Willow pattern is actually English in origin, designed by a man called Thomas Minton in the late 18th Century, although it was based on traditional Chinese one colour pottery.
While it has been much copied and changed, the original design shows three men crossing a bridge outside a temple, surrounded by trees. There is a boat on the river and two birds overhead.
'Two birds flying high,
A Chinese vessel, sailing by.
A bridge with three men, sometimes four,
A willow tree, hanging o'er.
A Chinese temple, there it stands,
Built upon the river sands.
An apple tree, with apples on,
A crooked fence to end my song.'
The Willow Pattern also has a story attached (although whether this story has its roots in Chinese legend or was created to help sell the pottery no one is sure).
You will need (for older children):
Plain white plate
Blue ceramic paint
Paint your design on to your plate. Follow the instructions on the ceramic paint to protect your design.
You will need (for younger children):
Younger children may prefer to draw their design onto a paper plate with a blue colouring pen, as in the plate below:
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