My dislike of shopping in any shape or form, whether for myself, my wife, the children, the grandchildren or food, is well known amongst my family and friends. So, last week when my wife insisted I must buy some more ‘casual’ trousers, my heart sank. Trousers are something I really do dislike buying. I have to try them on, they never fit and if they do, I have to parade them in front of my wife and the rest of the shop before purchase can be agreed.
Hence, it was with great excitement I fell upon some very stretchy examples. They all fitted, so I purchased multiple pairs at great expense, meaning a future trouser buying spree would not be for many years. Of all the colours, my favourite by a country mile is the black pair. I really do like a black trouser.
I like black in many other things as well, including cars, carpets and porcelain. Take as an example that gorgeous Jackfield ware.
The rich black pottery known as Jackfield ware was once thought to be a mere imitation of Wedgwood’s grand black basalts, but it does in fact predate this Wedgwood range and is actually one of the many experimental wares to be made at Jackfield, Shropshire as early as 1751.
The earthenware body of Jackfield ware is a brownish red colour achieved by firing red clays at high temperatures. The glaze was achieved by firing cobalt at a high temperature until the deepest blue turned black. The lustrous sheen was partly due to the carbon filled smoke, from the furnaces, being directed back into the kiln to further blacken the earthenware.
When black glazed wares became popular in the 19th century many imitations were made and these are often mistaken for Jackfield wares. These were often made by staining earthenware black with iron oxide before firing and covering it with a clear glaze. This was a cheep alternative without the style and elegance of Jackfield but which was popular as the Victorian passion for cheap trinkets and ornament saw it made into everything from tea pots to plant pots.
Senior Valuer Michael Dowse
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