When it comes to American Potters, the United States of America has a long and rich history.
When artisans and other settlers came to America everything needed for the production of pottery was already here. Potter’s clays were abundant especially the common red burning clays. Often found in shale at or near the ground surface. They were used for everyday things like bricks, roof tiles and coarse Redware products.
The only real problem was searching throughout the country to find the rich deposits of the finer, color rich varieties. If wanted clays were not near at hand, riverboats brought them. Materials for glaze or decoration were simple and readily available. Even fuel for the potter's kiln was everywhere in this forested land.
Redware was especially popular in kitchen and with dairy products. It can be used alongside pewter and common woodenware or 'treen'. The simplest forms of this sturdy pottery were created with color, glazed with yellows and browns, salmon pink to rich orange, coppers and greens, and the brownish black from manganese. Besides glaze, all one really needed to make pottery pieces like pottery dinnerware was a horse-powered mill to grind and mix the clay, a home built potter's wheel, a few wooden tools, and maybe some homemade molds.
Not much is left from the earliest days of American pottery.
Perhaps the reason is that few potters of that time bothered with pottery marks, since it was common to follow and reproduce what was put out by Europe. Early American work has been mislabeled as English or French. Perhaps it is simply time that has destroyed many of these fine works, after all it has been a couple of hundred years.
The most popular, and easiest, American stoneware to collect is that which has its origin in our great centuries middle years or perhaps the 20s and 30s.
The artware pottery movement closely followed the art deco time period and is defined as ceramics (earthenware, stoneware or porcelain) created with an artistic and decorative intent. Today only a few potters survive although there were hundreds at the turn of the century including Hartstone pottery, Bauer pottery, North Carolina pottery, Rookwood pottery, Williamsburg pottery, Bennington pottery, Blue Mountain pottery, Blue Ridge pottery and Frankoma pottery to name just a few.
Today, the creation of American pottery is not much different than it was hundreds of years ago.
It can be made by those with no tools except their own hands or by those who have invested thousands of dollars in pottery supplies. You may want to buy your clay rather than dig for it but other then that, pottery is one of the simplest and most satisfying forms of functional art.
Learn about some of the most popular and well recognized American Potters.
Learn about Hartstone Pottery
Learn about McCoy Pottery
Learn about Red Wing Pottery
Learn about Roseville Pottery
Learn about Van Briggle Pottery
Learn about Weller Pottery
Some of my Wares
Daisy's on Blue
The Scenic Platter
Dinner Ware Lines
Birds in Nature