Majolica Bowls

Majolica decorated pottery is a tradition that has been around for over 1000 years. It started in Persia when the potters there were trying to create white pottery like the white porcelain imported from China. They did not have any white clay, so they imported tin oxide from Turkey and mixed it into their glaze to make it white and opaque. Then they decorated the white base glaze with colored overglazes. Many mosques are decorated with thousands of tiles created using this method. As this technique spread across Northern Africa and into Spain, different designs and techniques evolved. Pharmacy jars in Spain were often decorated in the Majolica style. If you go to your pharmacy today, the ceramic jars they use for decoration can trace their roots back to Spain in the 1500's. An example of a Spanish Majolica pharmacy jar is below.