DELFT BLUEWARE BIRTH & WEDDING PLATES
Holland Gallery is a 'cottage industry'. There is no factory, production line or machinery - apart from a kiln to refire the plates - everything to produce your unique commemorative plate is done by hand. Plain white bone china plates are obtained from one of the Royal Staffordshire potteries.
They only produce a limited amount of these plates and we are told Harrods of London is also a client (of particular coincidence as my great, great, great aunt - Elizabeth Digby married Charles Henry Harrod and founded the first Harrods shop in 1835).
Initially the pattern decals (transfers) are moistened to release them from the backing paper and applied to the plates.
Any surplus moisture is removed while maintaining the decals position, great care is required as they are fragile and can easily split or distort.
The decals are produced in Holland to traditional Delft designs - we are the sole importers.
When the plate with its decal has dried the artists can begin their work. The personal details are painted on freehand using a very fine brush and a paint of cobalt powder in a mainly water based solution.
Several different artists are used which enhances the special individuality of your plate, no two plates are the same.
The lettering is difficult for the following reasons:
1. Calligraphists are not used.
2. The concave rim of the plate is steep, most artists paint the topmost lettering upside down.
3. As the glaze is shiny, it is difficult to mix a paint that will both flow and stick to the surface.
4. A very fine brush has to be used that holds only a small amount of paint.
Our instructions to the artist are two fold, firstly the lettering must be legible and secondly it must be accurate to the customer's instructions
The finished plate is fired to a temperature of over 1050 degrees centigrade turning the cobalt paint blue. This part of the process takes several days, including the cooling period to enable the plates to be handled.
The final results are quite astounding as when the unfired plates are placed in the kiln the colours are black, green, and yellow but when fired, the Blue Delft colours are revealed.
Once the plates are cool any sharp spikes are ground off the underside a final check is carried out before being carefully packed and dispatched. The finished product is then yours to enjoy as a reminder of the special event it records.
All our plates have a unique number that identifies this plate for future reference and are digitally photographed before being despatched. We reserve the right to use images for advertising.
Clients who ordered via the web are notified by e-mail on the date of despatch. Should you request the plate be sent direct to the recipient, we e-mail photographs (front & back) direct to them of the gift for their records.