Delftware
by 
JULIA SMITH,
Historic Pottery Reproductions.
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DELFT is the common name given to a variety of earthenware produced in Holland and England beginning in the late sixteenth century. During most of the seventeenth century it was known as Galley Ware in England, probably because similar pieces had been imported from Italy and Spain since the late middle ages. Delftware's distinguishing features are a body of buff clay over which a tin-based opaque white glaze has been applied.  Many pieces produced in the mid-seventeenth century were fired just like this. Such white delft was considered to be of little value and few pieces have survived. In many cases, however, this opaque surface was used as a background for elaborate painted decoration whose pigments fuse with the glaze when the piece is fired.  The painting techniques used in delftware decoration require great concentration and a sure hand; mistakes cannot be easily corrected because the colors are immediately absorbed into the porous surface. 

Each piece of reproduction delftware has been copied from an original artifact after extensive research. Like the original, it has been made entirely by hand and shows the minor variations from piece to piece typical of professional handcraft production. The distinctive surface pattern of small lines called crazing which will develop is a distinguishing feature of true delft, as are the occasional pinholes in the glaze. 

Hand-wash delftware and allow it to dry thoroughly. A paste made from baking soda rubbed gently on the affected area will remove any staining, such as that from coffee. Because delftware remains slightly porous, pieces which are to hold liquids for any length of time should sit on a trivet or saucer. The glaze is lead-free.