Sun Baked - part III

Denbac French Art Nouveau Vase with Microcrystalline and Copper Dust Drip Glaze (LEO Design)

In the 15th Century, Europeans developed the "blast furnace" which could reach even higher temperatures and maintain them consistently. This allowed for the large scale production of metalworks, glassmaking, and the mass production of ceramic items—and marked the (very) early start of the Industrial Revolution (which would peak some 400 years later). With this advancement, ceramic objects no longer had to be a labor-intensive, luxury item. Indeed, certain ceramic objects could now be produced cheaply, making them practical for mundane, technical applications (like electrical insulators, first produced around 1850).

In the second half of the Twentieth Century, after World War Two, highly sophisticated ceramics manufacturing contributed to specialized uses in electronics, medical science, automotives, aeronautics, and the space exploration industries. Even today, well into the 21st Century, ceramics (and glass) production are promising fields to support future technology—some of which we cannot yet imagine.

The vase above, made in Art Nouveau France (c. 1910), wears an organic, dripping microcrystalline glaze—seasoned with copper dust—over a botanical bas relief understructure. Click on the photo above to learn more about it.


Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well!  Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (

We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques ( or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (

Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only).  917-446-4248

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