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.


• Dürer and Van Gogh’s Irises look nothing alike. They don’t look like irises either. Dürer painted his petals like thick folds of satin that ripple in perfect harmony. Up close, Van Gogh’s irises resemble crushed pieces of paper, dissolving the shape of the iris into conflicting brushstrokes. Despite chaos in the details, the composition balances. Both artists studied their botanical specimens closely, dissecting natural forms into textures.

• This Silk Scarf by Beta Accessories has loose washes of light blue and white in the form of an iris.

• Alp’s Porcelain Mug is covered by a crystalline glaze that contrasts vibrant blue with crackling gold.

• Whitney’s Blue Bowls nest inside one another to form a perfect lotus.

• Lindsay’s Serving Bowls create a striking contrast between a white exterior and glossy Cobalt inside.

• Hoshika made her Iris Necklace by laser cutting the stylized silhouette in sterling silver.

Dose of Delft

• Walking in these porcelain shoes would be pretty difficult. This pair dates back to 1720, when Delftware shoes were commonly given as holiday gifts.

• For something a little more comfortable but no less luxurious: Bobka Baby’s Delft Shoes, a pair of blue ballet flats overlaid with hand-beaded, white lace.

• This Delft Blue Embroidered Purse is made by an organization that helps disabled young people learn crafting skills.

• Studio Southern Valley creates these Ceramic Tiles to look like the antique Delftware versions.

• Nyree Lynn’s Table Runner is the perfect complement to your Delftware with an intricate, diamond and zigzag pattern in blue and cream white.

• Linda Fahey’s Hatbox Cake Stand is a modern interpretation of classic, blue-and-white tableware.

• Delftware often looks like a hodgepodge of decorative elements. This pair of vases from the early 1700s has birds, flowers, and foliage among a millefleurs motif.

• The Roberto Cavalli Resort 2013 collection transformed a tame tuxedo with the decadent patterns of Delftware.

• The Rosemary Silk-Satin Top by Preen creates a bold contrast between the printed, blue-and-white front and a shock of orange in the back.

• Della Lana’s Pumpkin Bowl is made from hand-poured porcelain and accented with three Delftware motifs.

• Katie Corrigan’s Pillow Covers add some Dutch flare to your room with a traditional, floral pattern lattice print pair.

• Minouc and Nienke live in a rural area outside Amsterdam and create work – like this Delft Blue Necklace – inspired by the Dutch landscape and traditions.

• Kris and Karla’s Bucket Bag has a delicate, blue-and-white floral pattern and quilted denim bottom.

• Curious about how Delftware workshops operated in the 18th century? Read more.

• Diane von Furstenberg’s Marcie Jacket sparkles in a blue-and-white floral pattern made from sequins.

• Marcia Gordenstein’s Pillow Cover has a classic French Toile pattern of flowers and stems.

• Carina’s Blue Bird Teapot makes your tea party a little more whimsical with a sculpted bird on the lid.

• Sharon’s Crocheted Doily creates a fine, intricate design in Delft blue.