Blue Glaze

The use of blue glazes in Chinese ceramics has a rich history. Cobalt, which is necessary for the production of blue glazes was extremely rare and hence expensive in China before increasing trade with Persia due to the development of the Silk Road allowed for the import of cobalt as well as mediating the influence of older traditions of blue glazed ceramics from the Middle East. This was cause for the development of the blue and white glazed porcelain of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), a tradition which also saw the export of Ceramics to the Islamic world and hence the adoption of Islamic motifs. Throughout the history of blue glaze in Chinese ceramics, varying methods of application and source of cobalt was cause for variations in the shade and hue of the blue produced. In the Ming period, blue was possibly the predominant colour of the fahua pallet, typically including two distinct tones, one of a light, warm, blue and the other of a dark inky blue.

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