Week 8 Response: Blue Willow Plate

Week 8: Prof Sujatha brought one of her prized collection of the “Blue Willow Plate” to class for us to interact and have a closer examination. That experience was certainly more interesting than seeing flat images on projection screen. I’ve actually seen the pattern multiple times before but never could I have imagined the different elements like (three men, a boat, two bird, etc) could mean something! The history behind Blue Willow Pattern is funny and surprising for me! Even though the Blue Willow pattern has a Chinese look and story, it was actually created by the westerners who mass-produced that iconic pattern on earthenware.

What shocked me the most was how the story of the star-crossed lovers who transformed into doves is entirely fictional! It was actually just a marketing ploy to get people to buy the “chinaware” when it was first introduced in the western world.  Narrative is a powerful tool that certainly changes the way we look at a product and it may even potentially lure people into buying a product/belief!

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