Whether modern or antique, its fresh appeal is timeless.
The first examples were concocted in China in the 9th century. So says Mr Wikipedia anyway. Only shards still exist.
Production was pushed along in the 14th century by a blend of Chinese artistry and Persian trade. Persia (that's Iran today) had this wondrous stuff called cobalt, so highly prized it was double the price of gold, and it looked stunning applied to white porcelain.
As centuries rolled by, China exported their wares to Islamic and European lands.
Then, enter one of the world's first industrial spies, a Beijing-based Jesuit priest named Francois Xavier d'Entrecolles, who sent the secrets of making fine blue and white porcelain to Europe in the early 1700s. Soon, potteries such as Meissen, Sevres, Worcester, Delft and Royal Stafford were producing their own versions.
The most famous blue/white china of all is the willow pattern, which looks Chinese but was invented in England and based on a fanciful story with no Chinese heritage at all.
I was about to post a picture of a modern bowl when I stumbled over the image above from the online A-Z guide to ceramics at the Victoria and Albert Museum.
This messy stack is so much more interesting than one perfect piece.
Fused together, crumbled and cracked, it has a name. It is, the V & A tells me, a waster.
It's the old, discarded remains for a firing gone wrong. Archeologists and historians love unearthing them for the info they reveal on old production methods.
While it was rubbish, it was handy rubbish - put to good use as ballast and as filler material on construction projects. Apparently tons of British wasters were sent to New Delhi in the 1920s and used in street building.
It reminds me of what wise people say: no experience is ever wasted.
When we start something and don't finish, or make a mess of a project, we so often beat ourselves up.
"I'm useless," we mutter. "What a waste of time." And, "what was I thinking?"
But it's not a waste of time. When potters hauled wasters from the kiln, they'd have examined their mistake, put it aside and moved on.
It's the same in daily life. When we stumble, we learn. When we don't deliver, we get clues on how to do it better next time. We tuck the memory of failure away, like a cracked stack of old china. Then, sometime later, when we need bring it on, that's when we can produce the thing that shines.