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It would seem to go back for sure to the 9th or 10th centuries when Islamic potters in the Middle East produced iridescent pottery of great beauty. The technique spread throughout the Middle East & especially to Egypt, & later to Moorish Spain & Italy.

The 'Islamic' technique does not apparently produce predictable results, so while the large potteries of the world, such as Josiah Wedgwood & Josiah Spode, did use those techniques, their use is today confined to studio potters where unpredictability is perhaps an advantage.

The tissue paper is applied to the piece of pottery which is then immersed in cold water - with the result that the ink hardens on the pottery & the tissue paper floats free. On plaques, on jugs, on plates, on decorative vases, on china animals, on teapots, on whimsical items etc. There are wonderful examples to be found in the museums of the world.

Michael Gibson (see next paragraph) describes that process as being relatively easy when transferring the design to a flat surface but rather harder when applied to the typically curved surface of a piece of pottery. May I suggest that you obtain a copy of specialist volumes on the subject.

The image above is almost certainly of a Sunderland pottery.

It is of an English pottery, however, since the image was published in a volume entitled 'The Heart of England' by Ivor Brown. Now Sunderland is famous for its 'lustreware' (or 'lusterware' in North America). K., it would seem, Staffordshire & elsewhere also, but particularly Sunderland.

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As for other pages on this site, this page IS very much a work in progress! Because the webmaster is NOT an expert on the subject & has never been to Sunderland.

Let me start out by saying that 'lustreware' is not a type of pottery at all.

Rather it is a type of decoration which can be applied to any piece of pottery.

Essentially a metallic sheen, given to the piece of pottery by adding metallic oxides to the glaze.

The origins of the 'lustring' technique go back many centuries.

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