Blue Rogue

What happens when blue-and-white porcelain decides to go rogue and explore forms suited to more than fine dining?

• Ai Weiwei’s Field connects pipes made out of porcelain in a grid structure similar to scaffolding or drainage pipes. Curved floral patterns of the early Ming Dynasty meander through the rigid geometry, bringing together tradition with the foundations of urban industry. The two cancel each other out because the structure serves no purpose and the pattern is out of context. Free from the limits of use value, modern and traditional design can meet in a neutral space.

• Yang Jiechang’s Skull recalls the demand for Chinese export porcelain in Europe that started in the fourteenth century. Dutch traders called the blue-and-white dishes kraak porcelain and viewed them as a rare luxury. Chinese exports appear in still life paintings from the Golden Age, sometimes in compositions with a skull. The vanitas reminded the rich recipients that the value of luxury doesn’t last forever.

• The Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2012 Collection paired blue-and-white striped pieces with shoes and tights tattooed in Chinese dragon motifs.

• These Chinese Vase prints allow you to have expensive porcelain without worrying about breaking it.

• Harriet Damave’s Cocktail Ring is made of porcelain with a flower hand-painted using the traditional Dutch Delftware technique.

• Leslie Saar’s Donatello is a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle painted to look like fine china.

• Juliet Ames’ Necklace suspends a broken piece of blue china from a silver chain.

• Jenny’s Kim is a ceramic mask painted with loose, blue brushstrokes.

• Jacquie M.’s Navy Blue Print is based on a woodblock print found in an old book.

• Mary Judy’s Utensil Holder keeps all of your kitchen tools together in style with a hand-painted blue tapestry pattern.