Traditional Tole Painting
Traditional Tole Painting and a little of its history.
'What is Tole'? That's the first question most people ask - a short explanation. The word Tole comes from the French, meaning lacquered or enamelled metal-ware, often gilded. It also means a table or board.
From the Archival records and articles in the UK, it is known that the Schools of Art of the time (1700's) took apprentices and trained them, in either the 'one-stroke' style required for decorating furniture, or the 'one-stroke' style required for decorating pottery. (Those not able to afford the School of Art costs, spent years learning from the Master Painter within a firm).
Imported glossy black tin tea trays, referred to as 'Japanned Ware', had become popular in the UK. To counteract this import, areas around Sheffield, the Black Country and parts of Wales started producing all manner of black enamelled, metal goods, from tea pots to tea-caddy's to tea trays. It is known that the painters from the 'Potteries' (where most of the Schools of art were situated) moved to these areas, to fulfil the increasing demand of decorating these products. Records show that Tole was being painted in the UK by the 1750's
and the work was often Gilded.
In Traditional Tole, Oil paint was, and still is, the medium used. Two or more colours are loaded into the brush to complete each element of the design, painted wet-on-wet with one stroke of the brush. (Tole is often referred to as 'one stroke painting') All the elements are then built up to complete the design, with fruit, flowers and leaves being the main components. Gilding is hardly ever used these days, its heyday seems to have been from 1790's to 1870's.
Today, most of this type of skilled, historical, decoration, often comes under the general heading of Decorative Art.
Click these links to see some of the designs used at these famous Pottery's
Wedgwood Royal Crown Derby and Spode (keep changing their website)
There is a single leaf painting demonstration here