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Italian Maiolica

Close up of a tile table

Maiolica - also known as Majolica - is earthenware with a white tin oxide or zirconia opacified glaze, decorated by painting on the raw glazed surface with colorants. Firing at a low temperature fuses the glaze and sets the color without running or blurring.

The tin glazing tradition swept from the Middle East, down the length of the Northern African seaboard into Moorish Spain in the 10th Century, and via the island of Majorca in the Mediterranean - from whence its appellation comes - to Italy in the 13th Century.

Paola working on a piece

The Italians copied the styles of the Spanish Middle Eastern designs, and substituted the classic orange-yellow color for the Middle Eastern Lustres. 
Italian Maiolica eventually dominated the pottery of Europe and set a trend that continues today..