates, but other vessels forms, such as candlesticks, pickle dishes and figurines were also manufactured.
Barker 1991; Halfpenny 1986; Hildyard 2005; Kybalová 1989; Noël Hume 2001; Towner 1957