The majolica technique of painting colorants on a white glaze moved north to the Dutch city of Delft during the seventeenth and eighteenth century. While Italian majolica used a wide variety of colors, Delftware was developed specifically to compete with Chinese blue and white porcelain wares, so the Dutch limited their palette to blue and white, creating finely crafted low fire wares that could compete with the Chinese high fired porcelains.
In modern times, majolica and delftware are still being produced in Europe, both as functional pieces and decorative pieces that are often sold to tourists in the areas. One of my best memories of visiting Tuscany several years ago was visiting a majolica workshop in the town of Certaldo and watching a woman carefully paint a piece of majolica ware.
In the United States the majolica tradition continues with artists like Linda Arbuckle who has adapted this centuries old technique to modern designs. While Arbuckle continues to work at low fire temperatures, though her glaze does not contain lead and she uses both tin and zircopax as opacifiers, there are some artists who have adapted the technique of applying colorants on top of a white base glaze to the higher cone six firing temperature. This is the technique that I have used on my exploration of majolica. I apply a white glaze to my pieces (recipe to follow) and then apply Amoco Velvet Underglazes on top and then fire the pieces to cone 5/6. While this may not be the true low fire technique used by the Italians during the renaissance, it does produce a much stronger ware that is much more durable.
Michelle's White Glaze (^5/^6)
20% Ferro Frit 3134
20% Custer Feldspar