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Monday, October 29, 2012

Blue Willow Story Plates

 The Chinese began making porcelain in 25CE.  The methods for making it were kept a secret for a long time and porcelain became a major export for China and a major source of its wealth.  Today this process is no longer a secret and porcelain is made in many different places—but the use of the word “China” to describe porcelain is a tribute to how important this art form was to them.
Fifth Grade students examined blue and white china.  We focused our attention on a very popular blue and white china design—the Blue Willow pattern.  The design itself looks Chinese but students learned this was actually designed in England as an imitation of Chinese examples.  In order to sell more plates the designers wanted people to believe this was authentically Chinese so they developed a story to go along with the image in the center of the plate- which was described as a traditional Chinese legend.  After reading the story and studying how it was illustrated on the plate students set out to design their own “China
Students created patterns around the borders of their plates using lines, their initial and geometric shapes.  In the center of their plate they illustrated a story based on their own personal experiences.

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