Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Not Just For Clothes Washin !

My Laundry Room,

     Before I moved to," My Old Historic House", full time, I knew I had to have a laundry room. It has been a long time since I went to the laundry mat and I didn't want to start now. So that was  my mission before the great move. There was a little room off the kitchen that had been part of the outside porch. It was closed  in by the second owners of the house about 1945 .It was the first indoor bath room at that time, so it did have running water, well-sorta? The little room was made by adding clapboard siding to the outside and cheap wood paneling to the inside. There was no insulation in between. Through the years different holes were made in the floor for plumbing add ons and  repairs. There was a hole big enough in the floor for Sissy Dog to crawl through. The first 2 years I had the house ,I kept that room sealed off with plastic. In the winter if you opened the door the plastic would blow at you like a balloon. Needless to say it needed a little help. Off came the paneling and out came 5 layers of flooring. In went new plumbing,flooring, electric,  insulation and then it was finished off with bead board and fresh white paint. All this took a few weeks and cost, well a lot more than I had planned. It is not a big room,but big enough to work as a laundry room. Before all this started, I knew I wanted to decorate it with Brown and White Transferware and Brown Ware pottery. I started collecting it and it was stuck  all over the house. I never could seem to save enough money to redo the room because I kept spending money on the stuff to decorate it with. But with the full time living arrangements  upon me, I had to do it. After the needed stuff was all completed, then came the fun. Shelves were added on 2 walls above  the washer and dryer for -MY STUFF! I found this old built in pantry cabinet at our local antique mall and had it installed on the other side, which meant, more room for,MY STUFF!I wanted to use brown and white Toile and Gigham for the curtains. That was not as easy as it sounds. After looking and looking, I finally found some of each on Ebay. The results are what you will see in this blog. As usual I have to add a little history lesson along with the fun. So here goes-the history of English Transferware .

My Old Historic House.

The side porch closed in in 1945 to make a place for the first inside bath room, now the laundry room.

Brown and White Toile and Gigham Curtains.Made by my Dear Sweet Sister.

Vintage pantry cabinet found at local antique mall.

    I started collecting transferware around 30 years ago. When I had no money and it was cheap. I love the look of those underglazed engravings and I always felt I was getting away with something when I would pick it for practically nothing.Through the years I have gone from color to color. Red for one house, blue for another. Purple for a bath room,pink for a porch, green in a bed room and now brown for the laundry room. I love collecting things,but, when I am over them, I am over them. So after I have  used them and moved on, I would always sell them off. So my collection today is only the brown and white.
   The transfer- printing technique , developed in the 18th century and perfected in the 19th century and is considered one of the most successful forms of mass production ever. The process eliminated hand painting and enabled the potter to produce tremendous quantities of there wares in a little time. Readily available and moderately priced, transferware transformed the daily life of the ordinary household in England and around the world.With this important developement, England began it's domination of the table ware industry and was destined to become the world's pottery center.English transferware was very popular in the United States,a fact that the British potters embraced. A number of major table ware firms produced goods  just for the American market. The illustrations  used on transfer ware were surrounded by a boarder pattern, usually floral,many of them featuring small designs inside decorative medallions. Common boarders soon became a certain pattern's trade mark.

Love this pattern with the Roaster.

How about Wild Turkeys?And Cow Creamers!

Ain't this one fun?

     19th century English transferware still takes it's place on the tabletop today. Transferware wasn't for the rich. It was made for working class households, who might buy a few pieces at a time, for a few pence each. Before long, factories were turning out complete sets. The first and still most popular color was blue and latter came brown.,black,purple,green,pink and red.Yellow is the most rare. Once a master pattern was engraved on copper,it was glazed with color and transferred to a special thin paper, which was then applied in sections to the ceramic pieces. We can judge the success of this application by the how well the patterns match up. In the early 1800's, dinners were usually served  family style, where all the food was set on a table all  at once. Transferware pieces were made for a purpose, such as ,tureens,vegetable bowls, platters,butter or gravy boat.
    A man and a woman in classical surroundings is one of many central themes of the transferware decorations.   Some of the more elaborate patterns might have taken the copper engraver more than a month to create. Pattern names and markers marks  ,can be found in reference books on the market today. These can all be used to help trace down the maker and age of any piece.
    Transferware is the term given to pottery that has had a pattern applied by transferring the print from a copper plate to a special sized paper and finally to the pottery body.While produced primary on earthenware,transfer prints are also found on ironstone,porcelain and fine bone china. Many 100's of patterns were produced on tens of millions of pieces. The process was developed in the 2nd half of the 18th century in response to the needs of a new middle class. Many factories claim responsibility for the technique  of the process,but,in fact, it was probably a combination of men and materials, that came together in England. A combination of raw materials, men of science, such as Spode and Wedgewood, cheap labor and new canals that connected Staffordshire to the major ports of London, that made transferware production possible and after the war of 1812- it also came to the American market. Important buildings, landscapes and  war heroes are just a few of the patterns that appeal to the Americans.

Even a Bed Pan!!!!

   Early transfers came out fuzzy and latter the transfers became sharper and clearer. Brown and white was  the least popular until dinner ware patterns came into vogue. And now they are highly sought after.English transferware is easily recognized , when you learn to know what to look for. There is also American made transferware,  but I like the English,best.
    Also found  in my laundry room are pieces of what is known as Brown Ware. This is a pottery with a dark brown glaze. It was first made for utility purposes and latter added it's decorative  forms and decorations. It is known as any typically primative pottery that fires to a dark brown color. Many pottery company's   made brown ware and it would be impossible to list them all and go into such detail.  A few are: McCoy
,Hull ,Peteres and Reed, Brown Stone, Red Wing, Rockingham,Bennington and Bauer.
    I hope you enjoy this little lesson and a tour of my laundry room. Come by any time for a tour, I will leave the lights on and Sissy Dog will meet you with a jump and a kiss. Bring your laundry and we will share a glass of wine and set on the screen porch while it washes and drys.
Slop Jar ! With Fruit?

Wild Cat Juice anyone?



Fancy for Tea.

Love the Anchor
 as Ms. Elgin was a River Boat Captain!

I looked and looked for a dog like this. They were all so expensive. Finally one day I found one for $125 and I jumped on it. Did I get a good deal??? I hope so. 

Linking to: 


xinex said...

I love your transferware, Richard. What a nice multifunctional room. Beautiful display fo dishes too and I like the cabinet.....Christine

Maison de lin said...


I hadn't never seen a laundry like this! It's amazing. I love also the display of the dishes.
Thanks to sharing your beautiful house whit us.

Greetings from Belgium

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Oh Richard, what a fabulous laundry room. Like you mine is decorated, although not quite as eloquently as yours. I noticed my dog on the floor by the little chair.. yes.. I'm in love with that dog! Hello to you too Miss Sissy. Your sister has a talent for sewing, the curtains are perfect! What a beautiful home you have. hugs ~lynne~

Marcia said...

Another great blog; I am getting so smart with all these historylessons! Thank you for sharing and the photos are beautiful. I'm a little partial to that last image....

Mikey @ Shabby French Cottage said...

This is fantastic! I love brown transferware--I have a set of Johnson Bros Old Britain Castles in Brown Polychrome! Also, my laundry room is similarly off my kitchen, and I, too, have my microwave in there! Ha!

~Mikey @ Shabby French Cottage

Tallulah's Antique Closet said...

Like the washroom it looks great and the collection of brown transfer whare is nice also Thanks for sharing and I like your garden. Have a great day....Julian

Shelia said...

Hi Richard! Oh, my goodness - I love this. Now you would have a wonderful space like this in your laundry room! I love seeing all of your pretty (and unusual) transferware! I know it's a great storage area too!
Hope you're doing well.
Be a sweetie,
Shelia ;)

victorian parlor II said...

Your transferware collection is beautiful! I collect the brown transferware too-the aesthetic movement pieces are my favorites:).



Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Richard:
What a wonderful collection of Transferware which is beautifull presented - almost too good for the laundry room, although that is very clearly not simply functional but also very carefully and artistically arranged.

We have so enjoyed this post, which we have discovered by pure chance, and have found what you have had to say about Transferware most interesting to read and informative.

Your house is lovely - just as we imagine old Colonial properties in the United States to look. Such fun too!

Picket said...

Oh my word...get me a buggy I could go shopping in your beautiful laundry room! Love all that gorgeous brown transferware...love the beadboard and love that built in cabinet! It looked like you had lined the inside of the cabinet with checked material or paper...that was so pretty...I have a tall glass front cabinet I'd love to try that in and oh my word I haven't heard the word 'slop jar' since I was a little girl at my grandmother's house! lol Beautiful laundry room...I'd be looking for anything to wash just to go in there! lol Have a great week...Picket

Brigitte said...

Hi Richard,
What a great Laundry room !!! ... and better yet what a good idea to decorate it with some transfer ware which is also my love.I have never collected brown but our collections are all blue-white and some dark pinks.Somewhere packed away some greens.
Richard I must say you have the BEST ideas :-) ..guess I better move my sewing "stuff" out of the laundry room and utilize the room a little better.
Would love to iron my antique linens in your laundry room.What a truly fantastic idea.
I can't even tell you how much I love your blog.It is a true joy to read and see a picture of sissy dog.She is definitely a lady ,sitting so composed in her/your chair,

Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Richard:
Thank you for your comment on our blog to which we have replied. And, thank you too for directing us to your wonderful collection of birds under glass shades which you posted in March of this year. What an absolute treat, they are marvellous!!

Anna at the Doll House said...

Hello Richard

What a delightful surprise to discover your page.

I am also a lover of transfer printed wares. So, I am quite surprised by your collection of brown and white. Here, I have seen blue, red, green and occasionally black but I don't believe I have ever seen brown. Well, it doesn't matter: I am definitely a blue and white person. I am also an admiring new follower of your blog.


lvroftiques said...

Richard I LOVE your laundry room...And it looks big to me! All of your collections are amazing and this one is no exception. I really enjoyed the lesson in transferware. I have a few pieces, but I need MANY more! And the brown and plum are my favorites....so if you should tire of the brown???......just sayin'....*winks* Vanna

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

Hi Richard! I am not surprised at all that your laundry room is decorated beautifully. I love your transferware collection. I also started collecting about thirty years ago when prices were a lot cheaper. Your home is gorgeous!
Take care,

Sissysmom said...

Ok, I need you to come help decorate my laundry room…it is just so “laundryish”!! Oh and bring you sister too, I have a window!!! Love the transferware. Give Sissy Dog a pat on the head from me.


I think it's a lovely room, so pretty and cozy...MUCH MORE than a laundry room, for sure! I have a pretty new and nice laundry room, all I need is to put those shelves like yours and adorne it with your beautiful brown transferware! I love your home and your new dog, as I am a collector, I just need yours! I would've paid what you did, who cares, great dog! Thanks for dropping by.
Have a nice evening.

Donna@Conghaile Cottage said...

I would LOVE my laundry room to look a "Fraction" of what yours looks like. Mine is in the basement(But I'm working on it). I LOVE all your transferware. Sissy dog looks SO Sweet, Hugs to her!!!
Have a great weeks end,

very merry vintage style said...

What a great laundry room. I love this--making this room so beautiful--it's gotta make laundry more fun! Thanks so much for linking up this post to my Share the Love Link Party. Hope you'll be back next week!

Courtney ~ French Country Cottage said...

Absolutely stunning Richard~ I am in love with everything! The transferware, your curtains, your laundry room and shelves and your home- how beautiful!

Sweet Old Vintage said...

I especially love the brown transferware... It is a great laundry area...Hope you are well and the river is keeping it's distance... We just can't seem to get things settled down in our area... Farmers are under stress... I am even getting just alittle crabby and need to control that... No golf tonight... no ball game tonight... everything is soggy... I pray this will pass soon.... Sending blessings....

~ ~ Ahrisha ~ ~ said...

Hello Richard, What a lovely collection you have and your laundry room is beautiful with the shelves of china. Thanks for sharing. I always enjoy my visit here.

Debbie@Debbie-Dabble said...

What a fantastic laundry room!! And what eye candy that you have in it!!
Love the transferware you have beautifully displayed in it.