The Midsummer Sampler: block 6
My inspiration for this block also fuelled it's creation: tea!
the Teapot block
Although tea has been drunk in China for two thousand years or more, it wasn't introduced to Britain until the 17th century. Charles II's Portuguese queen, Catherine of Braganza, was a devoted tea drinker and made it awfully fashionable at court. The British soon became a nation obsessed.
Teapots were originally used as ballast in the ships that brought the precious tea - kept well away from the salty waterline - across the China Seas and the Indian Ocean, around the Cape of Good Hope and northwards across the Atlantic to the East India Docks in London. Which explains why, rather confusingly, we call our porcelain 'china'.
It took another fifty years for British potters to master the creation of porcelain teapots, many of them based in Stoke-on-Trent, which is still known as the Potteries. Wedwood, Minton and Spode tea services appeared on tea tables across the world and are still highly collectable. Today we covet Burleigh and Emma Bridgewater teapots...all still made in the Potteries.
Next time we'll be calling in at Meadow Cottage and exploring some of Britain's architectural heritage. Until then a Kate Greenaway style tea party with our friends would be lovely wouldn't it? All in good time...take care,