It is known today that man has been making objects from clay for thousands of years.
As this earthenware was porous, it was not suitable for liquids. Around 1000-600 BC in the Middle East, clay tiles were covered with a tin-glaze and fired a second time. The result was an opaque and shiny white surface - perfect for liquids, sanitation and decoration. Islamic art spread and soon glazing ceramics entered into Northern Europe. Around 1600, Northern Netherlands began developing their own style of decorative tile with a main motif - such as a ship, flower or portrait, using blue as the color to mimic the expensive Chinese porcelain. Between 1640 and 1800, the Delft Blue Tiles became world famous. Around this same time in Rouen, France, French ceramists developed the first soft-paste porcelain, choosing an intense blue glaze to mimic as well, the porcelain from China. Around 1846, a famous artist wanted a blue kitchen to harmonize with his yellow dining room. This artist, living 45 minutes south of Rouen in Giverny, France, was Claude Monet.