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pottery-msg - 5/25/10

 

Medieval pottery, kilns. modern equivalents. tiles.

 

NOTE: See also the files: pottery-whels-msg, basketweaving-msg, tiles-art, tools-msg, frescoes-msg, p-bottles-msg, feastgear-msg, p-tableware-msg, pottery-whels-msg, glasswork-msg, ceramics-bib, Ceramics-Intro-art.

 

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NOTICE -

 

This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.

 

This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org

 

I have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with separate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs  were removed to save space and remove clutter.

 

The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given  by the individual authors.

 

Please respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these messages. The copyright status  of these messages  is  unclear  at this time. If information  is  published  from  these  messages, please give credit to the originator(s).

 

Thank you,

   Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                         Stefan at florilegium.org

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From: coristew at uoguelph.ca (Cori Stewart)

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: period pottery

Date: 14 Mar 1995 14:57:23 GMT

Organization: University of Guelph

 

I have an ecyclopaedia of craft magazines ... One of the issues shows how

to fire pots over a campfire-type-thing.  I've also seen this technique

explained in two pottery books.  It is very simple, yet effective.  There

is, of course a slightly higher chance that pots will break, so

heat conditions must be watched witha careful eye.

 

In another book I saw instructions for what is termed a 'sawdust kiln'.  

This is actually, a kiln made with loose bricks piled to make a garbage

can shape ... there were spaces between the bricks ... in otherwords, a

very simple stacked arrangement.  The kiln was then filled alternately

with sawdust, then pots, covered with sawdust and then with pots and then

sawdust, etc... until the kiln was filled (please note, larger pots were

placed on the bottom ... as the kiln burns, the sawdust incinerates, and

your pots are left on the bottom ... you don't want larger pots settling

on top of smaller pots, thereby crushing them).  After this, a sack

soaked in flamable liquid was buried in the tops and ignited ... slowly

slowly, over a day, the sawdust would burn out.  It is even safe to leave

it over night.  eventually, pots are left baked at the bottom of the kiln

intact. this is a popular technique and probably can be found with a

little research at your library.

 

Good luck ... I'm not a potter by any stretch of the imagination ... but

a wide interest base leads to much information :-)

 

Robyn Whystler

 

 

From: Lisa Carter <zkr26 at ttacs1.ttu.edu>

To: ansteorra at eden.com

Date: Fri, 08 Nov 1996 00:47:34 -0600 (CST)

 

On Thu, 7 Nov 1996 Caitrin3 at aol.com wrote:

> I have a request and if anyone can help, I would really appreciate it.  To

> start, I make ceramic feast ware.  I use extremely mundane materials and

> methods doing this.  I have been told by many that molded ceramics are not

> period.  About a year ago, I met a lady (I don't remember her name or where

> she is from, sorry) who said that she read a book that mentioned molded

> ceramics found in archealogy digs.  Does anyone have any info that could help

> me find this?  I doubt that I would actually compete in A & S, but I would

> like to display my work.  I feel uncomfortable though, since I am using

> modern molds, paints and firing to make my stuff.  

>

> Lady Catrin Mac Cracken

> Caitrin3 at aol.com

 

I belive we talked at TSQ a year ago.  I have still been doing a great

bit of research on this issue.  Molding can be dated back to 3000 b.c. -

the famous "Rams Head" cup was a molded/thrown piece.  The book Mold

making for ceramics by Donald E. Frith has this information.  It also

explains how to make molds.  Another reference source Looking at European

Ceramics - by David Harris Cohen and Catherine Hess talks about period

molding.

 

After about a year I have finally made a working mold.  I'm am also

learning how to throw pottery.  To create the mold I made a sold piece on

the wheel.  I then made the mold out of plaster from that piece - then

using slip to create the end form. So to make a long answer - yes the

greenware you are using is period.  Well that is- that is who they did

it. I've noted there were certain period forms also.  What we think

looks like a period item I have discovered is not necessary period.

 

Kayleigh Drake

 

 

From: SusanKFord at aol.com

To: ansteorra at eden.com

Date: Mon, 11 Nov 1996 10:08:16 -0500

 

There are many Chinese glazes that are period and not poisonous. Celedon

comes to mind. It is a clear green glaze that shows up any incised work and

texture put into the pot. It is usually put over whiteware and porcelain.

 

I put modern glazes on my pots and explained why in my documentation. Also,

before the Roman era, most pots were unglazed, only decorated in colored

slips (liquid clay) and then burnished to a sheen with a smooth stone.  In

this case, you could decorate the outside of the pot the way you want to, and

then just glaze the inside with a clear glaze. There were many different

colors of clays, depending on the deposits of clay you were using. There was

terra cotta, a yellowish-tan, and a lot of black. I believe the black was

either a black slip, or it was raku fired.

 

Raku firing is when you take the red hot pot out of the kiln and smother it

with sawdust or leaves (today trash cans and shredded newspaper is used). The

pot ignites the sawdust, which burns out the oxygen which then turns the clay

black.

 

Sigrid

 

 

Date: Sat, 30 Aug 1997 13:36:56 -0500

From: Stephanie Howe <olga at icon-stl.net>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: period ceramics

 

This may or may not be right up your alley- I've found it *very*

informative, although reading produced raging thirst...

 

Medieval Pottery from Excavations: Studies presented to Gerald Clough

Dunning edited by Vera I. Evison, H. Hodges, and J.G. Hurst

St. Martin's Press, Inc., 175 Fifth Ave, New York, NY 10010

LoC #74-82134

 

No color plates, but lots of line drawings with details and cross

sections. Each essay has an extensive bibliography, too. Bonus info. on

production and distribution, the evolution of kiln types, the social

position of potters, etc. Have a pot of coffee ready- heavy-duty

academic writing style.

 

Olga

 

 

Date: Mon, 01 Sep 1997 12:49:44 -0500

From: Stephanie Howe <olga at icon-stl.net>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: period ceramics

 

DianaFiona at aol.com wrote:

(snip)

One of them is marvelous--it's a period Italian potters' manual!

> It's very detailed, so it's perfect for majolica info. A friend of mine found

> out about it and got it through ILL. Once I find them again--it may be

 

That would be "Tre Libri dell'Arte del Vasaio (The Three Books of the

Potter's Art)" by Cipriano Piccolpasso? Cool stuff! I've got a copy of

the Scholar Press (ISBN 0 85967 452 5) facsimile set. One of the

translators, Alan Caiger-Smith, has another couple of books out that you

should find really interesting, if you haven't already seen them- "Tin

Glazed Pottery", Faber & Faber Ltd, London, 1973, and one on lustre

ware. Sorry, I'm working off memory and a bibliographic note from

another, closer to hand, book, so I can't quote the really useful

publishing info. I don't (yet!) own either of these titles, although

they're right at the top of my aquire-as-soon-as-possible lists.

 

If you're interested in tiles, get ahold of "Medieval Craftsmen: English

Tilers" by Elizabeth Eames, ISBN 0-8020-7706-4  Informative and

accessible, good illustrations, and very thorough.

 

What other books on majolica do you recommend?

 

Olga Belobashnina Cherepanova

Barony of Three Rivers, Calontir

 

 

Date: Tue, 2 Sep 1997 08:35:34 -0500 (CDT)

From: Cindy Morley <cmorley at comp.uark.edu>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: period ceramics

 

On Sat, 30 Aug 1997, Dennis Grace wrote:

> I'm looking to find a book (or several?) on period European ceramics. I'd

> like to find something that not only has some good color photos and other

> illustrations, but discusses period materials and techniques as well.

 

> Aquilanne

 

Any particular time period?  For anglo-saxon I would highly recommend:

"Anglo-Saxon pottery and the Settlement of England" by Myres.  This book

has wonderful scale drawings of pots found in digs and a lot of good

background info on pottery in england.  Another one for Anglo-Saxon is:

"The Archaeology of Anglo-Saxon England" by Wilson.  This book has tons of

other stuff in it as well besides pottery.  Another group of books that I

have recently found for later period pottery (discussing mainly majalica

{I probibly spelled that wrong}) is "I tre libri dell'Arte del Vasaio, the

three books of the potters art".  I haven't had much chance to look in

depth at them, but from what I have seen, they are very interesting.  I

think, however, that they were published slightly out of period (but were

written in period??).  Hope this helps.

 

Christiaen

Calontir

 

 

Date: Tue, 2 Sep 1997 13:56:14 -0400 (EDT)

From: DianaFiona at aol.com

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: period ceramics

 

<< That would be "Tre Libri dell'Arte del Vasaio (The Three Books of the

Potter's Art)" by Cipriano Piccolpasso? Cool stuff! I've got a copy of

the Scholar Press (ISBN 0 85967 452 5) facsimile set. One of the

translators, Alan Caiger-Smith, has another couple of books out that you

should find really interesting, if you haven't already seen them- "Tin

Glazed Pottery", Faber & Faber Ltd, London, 1973, and one on lustre

ware. >>>

 

     Yes, indeed, that was the one--thanks! I wasn't aware of the other

books by the translator, though, so I'll have to go looking. I *do* have one

with a similar title that I thought at first might be it--"Tin-glazed

Earthenware", by Daphne Carnegy. It is the only one I have the actual book

of, rather than just the photocopies. I got lucky and found it at

Books-a-Million on the sale table for $11--$12! (And I've seen it there

recently, too, so go hunt!) It's very good for translating the period

directions into modern materials and equipment. It's even got some of the

lovely color pictures the original poster was wanting. But the best one I

have for that is "Italian Majolica", by Jirina Vydrova, trans. by Ota

Vojtisek. It's not the only one like this out there, though. I've seen a few

others in the hands of a friend who at least used to be on this list--Theo,

are you still here? She's much more knowledgable on this topic than I am, so

maybe she'll pop in with some titles eventually.  

 

>>What other books on majolica do you recommend?

Olga Belobashnina Cherepanova

Barony of Three Rivers, Calontir

>>>

   Hummm..........  Well, as a forrunner to the Italian wares, there's

"Medieval Near Eastern Ceramics in the Freer Gallery of Art", by the

Smithsonian Institution. The work is overall much more informal than the

Italian works were in their heyday, and might be less intimidating for

someone just starting to paint ceramics. Another friend of mine has been

working a great deal with middle eastern "Majolica", though, and is turning

out some lovely things that are quite intricate indeed.

   Not majolica specifically, but intriging: I found a book, in Spanish, in

our university library entitled "Ceramica Medieval Espanola" (No author

listed on the title page). It's not all painted wares like the other books,

and a number of the items are rather crude, but it's very interesting. There

are a number of oil lamps pictured that I would like to try copying someday,

and some amusing figures, like a camel, kneeling, that might have been meant

as toys. There's an obvious Arabic influence, as you would expect, in a lot

of the stuff. Lots of fun!

 

Ldy Diana

 

 

From: Norman White <gn-white at tamu.edu>

To: ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG

Date: Mon, 08 Sep 1997 13:36:28 -0500

Subject: Re: ANST - New noncombat topic -Reply

 

Trishka Makowski wrote about Marthe de Blenkinsop's

comments:

"I find it strange that it's not considered period... the Germans have been

making Porcelain for at least 500 years... In Dresdin I think.. I'll have

to double check. I learned this in my German language class.. It may be

late in period, but it was in period. "

 

This is not entirely correct.  Although the Chinese had

been making porcelain since the 7th century at least,

and it had been obtained in Europe by trade since the

Crusades, it was not until the end of the 17th century

when manufacturing of true porcelain (soft frit

porcelain) started in St Cloud, France.  The formula

for hard porcelain (almost identical to Chinese

porcelain) was discovered in 1709 by Johann

Friedrich Bottger (umlauts over the o) in Meissen,

Saxony where it was kept a closely guarded secret.

Prior to this time, Europeans made many only partially

successful attempts to reproduce porcelain.  Many of

these attempts would be very hard for anyone other

than an expert to distinguish.  I would like to say that it

was due to the technological prowess of the Chinese,

my persona, that they made it earlier but in truth, my

mundane persona as a Ph.D. clay mineralogist

makes me say that it was because they had a deposit

of a fortuitous composition.

 

Reference:

Rada, Pravoslav. 1989. Ceramic techniques, Hamlyn

Publ. Group, London.

 

HL Jin Liu Ch'ang

a.k.a. Norman White

email:gn-white at tamu.edu

 

 

From: Dennis Grace <amazing at mail.utexas.edu>

To: ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG

Date: Mon, 08 Sep 1997 15:18:39 -0500

Subject: ANST - ceramics

 

Hi all, Aquilanne here.

 

>Trishka Makowski wrote about Marthe de Blenkinsop's comments:

>"I find it strange that it's not considered period... the

>Germans have been making Porcelain for at least 500 years... In Dresdin I

>think..

 

That's *china*-- Dresdin *china*. I don't remember the specific make-up of

the clay used, but it was an attempt at producing a fascimile of porcelain.

In fact, if you were to do a piece in any earthenware, then dip it in a

white slip, you'd have reproduced a period technique used to simulate the

look of oriental porcelain by potters trying to protect their jobs by

producing ware that looked like the white porcelain.

 

Like HL Jin Liu Ch'ang points out:

>Prior to this time, Europeans made many only partially

>successful attempts to reproduce porcelain.  Many of

>these attempts would be very hard for anyone other

>than an expert to distinguish.

 

I would suggest that anyone looking to do period work in porcelain use

period Asian ceramics as their sources for artistic style and documentation

reference. If one wants to do ceramics in a western European style, then

try earthenware or midrange stoneware (it's so much easier to work with

than porcelain, anyway; porcelain has no grog, so it's like trying to work

with Crisco! ;-> ).

 

Aquilanne

 

 

From: Martha Lee Nichols <mnichols at tenet.edu>

To: ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG

Date: Mon, 8 Sep 1997 23:07:28 -0500 (CDT)

Subject: ANST - porcelain

 

HL Jin Liu Ch'ang,

 

I realize in my period, Europeans neither produced nor purchased Chinese

Porcelain. My art form developed in China and many of these pieces still

exist in museums today.  The Moors in Spain had the knowledge of this type

of mineral overglaze and decorated not only porcelain but fine earthenware

and tiles as well with them.  The next advance occurred in the 14th c.

when many attempts were made to reproduce porcelain as fine as that of

China. Authorities call the resulting pieces faisence.  I believe that

this medium was indeed the porcelain dipped earthenware.  My artform uses

commercially produced porcelain (just as the porcelain artists of Urbino

did). Unfortunately, the beautiful, egg shell thin porcelain is very

rare. Most china blanks are heavy and clunky.  Just like faisence.  I

have found these faisence plate with ruler's arms in every country in

Europe. One had a barnyard chicken! (Louvre)

 

Marthe de Blenkinsop

 

 

Date: Thu, 2 Oct 1997 13:22:34 -0500 (CDT)

From: Cindy Morley <cmorley at comp.uark.edu>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: ceramics-coil building doc.

 

On Thu, 2 Oct 1997, Shannon R. Ward wrote:

> I've been researching Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman pottery. So far, all

> the examples I've found have all been wheel thrown. Surely there are

> surviving examples somewhere of coil built pots in medieval Europe, or so

> I thought, but I can't find them. Does anyone have documentation for such?

 

Hey Tatiana,

   Have you tried looking in "Anglo-Saxon pottery and the Settlement of

England" by Myres?  This is an excellent book and should give you some

very good sources.  If you can't find it in your library let me know and I

will get it to you next time I see you. (this is the book that I had at

Lilies, no I haven't turned it back into the library yet...).  C-ya

Christiaen

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

cmorley at comp.uark.edu  Cindy Morley          Shire-March of the Grimfells

                      Christean Jansen      Kingdom of Calontir

 

 

Date: Thu, 02 Oct 1997 14:33:06 EDT

From: freyja1 at juno.com (Timothy A Whitcomb)

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: ceramics-coil building doc.

 

Good Greetings Tatiana!

 

>I've been researching Anglo-Saxon and Anglo-Norman pottery. So far, all

>the examples I've found have all been wheel thrown. Surely there are

>surviving examples somewhere of coil built pots in medieval Europe, or so

>I thought, but I can't find them. Does anyone have documentation for

>such?

 

Yes there are quite a few coil built pieces. In fact most of the thrown

work you have seen ARE coil-and- throw. A flat base is made and fat coils

are attached. But instead of just thumbing them down, they are also

thrown and smoothed... This is a technique used world wide both in Period

and Currently.  For the cultures and periods you mentioned, that is the

primary mode of production, because they were stuck with the "slow

wheel", which is essentially just a crude turntable incapable of throwing

a good pot from the lump.

When you look at those pots, are they decorated with strips of clay

with stamped textures? Those strips help hold the pot together. Coiling

by itself is a fragile  process. Coil and throw helps the coils stay

together better (a Good Thing in some of the primative Post Conquest

kilns), inproves the strenght of the pot and makes for more desireable

surfaces...

 

   As to documentations..I would suggest starting with "Medieval Pottery

in Britain: AD 900-1600" by McCarthy and Brooks and "Medieval English

Pottery" by Bernard Rackham....That would be a good start..

 

>Yet one more C&I Laurel up to her elbows in clay. :)

 

Cool! Say, here's something to try, and it will give you cross over

skills. Teach yourself how to do slip trailling! There are some WONDERFUL

end of-and-post-Period examples  out there of slip trailed callig and

illum...they when NUTZ with extravagant text and images. Very fun! Very

querkie....but they scream "Medieval!"

I have been teeaching myself this technique, and it has been a ball...

 

Hroar

 

 

Date: Thu, 2 Oct 1997 19:13:10 -0400 (EDT)

From: Carol at Small Churl Books <scbooks at neca.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: reference on Majolica

 

Didn't someone ask about references on European Majolica a while back?

 

_Ceramics of the World: from 4000 B.C. the present_ has 67 pages on it, with

color pictures up to 9 x 12.

 

Authors: Lorenzo Camusso & Sandro Bortone; Published by Abrams in the U.S.

1992; 0-8109-3175-3.

 

Lady Carllein

 

 

Date: Tue, 21 Oct 1997 09:51:40 -0500

From: Jenn Carlson <jenn at cliffs.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: ceramics-coil building doc.

 

I also have been doing research on Anglo-Saxon pottery. With a specific

search for pre-650 stuff. I have made some pottery stamps to use on the

pottery (found lots of cool stuff on those) and now am ready to try my

hand at the actual pots. As I understand it (minimal at best), the pots

that were made this early were hand-made rather than wheel made and used

a coiling method. Am I on the right track? Most of the literature that I

can find simply says that they are not wheel made. . . which means

pretty much nothing to this non-pottery-literate person. :)

 

Sounded like Meistari Hroar had done some work in this area--

> [Yes there are quite a few coil built pieces. In fact most of the thrown

> work you have seen ARE coil-and- throw. A flat base is made and fat coils

> are attached. But instead of just thumbing them down, they are also

> thrown and smoothed... This is a technique used world wide both in Period

> and Currently.  For the cultures and periods you mentioned, that is the

> primary mode of production, because they were stuck with the "slow

> wheel", which is essentially just a crude turntable incapable of throwing

> a good pot from the lump.

>   When you look at those pots, and they are decorated with strips of clay

> with stamped textures? Those strips help hold the pot together. Coiling

> by itself is a fragile  process. Coil and throw helps the coils stay

> together better (a Good Thing in some of the primative Post Conquest

> kilns), inproves the strenght of the pot and makes for more desireable

> surfaces...

 

How much of this applies to the earliest period cremation urns?

 

> As to documentations..I would suggest starting with "Medieval Pottery

> in Britain: AD 900-1600" by McCarthy and Brooks and "Medieval English

> Pottery" by Bernard Rackham....That would be a good start..

 

I'm still in search of these, I will have to do an ILL, do they cover

the time period that I am looking for?

 

So far, I have found,

 

Briscoe, Teresa. "Anglo-Saxon Pot Stamps," Anglo-Saxon Studies in

Archaeology and History. BAR. British Series 92(1981): pp.1-36.

 

Briscoe, Teresa. "The Use of Brooches and Other Jewelry as Dies on Pagan

Anglo-Saxon Pottery," Medieval Archaeology 29(1985): pp. 136-142.

 

Capelle, Torsten. "Animal Stamps and Animal Figures on Anglo-Saxon and

Anglian Pottery," Medieval Archaeology 31(1987): pp. 94-96.

 

Eagles, Bruce N. The Anglo-Saxon Settlement of Humberside. BAR. British

Series 68 (i and ii), 1979.

 

Green, Barbara, W.F. Miligan, and S.E. West. "The Illington/Lackford

Workshop," Angles, Saxons, and Jutes. ed. Vera T. Evison. Oxford:

Clarendon Press, 1981. pp. 187-226.

 

Huggett, J.W. "Imported Grave Goods and the Early Anglo-Saxon Economy,"

Med Arch, 32, 1988. pp. 63-96. (this one is on specifically wheel-thrown

imports)

 

Myres, J.N.L. Anglo-Saxon Pottery and the Settlement of England. Oxford:

Clarendon Press, 1969.

 

Myres, J.N.L. "Two Anglo-Saxon Potters=92 Stamps," Antiquaries Journal 50

(1970): p.350.

 

Myres, J.N.L. "Willingham Villa and Romano-Saxon Pottery in Kent,"

Antiquity XVII (1944): pp. 52-55. (examination of mostly wheel-made

pottery from the Roman period)

 

Roberts, William I., IV. Romano-Saxon Pottery. BAR, British Series 106,

1982.

 

Thompson, F.H. "Anglo-Saxon Sites in Lincolnshire," Antiquaries Journal,

Vol. XXXVI, 1956.

 

All with some stuff on pottery and pottery stamps in them. But no one

who has mentioned anything about the actual creation of the pot (except

for a brief reference to the "polishing" process in the

Illington/Lackford article).

 

Any assistance offered would be greatly appreciated.

 

Maerwynn of Holme

Mag Mor, Calontir

jenn at cliffs.com

 

 

Date: Tue, 21 Oct 1997 11:02:59 -0500

From: Stephanie Howe <olga at icon-stl.net>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: ceramics-coil building doc.

 

"Medieval Pottery from Excavations: Studies Presented to Gerald Clough

Dunning" edited by Vera I. Evison, H. Hodges, and J.G. Hurst

1974, St. Martin's Press

L.of Congress: 74-82134

 

I've been scanning the essays in this volume for you- several fall into

your targeted time/place- but it's pretty much the standard

archeologist's analysis of pottery you're already familiar with:

catagorization of the form, decoration, fabric (characteristics of the

clay itself) and possible use, but very little (if any) speculation on

production method beyond "wheel/not wheel". There's a little bit of

"fast wheel vs. slow wheel", mostly dependent on the presence of

throwing marks on the interiors of the vessels, but no discussion at all

on handbuilding techniques. Sorry.

 

Olga

 

 

Date: Tue, 21 Oct 1997 13:28:15 EDT

From: freyja1 at juno.com (Timothy A Whitcomb)

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: ceramics-coil building doc.

 

Greeings!

 

>I also have been doing research on Anglo-Saxon pottery. With a specific

>search for pre-650 stuff. I have made some pottery stamps to use on the

>pottery (found lots of cool stuff on those)

 

[Arn't stamps great? Both in the making and the using? I love

stamps...when I get bored, i make stamps...]

 

and now am ready to try my

>hand at the actual pots. As I understand it (minimal at best), the pots

>that were made this early were hand-made rather than wheel made and used

>a coiling method. Am I on the right track? Most of the literature that I

>can find simply says that they are not wheel made. . . which means

>pretty much nothing to this non-pottery-literate person. :)

 

[Well, this is both true and not true. Most Anglo-Saxon pots WERE done

via a coil-building method. And many left it at that.  HOWEVER, some were

done via coil and throw, which is coil building the pot while it is on a

turntable (the "slow-wheel"). In this method, the coils are laid and

attached and then the turn table is turn and the coil is thrown to

straighten the walls, then them and assure the coil is securly

attached..]

 

>Sounded like Meistari Hroar had done some work in this area--

>> [Yes there are quite a few coil built pieces. In fact most of the thrown

>> work you have seen ARE coil-and- throw. A flat base is made and fat coils

>> are attached. But instead of just thumbing them down, they are also

>> thrown and smoothed... This is a technique used world wide both in Period

>> and Currently.  For the cultures and periods you mentioned, that is the

>> primary mode of production, because they were stuck with the "slow

>> wheel", which is essentially just a crude turntable incapable of throwing

>> a good pot from the lump.

>>   When you look at those pots, and they are decorated with strips of clay

>> with stamped textures? Those strips help hold the pot together. Coiling

>> by itself is a fragile  process. Coil and throw helps the coils stay

>> together better (a Good Thing in some of the primative Post Conquest

>> kilns), inproves the strenght of the pot and makes for more desireable

>> surfaces...

>How much of this applies to the earliest period cremation urns?

 

[It applies directly and a great deal...keep in mind that pottery  is

perhaps one of the most conservative of the crafts. Some of the tools

have changed, and some dramatically, BUT the techniques used to make pots

then are essentially the same as now. Making a coil pot today is done

just the same way as then...the answers to expretion don't necessarily

all lie in technique; the answers lies in WHAT the potters then were

reacting to....what Forces influenced the potters then to make what they

did in the manner they did. And you will learn that by looking at WHY

they made the pots, what materials were available and to a lesser degree,

the tech available.....So examine the pots, or the pictures of the pots

extensively...look closely and carefully and imagine HOW  and WHY they

were made...]

 

>So far, I have found,

>Briscoe, Teresa. "Anglo-Saxon Pot Stamps," Anglo-Saxon Studies in

>Archaeology and History. BAR. British Series 92(1981): pp.1-36.

 

<snip>

 

>Thompson, F.H. "Anglo-Saxon Sites in Lincolnshire," Antiquaries

>Journal,

>Vol. XXXVI, 1956.=20

 

[Looks to me that you have found a healthy number of sources! Way to go!]

 

>All with some stuff on pottery and pottery stamps in them. But no one

>who has mentioned anything about the actual creation of the pot (except

>for a brief reference to the "polishing" process in the

>Illington/Lackford article).

 

[And you probably won't find anything like that.....technique is less

important than stylistic considerations, in the archeologists world..they

are trying to place a pot "properly" in time.]

 

>Any assistance offered would be greatly appreciated.

>Maerwynn of Holme

>Mag Mor, Calontir

 

You probably arn't gonna like this...but I will suggest you look up coil

building in current books....what you learn there will be exactly what

you need to know to make coil pots....the technique has not changed over

1000's of years.....the more critical thing is to learn just what it is

that separates Anglo Saxon pottery from other cultures. Once you have

THAT, then you need to internalize it and make "Original" Anglo-Saxon

pottery.

 

What I would suggest is get your clay and start making coil pots make

your "pancake" base, roll the coils out and learn how to attach them so

they won't come apart. Learn how, by the subtle placement of the coils,

to make your pot either swell out or draw in. One of the most important

things to learn is when to stop! Stop so that your clay will dry enough

to support further coils; this means that you need to learn drying rates

of your clay, and what the clay feels like at various stages.....I really

wish I could be there to help you over time...

 

A further suggestion.....in all those books, find the photos of the pots

you like best and xerox them. Enlarge the xeroxes and pin them up in the

area where you do your clay work...in time you will find that they will

help you "become" an Anglo-Saxon potter! Learn how they lived, their

social station, what they wore, what they ate...all this will help you

make good pots of the Period you are interested in.

 

And if you have questions, PLEASE ask me; together we can probably work

it out...

 

      Meistari Hroar Stormgengr; APF, CSO, OL

      Shire of Shadowed Stars

 

 

Date: Tue, 21 Oct 1997 16:49:41 EDT

From: freyja1 at juno.com (Timothy A Whitcomb)

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: ceramics-coil building doc.

 

>So, do the books listed here also contain things like glaze recipes, firing

>temperatures, type of heat source in the kiln, and all those other details

>that I can never keep straight?

>Alban

 

The books that Maerwyn mention on Anglo-Saxon pottery I couldn't say; but

probably not. They might give clues, if you read carefully......There is

brief mention of such things in the two Books I mentioned ("Medieval

pottery in Britain:900-1600AD" and "Medieval English Pottery"), There is

a facsimile of an Italian mss on end of Period italian pottery called "3

Books of the Potters Art" by Piccolopasso  (sp?) q738.2   p591t...but

remember, this is *Italian* and what was happening in the Mediterranean

basin doesn't parallel what was occuring in the rest of Europe. Cross

overs are not necessarily there.....

 

What I would suggest is that you obtain a copy of "Clay and Glazes for

the Potter" by Daniel Rhodes. This is a very detailed book on ceramic

chemistry, physics and all that other good stuff that describes ceramic

materials in-process. Then, sit down with whatever book on Medieval

pottery that you have AND the Rhodes book, and use it as a cross

reference when you find nuggets of info in the medieval book...for

instance, in the Rackham book ("Medieval English Pottery") he describes

the dusting of galena ore onto raw, wet pottery as a glazing technique

[DO NOT DO THIS!!!! VERY VERY HAZARDOUS!!!}...well, look up galena in the

Rhodes book...and if you know that galena is a form of lead and sulfer,

look those up too...that will tell you that they melt at a low temp, and

are used as earthen ware glaze constituents (and that sulpher is not good

for the glaze or clay...)....look up earthenware, etc...and that tells

you more and more....

like, what the clay was like, how effiecient (or not) the kilns were,

etc. etc.

   Look for other things that might not be directly mentioned in the

Medieval pottery books.For instance, it struck me how many (a LOT!!) of

English pots were green, of some hue or other. This doesn't get mentioned

much. But if you know that copper compounds make green, as do some forms

of firing...that tell ya a lot about materials availability and aesthetic

preferences.

   If you have trouble remembering the "factoids" [and I sure do!! That

Rhodes book of mine is well worn...8-)], you might try stating a small

spiral bound journal to keep such info separated from the bulk of info

available, and right to hand...and after using it often, you probably

will start to remember it.

 

   I really am not trying to discourage folks...far from it! I am

thrilled that so many are even interested in the field. I am just trying

to say that you are not going to get all the info you need from one

book...especially the books written by archeologists. They arn't

interested in actually making the pots, just putting them where they

belong in history. You are probably going to have to cross reference a

lot, keeping in mind that with pottery, somethings are eternal. Glazes

ALWAYS are made of a flux, a refractory and a glass former; the forming

techniques are the same now as then, and clay is always composed of

silica, alumina and water.

 

   I do apologize for rambling on so very much, and possibly repeating

myself....i just find this field so very exciting!!!

 

      Meistari Hroar Stormgengr; APF, CSO, OL

      Shire of Shadowed Stars

 

 

Date: Tue, 21 Oct 1997 17:08:36 -0500

From: Tim Weitzel <wcrobert at blue.weeg.uiowa.edu>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: ceramics-coil building doc.

 

Ok, I was going to go home and find my bibliography on this subject, but...

 

I know there are numerous archaeological reports on the subject.  As Olga

eluded to, these do discuss the nature of the clay as well as the

decoration. Since archaeologists primarily date pottery by decoration, a

lot of detail will go into that area.  This means its really easy to read

four or so books and get a very good idea on what the decoration was for a

given area at given time. No need to make it up, its there.  

 

Similarly, the more detailed archaeological reports will talk about

manufacturing techniques and shapes of vessels found or reconstructed,

Firing technology, types of glazes, etc.  There is at least one book out

there, and its titled something like Corpus of Anglo Saxon pottery ... from

graves or cemeteries or something like that.  Anyway, I did read several

of these a few years ago.

 

Another detail archaeologists study is the type of clay used in pots and

where it came from.  This helps to show how pots are moving around and by

extension, the people carrying them.

I do remember a pretty detailed discussion of clay and where it might have

come from right down to the percentages of each type found on various

sites.   

 

All of this can be boring in detail.  Its how archaeologists think, sorry,

and its what you do when you are using written descriptions.  The

conclusions are the fun part:

 

Basically, this is what they have found:

 

Pagan English pots are hand built.  Probably by coils, since that is the

most common method used in hand building pots world wide. I don't remember,

but that may be addressed somewhere under techniques of manufacture.  Later

on, the wheel comes into use, probably slow wheel at first, and then later

still the kick wheel.

 

There is a dramatic and distinct change in pottery at about the same time

that the types of burials and kinds of burial goods are changing.  It seems

to be linked to the changes in belief system as the early English became

Christianized. Anyway, Look for open hearth or pit fires instead of kilns

for the early stuff, with lots of stamped decoration and hand built pots.

Later you will find the kiln structures to fire pots as well as brick and

tile. Glazes are occasionally but rarely used in the middle Anglo Saxon

period but more so latter in the actual Middle Ages period of English

history. If I remember correctly, the early use of glaze was mostly in

Kent and was something like an affectation of the Jutes and their

descendents. The Saxons, Angles, etc. didn't seem to use glazes, at first,

anyway. The color of the post was based on the clay body and the kiln

atmosphere may have been intentional but it is harder to prove. I remember

a discussion of what the glazes were made from so if you took that

information and looked at some of the books Hroar is referencing , you can

make a glaze to have the appearance of what you read in the reports but is

still safe by modern standards.  Earthenware of especially buff color, but

also red, or black were used. Some of the final color has to do with the

firing atmosphere: oxidizing or reducing. A cautionary note: stoneware is

not used at all in early period.  Its a German thing as is salt firing.

Porcelain is out too.  It is Asian and only shows up in Delft ware, post 1600.

 

Tryffin ap Myrddin

Shire of Shadowdale, Calontir

 

 

Date: Wed, 22 Oct 1997 13:25:43 -0500

From: Stephanie Howe <olga at icon-stl.net>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: ceramics-coil building doc.

 

Another common technique used in handbuilding is paddling:  a relatively

thick coil of clay added to the growing form is worked with one hand

supporting the wall from the inside, often using a bit of broken pot or

a wooden knob as an anvil, and paddled from the outside with a wooden

bat. Sometimes the bat was wrapped with cord, or carved with a pattern

that left distinctive marks on the outside of the pot- usually noted by

archeologists ;)- but when the anvil and bat method was used for

forming, then smoothed by scraping or wiping or even a coating of slip,

the only way to determine it is by microscopic examination of the clay

itself, looking for the orientation of the particles. Likely as not,

some Anglo Saxon potters used this method, too.

 

Olga

 

 

Date: Wed, 22 Oct 1997 15:30:19 EDT

From: freyja1 at juno.com (Timothy A Whitcomb)

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: ceramics-coil building doc.

 

>Another common technique used in handbuilding is paddling:  a relatively

>thick coil of clay added to the growing form is worked with one hand

>supporting the wall from the inside, often using a bit of broken pot or

>a wooden knob as an anvil, and paddled from the outside with a wooden

>bat.

<snip>

>Olga

 

This is an excellent point; one that slipped my mind. I could see this as

the technique for the A-S funerary pots, the ones with the faces on them?

(that book is buried around here somewhere..need an archaeologist to

separate the layers..] The possibilities for a really swelling form are

good with this technique....

 

Hroar

 

 

Date: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 01:43:15 EST

From: DianaFiona <DianaFiona at aol.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Period Pottery - WARNING

 

<< 

I would like to point out that if anyone finds a pottery item that is or

has YELLOW GLAZE that they should call the NRC (Nuclear Regulatory

Commission) and the closest HAZMAT team IMMEDIATELY. It is my

understanding that yellow glaze is period, but can only be made by the

use of Uranium nuclear material. Correct me if I am wrong, but when I

took a pottery class, I was told this by the instructor.

>>

   Ummmm, no. There are many yellow glazes on the market today. They not only

are not radioactive, quite a number are even food safe! Perhaps you are

thinking (Or the instuctor was?) of lead content? Period glazes, including at

least one light yellow I know of, often did have lead as an

ingredient.........

 

      Ldy Diana, a frustrated wanna-be potter

 

 

Date: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 17:14:51 -0400

From: renfrow at skylands.net (Cindy Renfrow)

Subject: Re: SC - Period Pottery - WARNING

 

><< 

> I would like to point out that if anyone finds a pottery item that is or

> has YELLOW GLAZE that they should call the NRC (Nuclear Regulatory

> Commission) and the closest HAZMAT team IMMEDIATELY. It is my

> understanding that yellow glaze is period, but can only be made by the

> use of Uranium nuclear material. Correct me if I am wrong, but when I

> took a pottery class, I was told this by the instructor.

> >>

>    Ummmm, no. There are many yellow glazes on the market today. They not only

>are not radioactive, quite a number are even food safe! Perhaps you are

>thinking (Or the instuctor was?) of lead content? Period glazes, including at

>least one light yellow I know of , often did have lead as an

>ingredient.........

>       Ldy Diana, a frustrated wanna-be potter

 

Hello! The gentleman is partially correct.  There was a glaze produced

from radioactive materials. (I believe it was at the turn of this century,

but don't quote me.)

The china produced with this glaze is pale yellow with a slight greenish

cast, & will glow in the dark. If you wish to see some, visit the glass

museum at Corning, NY, or Wheaton Village's Museum of American Glass, at

Millville, NJ.

 

There is no need to panic.

 

Cindy/Sincgiefu

renfrow at skylands.net

 

 

Date: Sun, 29 Mar 1998 20:42:04 -0400

From: renfrow at skylands.net (Cindy Renfrow)

Subject: Re: SC - Period Pottery - WARNING

 

<snip>

Hello again!  Must have been out in this gorgeous sunshine too long.  What

I meant to say was that I've seen yellow/green *glass* dishes made in part

from radioactive materials.  They're on display in those 2 museums.

 

Cindy/Sincgiefu

renfrow at skylands.net

 

 

Subject: Re: A Pottery Website....

Date: Sun, 5 Apr 1998 00:02:08 +0000

From: Karen at stierbach.atlantia.sca.org (Larsdatter, Karen )

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

 

Found another pottery website that some of you might find

interesting:

http://www.bawue.de/~wmwerner/essling/english/karmel05.html

 

It shows some pictures of some pottery found while excavating a

Carmelite friary in Esslingen, Germany.  The friary was founded at

the end of the thirteenth century.

 

Not *too* informative but it does give you some general shapes ...

 

Yours in Service to the Dream,

Karen Larsdatter

 

 

Date: Wed, 22 Apr 1998 11:20:00 -0400

From: "Peters, Rise J." <PetersR at spiegel.becltd.com>

Subject: Re: SC - Period Pottery - WARNING

 

In a message dated 98-03-29 20:33:56 EST, Diana wrote:

>> <snip>

>> Hello again!  Must have been out in this gorgeous sunshine too long. What

>> I meant to say was that I've seen yellow/green *glass* dishes made in part

>> from radioactive materials.  They're on display in those 2 museums.

 

>> Cindy/Sincgiefu

>> renfrow at skylands.net

>> 

>     (Grin) Having spent the majority of the day outside, first at fighter

>practice, then gardening, I can certainly sympathise! But my ponders still

>hold--whether someone was *trying* for glowing dishes, and how they effected

>the health of the makers/users..............

 

My guess would be they were just trying for a bright clear yellow.   I have

a chart that shows the different shades of yellow and red glass that have

been made over the last several hundred years.  The earlier shades of yellow

were all a little dull -- starting out with a fairly golden-yellow and then

moving to a slightly brighter shade.  Yellow glass made with uranium is a

nice bright clear shade.  (It approaches what we'd now call a  neon yellow.)

Uranium was just another mineral in the pre-atomic age.  And the danger may

not have been apparent -- remember, the ladies who used to paint the radium

on glow-in-the-dark watch dials pointed their brushes with their tongues at

first.

 

Caitlin Cheannlaidir

Medieval glassworkers list is up and running!  Send "subscribe" message to

<compagnia-request at phosphor-ink.com>

 

 

Date: Thu, 15 Oct 98 00:30:49 -0500

From: Dottie Elliott <difirenze at usa.net>

Subject: Re: SC - feastware question

 

>I just got through looking at a site that has beautiful late anglo-saxon

>reproduction pottery on it.

 

If this is a web site, I would love to see the address.

 

As someone who has been studying medieval pottery (and learning to make

pottery) for a while now I will try to answer this. First of all, our

knowledge of the middle ages is based on what archeologist have found,

and drawings, paintings and writings or the period. Its my opinon that

its impossible to tell from an illuminated manuscript or painting whether

an item is metal, pottery or wood. Plates in England aren't found until

the late fifteen hundreds and those were square and made of wood. Now,

they did have silver plates before that. It was an ostentatious show of

wealth and was used as such. Often such plates (and even the more

beautiful pottery) was displayed during feasts rather than used as

another show of wealth (you have so much you don't need to use it all).

 

Most of the pottery that survives from England are pots, jugs, pitchers,

pans and later cups, bowls and so on.  Pottery in England in the 10th &

11th centuries was mostly rather simple (well compared to Italy). It was

crudely made and decorated possibly not all. Pottery was mostly very

functional. Cups of the time are mostly wood (bowls) or metal. Things got

better as time went on. I have read that the pottery industry in England

collapsed when Rome withdrew and that explains why their pottery was crude

early on. Certainly, it was not nearly as finished looking nor as highly

decorated as Italy's pottery.

 

Also, let me say that of the cups, bowls and plates I am making, plates

are the hardest. You must be careful to leave enough clay for the bottom

to be able to use the item but if you leave too much it will warp on

drying and be too heavy. My teacher agress that they are one of the

harder items to make.

 

Its my personal opinion that poorer folks used simple wood bowls in their

own homes because they would have been eating bread (not using it as a

plate and throwing/giving it away). This was something they could make

themselves as well. Wood doesn't break as easily as pottery either.

 

Please also remember that at feasts folks shared food containers.  How

many people you might share with depended on your social rank.  The type

of bread and amount and type of food was dictated by this as well.  The

trencher was a place to put your portion that you removed from a communal

bowl. There is a whole realm of ettiquette on how to share food (like its

bad manners to eat the trencher), share cups, etc. Its my opinion that

when serving large groups of people, bread trenchers were the only way to

give that many folks their own 'plate'.

 

I started learning about pottery with the single intent of making period

looking items for displaying my food in A&S contests. I was sadly

disappointed to find that for England and France, bread trenchers are

what I must use. For Italy, at least, I can do plates & bowls.

 

Clarissa

 

 

Date: Thu, 15 Oct 1998 00:43:48 -0500

From: Helen <him at gte.net>

Subject: Re: SC - Pottery link

 

Hi hope this helps.

 

http://www.ftech.net/~regia/bodgbend.htm

 

 

Date: Mon, 26 Oct 1998 18:32:09 -0600

From: Helen <him at gte.net>

Subject: Re: SC - medieval pottery

 

http://www.hillside.co.uk/arch/longmarket/pottery.html

 

I thought some people would like to read this very interesting site.

 

 

Date: Wed, 28 Oct 1998 06:14:06 -0500

From: Melanie Wilson <MelanieWilson at compuserve.com>

To: LIST SCA arts <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Pottery book

 

Not one I've heard of before:

 

Jennings, Sarah - Medieval Pottery in the Yorkshire Museum. 1992.

 

Mel

 

 

Subject: Your Chamber Pots

Date: Wed, 28 Oct 98 20:45:21 MST

From: rmhowe <magnusm at ncsu.edu>

To: stefan at texas.net, "Mark.S Harris (rsve60)" <rsve60 at email.sps.mot.com>

 

European Ceramics  Robin Hildyard

March 1999 144pp 270x220mm 170 col 30 b/w HB 1 85177 259 6 £25.00 W

 

This 4th volume in the V&A Decorative Arts Series traces the

story of European ceramics from the Middle Ages to the present

day, highlighting key developments, techniques, discoveries

and styles. Looking at Medieval earthenware and stoneware,

tin-glaze and Dutch tiles, and the invention and uses of

porcelain, Robin Hildyard then turns to the impact of

industrialization on ceramics, with its radical changes in

methods of working and new techniques, such as

transfer-printing. The Empire period and the Great Exhibition

are shown to be a great stimulus to ceramic production, while

the 20th century is characterized by the separation of the

designer, manufacturer and artist, reflected in the modernism of

the Bauhaus style and the influence of Art Deco. European

Ceramics will be an indispensable reference work for students,

collectors and all those interested in this versatile material.

 

Victoria and Albert Museum

 

 

Date: Thu, 26 Nov 1998 21:11:22 EST

From: freyja1 at juno.com (Timothy a Whitcomb)

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Cavalier things

 

On Mon, 23 Nov 1998 19:55:53 EST styrbjorn at juno.com (Skip Wilder) writes:

>Does anyone know of good books or web sites on the Cavalier period

>that focus on the things rather than the history?  I'm looking for

>info on: ceramics, wooden furniture, buildings, weapons, and

>costuming.

>Styrbjorn Ulfhamr

 

Here are a few books I might suggest:

 

"English Slipware Dishes; 1650-1850"

Ronald G. Cooper

738.37 C78e

 

"English Pottery"

Bernard Rackham

738.R11m

 

'The English Country Pottery'

Peter C.D. Brears

738.3 B74e

 

These should help you get an idea about pottery in the time frame you are

interested in...At least in England any way.

 

Hroar

 

 

Date: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 02:43:46 -0500

From: Melanie Wilson <MelanieWilson at compuserve.com>

To: "INTERNET:sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu" <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Craftmanship/Pottery

 

>Would this somewhat like what I saw on your webpage? I rather fancied

>those, btw...

 

Yes I put up the everyday stuff on purpose, as the stuff in books tends to

be too pretty and rich for most people.(ie in period not now !) I think it

is attractive in its useful own way. I like to think of it as their

tupperware. Why spend time making a pot looking good for everyday use that

will probably  get smahed before too long ?

 

AS [Anglo-Saxon] pots are particulary bad! I've seen better from

schoolkids, a photo can't really show how wobberly they are :) Then again

maybe the kids DID make the everyday pots! It should also be born in mind that

with their (probable) method of firing there were a lot of casualties so time

spent making pots look really good was wasted. You also see different clays in

one pot eg black & red, the burnishing looks nice too. There is a clay here

that is red and turns black with firing, you see a lot of pots from that

clay, it is a coarse clay which is pretty resistant to direct heat.

 

Mel

 

 

Date: Mon, 14 Dec 1998 07:31:45 EST

From: freyja1 at juno.com (Timothy a Whitcomb)

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Craftmanship/Pottery

 

<MelanieWilson at compuserve.com> writes:

> It should also be born in mind that with their

>(probably) method of fireing the were alot of casualties so time spent

>making pots look really good was wasted, you also see different clays

>in one pot eg black & red,

 

[this is more due to the firing technique, where the reduction  and

oxidation and flashing in the clamp kiln is so patchy...the black is a

certain amount of carbonization, the red is the iron in the clay being

reduced..]

 

M. Hroar

 

 

Date: Fri, 18 Dec 1998 09:32:02 EST

From: freyja1 at juno.com (Timothy a Whitcomb)

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Pottery

 

SNIPPED

>> >Pretty sure it was straight from the ground

>> >

>> >Mel

>> 

>> It sounds very interesting....not nice to make a Peer drool! 8-)

>> Wish I could be there..sigh..

>> Hroar

>Do you suppose that this clay might have a greasy composition, much

>as the "Black Earth" found at various sites of long occupation?

>That is, that there might be a long history of organic refuse in it,

>thus giving it it's peculiar color? It figures if it was locally dug,

>it wouldn't be carried or shipped that far...

 

>Magnus

 

It might have an effect on the color of the clay in situ, but since this

is caused by an organic, it will fire out and have no effect on the fired

color of the clay. (But it CAN affect the plasticity of the clay!) The

fired colors of the clay are due to the various forms of iron

predominately, manganese and copper secondarily, that are picked up as

the clay is moved about geologically. If the clay fires white, then it

has not been moved about due to the forces of erosion.

   It can be very disappointing, when one sees a lovely color of clay in

a road cut, such a blue or yellow, and you KNOW it won't be that color

after firing. 8-(...

 

Hroar

 

 

Date: Fri, 18 Dec 1998 09:32:02 EST

From: freyja1 at juno.com (Timothy a Whitcomb)

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Pottery

 

<MelanieWilson at compuserve.com> writes:

>>Do you suppose that this clay might have a greasy composition, much

>as the "Black Earth" found at various sites of long occupation?

>That is, that there might be a long history of organic refuse in it,

>thus giving it it's peculiar color? It figures if it was locally dug,

>it wouldn't be carried or shipped that far...

>There tends to be alot of organic matter in early pots I believe again

>helps with reducing the thermal shock caused by pit fireing (I'm

>talking early here 5th C)

 

[True, and depending on the particulate size, organics can add working

strength to the clay (as does sand and shell particles] The thermal shock

resistance is due to the creation of space between clay particles. The

more space, up to a point, the looser, more "open" the clay and the more

flexible it is. The smaller the clay particle size and the less room

between said particles, the more rigid the clay and more likely it is to

shatter when subjected to heat. The clay needs to be able to "move" while

firing.]

 

>But I think the Moira clay come out red and fires Black

 

[Which makes this so unusaul and intriquing..usually it is just the

opposite. Clays can come out of the ground in a variety of colors, but

almost always fire in some shade of red or white/cream.]

 

>Mel

 

Hroar

 

 

Date: Fri, 18 Dec 1998 13:57:05 EST

From: freyja1 at juno.com (Timothy a Whitcomb)

To: sca-middle at dnaco.net, sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: A baluster jug...

 

Just a little factoid for you out there, since it is a slow day. In

our copy of "The Hours of Catherine of Cleves", in the Thursday hours of

the sacrement=compline, the page entitled "Israelites Eating the Passover

Lamb and Unleavened Bread" there is a woman in the margin who is carrying

a baluster jug, which must be heavier than it looks as she is a bit

hunched over. The jug is nicely detailed, especially the ruffled

foot-rim...

Pottery is *everywhere*!

 

Hroar

 

 

Date: Tue, 05 Jan 1999 09:58:53 EST

From: freyja1 at juno.com (Timothy a Whitcomb)

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: aquamaniles?

 

On Tue, 5 Jan 1999 02:28:11 -0800 styrbjorn at juno.com (Skip Wilder)

writes:

>< Hroar made me a lovely unicorn aquamanile and just after he handed

>it to me, it decided to go into glaze stess and crack

>along its backside (poor baby).  I really love it, but am terrified of

>lifting it by the handle that attaches to that cracked backside <grin>

>       Consult with Hroar for his advise, but I have a lot of success

>repairing my ceramics with epoxy and a product called porc-a-filler.

>Styrbjorn Ulfhamr

 

This would indeed work, and I recommend it; but I am honor-bound to make

my Cousin as perfect an aquamanile as I am able...

 

Hroar

 

 

Date: Tue, 05 Jan 1999 22:09:04 EST

From: freyja1 at juno.com (Timothy a Whitcomb)

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: aquamaniles?

 

>Were these used in the 12th c. in England?

 

[AS to clay ones, I am (tentatively) not finding any before 13th century

England..but this is after a very cursory look-through.]

 

>And, whereabouts in Pennsic are you usually located?

 

[For the past 6 years I have been in Bazaar #2, across from the bathhouse

and the camp store...And I am hoping to be there this year too. 8-)]

 

> Also, I have another pottery question, if you

>don't mind. My lord and I use beaker style ceramic cups,

 

[As a side note, might I suggest Cistercian ware style tygs, 15th-16th

century...many have a tall flaired beaker like body, but with two thin

handles?]

 

>but in the bit

>of research I did a while back, I couldn't find any ceramic examples,

>only metal and some glass -- although the ones in one illumination I

>saw could have been ceramic -- hard to tell.

 

[You should be able to find very nice beakers for pre-period...but

strictly drinking vessels as a whole class become problematic until the

13-14th Century..there was too much competition from wood and leather

vessels...]

 

[snip]

 

>Elwynne

 

Hroar

 

 

Date: Tue, 12 Jan 1999 09:55:22 -0500

From: Melanie Wilson <MelanieWilson at compuserve.com>

To: LIST SCA arts <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Slow Wheel

 

Found a ref to some AS pagan pottery that may have been made on the wheel,

these are found only in Kent, it states by rather unskilled hands. These

are bottle shaped vases , never with bosses or handles. There are also some

refs to continental pots wheel made in the Romanized areas and those that

mimic thrown Roman pots again in Romanised areas.

 

The Arts in Early England by Baldwin-Brown

 

Still interested if someone else has other info

 

Mel

 

 

Date: Thu, 28 Jan 1999 02:46:21 -0500

From: Melanie Wilson <MelanieWilson at compuserve.com>

To: LIST SCA arts <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Anglo Saxon Wheel thrown pottery

 

There is a book called Wheel Thrown Pottery in Anglo Saxon Graves by Vera

Evison, that those interested in pottery/AS might like to look at. It is

very acedemic and the overall conclusion is that it was very very rare.

More common in the South and probably imports. (not read it myself this was

from an archeologist friend of mine)

 

Mel

 

 

Date: Mon, 15 Feb 1999 14:08:20 EST

From: Timothy a Whitcomb <freyja1 at juno.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: "Slow Wheels, Coil and Throw & A.S. Pottery.."

 

   Some time back, Mel, I believe it was, asked about slow wheels and

coil and throw methods.

 

   As to slow wheeels, they are refered to in Rackhams "Medieval English

Pottery" and McCarthy and Brooks "Medieval Pottery in Britain AD 900 to

1000". Basically, they are a turntable. One hand keeps it in motion,

while the other manipulates the clay as it turns. This works best with

coil and throw and with refining the rims of strictly coil built pots.

(my understading is that antler tools were carved into templates to form

uniform rims.)

 

   Coil and throw is a technique, similar to straight coil building,

whereby, as a thick coil is added to the growing pot, it is wetted and

pulled up and thinned. Further coils are added and  manipulated thus.

This technique works best on a kickwell, but is  done also on a slow

wheel, as practiced by many Native American potters of the desert south

west.

 

   Modifying my stance, it seems that most AS pots were strictly coil

built, but a good number had templated rims, {which really  can only be

done with the pot rotating in some fashion] and a smaller number they

just aren't sure about, due to the finishing processes employed erasing

forming techiques (unless thin sections were analysed, and inclusion

patterns observed.)

 

   Now as to the various types of drinking vessels, according to the

McCarthy and Brooks, it would seem that one would see many more wood,

leather, glass and metal drinking vessels than clay ones until the

14th-15th Century in England. The pottery ones existed, but in smaller

numbers.

 

Hroar

 

 

Date: Wed, 17 Feb 1999 02:45:28 -0500

From: Melanie Wilson <MelanieWilson at compuserve.com>

To: "INTERNET:sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu" <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Handles

 

>A number of drinking items I'm finding out did not have handles, for

>instance the leather jacks mentioned earlier, I believe. And I seem

>to remember some mention of many of the poorer pottery mugs not haveing

>handles. Mel, you mentioned some (alot?) of pottery recoveries? Any

>ideas?

 

Well I can say nothing in pagan AS had handles, Romans did I think. 13th C

some did others didn't, the drinking vessels are more like little jugs of

the time , but without spouts. 14th 15th, are more recognisably mug shaped,

generally with 1 or 2 handles & often with faces.

 

There are several variations from region to region, in technological

sophistication as well as design.

 

I would imagine much of the handle appearence depended on the sopistication

& fireing type etc. I think a handle is a potential weak point and needs a

greater level of care than a sraight pot ?

 

To be honest I wasn't looking at mugs last time I saw the collection of

pottery in Leicester, but I'll see if I can get down & take some more

photos sometime. The stuff in the backrooms is best as it tends to be the

more common ware, and not the pretty stuff :)

 

Mel

 

 

Date: Thu, 25 Mar 1999 02:30:24 -0500

From: Warren & Meredith Harmon <ravenleaf at juno.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: clam shells & pottery

 

>There's also using the shells in pottery...if there is texture on the shell,

>that would look so neat pressed in!  Or even squished into the clay and fire

>it, to see what happens.  I don't think it would melt out...though it

>might at VERY high fires.  Not sure really.

 

A friend of mine is a master potter, and he went crazy when he found out

I was going to the shore.  He made me bring back a double handful of

shells, mostly clams and oysters, with some scallops thrown in.  He uses

them as "ribs" - the things that are used to smooth the clay out as it's

spinning. His schtick is: "Ribs are called that, because that's what the

first ones were made of...beef rib, sheep rib, occasional

Englishman...whatever you had hanging around the castle."  His persona's

Irish to the bone..er, no pun intended...

 

He says, though, that a high fire would destroy a shell on no time.  A

low fire, though, would be just fine.  We got into the discussion because

he wanted to use gemstones and crystals in his high-fire drinking mugs

and goblets (period shapes, with dragons draped around the mugs), but the

only two things that would survive the process are diamond and corundum

(ruby and sapphire).  Sigh...

 

-Caro

 

 

Date: Sat, 27 Mar 1999 23:26:47 -0500

From: rmhowe <magnusm at ncsu.edu>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Hey Potters.

 

German Stoneware 1200-1900  Archaeology and Cultural History

by David Gaimster, 1997,  488pp

40 colour 425 black and white illustrations.

ISBN 0 7141 0571 6 Cased £45.00

British Museum Press

 

 

Subject: Re: ANST - Terracotta Sculpture (long)

Date: Wed, 19 May 1999 14:09:22 MST

From: "Ace" <aslyn at onramp.net>

To: <ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG>

 

>"Nathan W. Jones" wrote:

>> David St.David wrote:

>> {snip}

>Gio,

 

{snip}

 

>What separated della Robbia was a new method of glazing.

 

>Majolica, a lead based glaze at the time, was well know, but was

>unpredictable in results and produced a dull color and finish.  Sometime

>around 1430, Luca della Robbia began substituting tin which gave

>predictable results and a high color finish.

 

My lord:

 

I enjoyed your post, but I must address the statement above.  While the

della Robbia family made great contributions to the enhancement of majolica,

a much richer history of majolica and\or tin glazed pottery exists:

 

In my opinion and research, majolica has its roots (and some would argue

beginnings) as far back as the ancient Middle East, and was propogated by

the Babylonians.  Ancient Egyptians were noted to make pottery of coarse

clay and cover it with an opaque tin-oxide glaze, which was later known in

Italy as Faience.  Molded pieces with lead glaze and lusterware fragments

have been noted in Hellinistic Greece.  Artisans of 9th Centruy Islam later

perfected the technique of tin-glzed ware.  Most notably, Samarrakind

pottery of the Abbasid caliphs (made between 836 adn 883) was some of the

most brilliantly colored pottery of this kind, and they employed this

technique.

 

During the 10th to 12th centuries, the Egyptian Fatimids and Iranian potters

guided an even higher standard of the production of lustreware.  The

technique transferred into Europe, where Spain and then Italy became chief

production centers.  By the 15th century, this technique was used to enhance

majolica.

 

I agree with your statement about not achieving predictable results, and

will add that precision is a problem (try painting with mundane Majolica

paints formulated to resemble period consistencies - really, really

difficult to achieve any precision - just ask Mistress Kalida!  The paint

likes to run, too.).  But as for a dull color and finish - I must cheerfully

disagree! From the research I've done, Lusterware (and its predecessors and

relatives) is some of the most vibrant, colorful and balanced pottery there

is. Bright greens, blues, blacks and browns....even purples!

 

Persian pottery is spectacular and regal.  There was so much cool stuff

going on during this period!  Come and see!!!

 

Aslyn

 

 

Subject: Re: ANST - Terracotta Sculpture (long)

Date: Wed, 19 May 1999 15:51:41 MST

From: "D. R. Hoffpauir" <env_drh at shsu.edu>

To: ansteorra at Ansteorra.ORG

 

Ace wrote:

> >> David St.David wrote:

> >What separated della Robbia was a new method of glazing.

>   >Majolica, a lead based glaze at the time, was well know, but was

> unpredictable in results and produced a >dull color and finish.  Sometime

> around 1430, Luca della Robbia began substituting tin which gave

> >predictable results and a high color finish.

> My lord:

> I enjoyed your post, but I must address the statement above.  While the

> della Robbia family made great contributions to the enhancement of majolica,

> a much richer history of majolica and\or tin glazed pottery exists:

> In my opinion and research, majolica has its roots (and some would argue

> beginnings) as far back as the ancient Middle East, and was propogated by

> the Babylonians.  Ancient Egyptians were noted to make pottery of coarse

> clay and cover it with an opaque tin-oxide glaze, which was later known in

> Italy as Faience.  Molded pieces with lead glaze and lusterware fragments

> have been noted in Hellinistic Greece.  Artisans of 9th Century Islam later

> perfected the technique of tin-glzed ware.  Most notably, Samarrakind

> pottery of the Abbasid caliphs (made between 836 adn 883) was some of the

> most brilliantly colored pottery of this kind, and they employed this

> technique.

> Aslyn

 

Aslyn,

 

   I agree with you on earlier examples of ceramics using tin based enamels.

Most likely this was not an idea original to della Robbia and, after a

re-read, I guess I did say that.

 

   The original question was looking into period use of terra cotta as a

decorative medium, specifically statuary, in Europe.  I've checked a couple of

books on the issue and every one points straight at della Robbia as the source.

They also credit him with the 'innovative' use of tin rather that lead based

enamel glazes.  This is probably Eurocentric history.  One source indicates that

tin based Majolica was being imported to Italy in the early Renaissance.

Specifically it came from the Western Mediterranian island of Majorca, the

Italian spelling being 'Maiolica.'  The Moors had brought the technique to Spain

during their invasions of the 8th Century.  On the other end of the

Mediterranean the Assyrians had the formula as early as 1100 B.C.  There was

also a backward shift of using lead instead of tin.  This was a deliberate use

started by Bernard Palissy in France about 1510 (this is the formula that

Herbert Minton copied in 1851).  Supposedly it gave a clear instead of an opaque

glaze (which is just the opposite of what another book says).  This process was

also called Faience, opposite to what you say above, that's history, go

figure.

 

   Anyway I'm not an enamlist and hardly a historian.  Any fault you find,

I'll gladly blame on another :)  .

 

David 'datswhatdebooksaid' St. David

 

 

Date: Sun, 14 Nov 1999 00:15:59 EST

From: DianaFiona at aol.com

Subject: Re: [Potters] Fwd: SC - pictures of feasts

 

   Master Hroar graciously replied to the query about period table wares,

for English tables, mostly:

 

freyja1 at juno.com writes:

<< >

   As to websites, look to the Atlantian website, in the A&S section. They

have a nice pottery links page...

   Here are some books...

 

"Medieval English Pottery"

Bernard Rackham, r738.R11m

Faber and Faber...(sorry, this is all I have on this book..but try to

find it, it has some of the best photography I have seen...for such an

old book...

 

"Post-Medieval Pottery in London, 1500-1700: Border Wares"

Jacqueline Pearce  isbn 0-11-290494-7

I have raved apleanty about this book already..8-)

 

"Medieval Pottery in Britain, AD900-1600"

M.Mcarthy and C.  Brooks..ISBN 0-7185-1271-5

The photos are spacre and not that good, but theere is TONS of info,

referances, and more drawings than you can possible sitt through and

remember..

 

"The Secular Spirit: Life at the End of the Medieval Period"

Met. Museum of Art

709.02 N42s

Dutton, 1975

Ya gotta find this book! More photos of such a wide range of artifacts,

it will stagger you senses...The book views what might have been found in

the various rooms of a late period Noble home, from various cultures...

 

"From Viking to Crusader"

Rosedahl& Wilson

984.02 F92

A good one!

 

Hroar

>>

   Maybe others will have time to offer sources from other countries, but

this is a good start! :-) Need to hunt these down myself.........

 

                   Ldy Diana

 

 

Date: Sat, 17 Jul 1999 16:30:01 -0400

From: Melanie Wilson <MelanieWilson at compuserve.com>

To: LIST SCA arts <sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu>

Subject: Anglo Saxon Pottery on eBay

 

Anglo Saxon Pottery by David H Kennett

 

Shire Archaeology publication , with extensive drawings of finds from Anglo

Saxon digs, also lists sites of importance, museums with collections and

further reading.  This now largely out of print series is well worth

collecting. VG paperback

 

Mel

 

 

Date: Wed, 21 Jul 1999 07:29:25 -0500

From: Pamela S Keightley <shughes at vvm.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Egyptian faience/Egyptian Paste

 

I have no experience mixing glazes or clays, but have done a little

hand building and used glazes mixed by my teacher. Hence I have not

tried the following recipe contained in a book in my home library. You

might check your local library for a copy or check another similar book

on an introduction to ceramics. You may find other such recipes. I am

looking for my book on Painting stained glass. I will sent you the

recipe for the glass paint you are looking for, if it has one.  I wish

you the best of luck with your efforts.

 

Pamela Hewitt, the Harper

 

Charlotte F. Speight's _Hands In Clay, An introduction to Ceramics_

Second Edition, Mountain View, California: Mayfield Publishing Company,

1989. On page 28 Seight's states:"The very first Egyptian-glazed

ceramics, known as Egyptian paste (or sometimes, incorrectly , as

faience), were not coated with an applied glaze. Rather, the glaze was

actually formed by ingredients in the clay body itself that were carried

to the surface with the water as it evaporated, creating a shiny

blue-green coating. This integral glaze was proably discovered by

accident when desert sand containing soda ash and potash happened to be

mixed into the clay as temper."

Page 402 gives the following recipe for Egyptian Paste:

EGYPTIAN PASTE

White Egyptian Paste (Cone 015) (EP1-4)

The compents of this clay body form an integral glaze on its surface as

it is fired.

 

Components               Percentage

Nepheline syenite           25.0

Frit 3134                   15.0

Silica 200 mesh             20.0

Silica sand 70 Mesh          8.0

Kentucky ball clay OM4      24.0

Soda ash                     3.0

Borax (powder)               3.0

Macaloid                     2.0

            total          100.0

 

NOTES: Mix the dry components, then add enough water to form a stiff

paste. Shape it into whatever small object you wish, they dry it slowly

until soluble salts from on the surface. Fire it at cone 015. Although

the Egyptian Objects made of this type of clay were usually turquoise,

nowadays, cermamists add other colorants to produce a wider range of

colors. Once you mix the base white body, you can experiment with a

variety of stains and oxides. the following percentages will give you a

stargin point for your testing.

Colorants

Turquoise: Copper carbonate   2.50%(EP2)

Blue: Colbort carbonate         .75%(EP3)

Soft Lavender: D320 pink stain 3.00%(EP4)

               Cobalt carbonate .15%

Sparkling

Granular ilmenite: forms tiny black specks

Silicon carbide (36 grit): froms prominaant black specks

 

 

Date: Thu, 22 Jul 1999 01:15:50 EDT

From: <DianaFiona at aol.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Egyptian faience/Egyptian Paste

 

        According to a gentle on the Potter's list, Amaco (a ceramics supply

house) carries ready-mixed Faience. Might be easier, if not so nifty, than

mixing your own...... :-) Although another lady, who offers another source,

believes that the ready-mixed version is a bit pricey:

 

>>From: Mercy67 at aol.com

 

Yep, Laguna Clay, in City of Industry, California makes the stuff, but it is

extremely expensive and they basically sell it to you in small dosages

(figuring you'd only be making beads and jewelry).

 

If you are looking for reference material, you are better off looking for it

under "Egyptian Paste, NOT faience. Faience is what the French called the

stuff when they FIRST saw the items, thinking is was a maiolicia type (hence

faience, which is another name for mailoica).  Confusing, huh?

 

There are recipes available for the stuff too...you are probably better off

doing it from the recipe that was sent out (unless it wasn't on this board I

saw...I am on TOO Many lists).

 

--Mercy>>

 

        If I ever play with it myself, I probably *will* just do jewelry

sized pieces--and I seem to recall that the stuff is difficult to work,

especially in large pieces, so most historical uses have been small items,

anyway. So it really wouldn't be worth the effort and expense for me to mix

my own. Of course, another person might well prefer it! ;-) Thanks for the

info!

 

                                Ldy Diana

 

 

Date: Thu, 22 Jul 1999 14:34:06 -0500

From: Pamela S Keightley <shughes at vvm.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Egyptian faience/Egyptian Paste

 

Lady Dianna,

Thank you for the information on Egyptian Paste/Faience. It is good to

know that Egyptian paste is the correct category to look under when you

are interested in ceramics. I wonder if Faience is a term perpetuated by

the Archeologists?

 

   Looking at the chemicals involved in mixing your own Egyptian paste,

I would go for purchasing the small quantities too. I understand that

mixing stuff can be a hazard to your health. (The information on stained

glass paint indicates that lead is involved in that mixture, too.) I

hope that the majority of artisans, already know about  the dangers of

creating beautiful things from deadly stuff.

 

I thought it was interesting that the Egyptian paste recipe from

Charlotte F. Speight's _Hands In Clay, An introduction to Ceramics_

Second Edition, Mountain View, California: Mayfield Publishing Company,

1989 included a note on how to add impurities to make small sparkling

black specks(Granular ilmenite) or prominent black specks (Silicon

carbide, 36 grit). I assume that this is to imitate the natural

impurities and variations seen in the archeological finds in museums.

It would be worthwhile asking Laguan Clay, City of Industry, California,

if they have a similar ingredient in theirs(assuming you are trying to

creating an accurate facsimile of an ancient Egyptian find.

 

Pamela Hewitt, the Harper

 

 

Date: Fri, 23 Jul 1999 03:39:55 -0500 (CDT)

From: "Jack C. Thompson" <tcl at teleport.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Egyptian faience/Egyptian Paste

 

Another set of recipes for faience is contained in _Ancient Egyptian Materials_

by A. Lucas, originally published in 1926.

 

The essential elements are:

 

Silica (94%); Aluminia (1.8 %) Oxide of iron: (0.89%) Lime: 2.00%; Magnesia:

(1.05%) Alkalies: (0.25%) Loss on ignition (0.11%).

 

More or less.

 

Jack

 

Jack C. Thompson

Thompson Conservation Laboratory

Portland, OR

 

 

Date: Mon, 26 Jul 1999 03:09:07 -0500 (CDT)

From: "Jack C. Thompson" <tcl at teleport.com>

To: sca-arts at raven.cc.ukans.edu

Subject: Re: Egyptian faience/Egyptian Paste

 

Pamela Hewitt gave a good recipe for faience and I can only add this

little bit from A. Lucas' book, _Ancient Egyptian Materials_ published

in London, 1926.

 

On pp. 31-2 he says:

 

"Faience is a typical Egyptian product, which dates from Archaic times and

which by the early Dynastic period had reached a high stage of development;

it consists of a body material coated with glaze.

 

"The body material has been variously stated to be sand, powdered sand, carved

sandstone, ground sandstone, powdered quartz rock, ground quartz pebbles,

siliceous paste and quartz frit respectively.  Three analyses by Burton

show a mean of 94.1 per cent. of silica, and one by the author gives 99.6

per cent.

 

"A large number of specimens of the Eighteenth, Nineteenth, Twentieth and

Twenty-sixth Dynasties respectively have recently been examined.  In every

instance the body was composed of a finely-divided, crystalline, siliceous

material, generally friable and sometimes very friable, frequently white,

but almost as frequently tinted slightly blue, green, very light brown,

grey, or pink, the colour, except in the case of the brown grey and pink,

being due to a small amount of the glaze that had penetrated the body

material.  When examined microscopically the material was seen to consist

of very finely divided angular

grains of quartz without any admixture of clay or clayey matter, and it had

all the appearance of having been artificially powdered, which is believed

to be the case."

 

In an appendix on p. 231 Lucas gives the results of Burton's analyses (published

as: "Ancient Egyptian Ceramics" Journal of the Royal Society of Arts, Vol. LX,

1912.

 

"Silica - 94%; Alumina - 1.8%; Oxide of iron - 0.89%; Lime - 2.00%; Magnesia

1.05%; Alkalies 0.25%; Loss on ignition - 0.11% = 100.10%"

 

Giving their all, plus 10%, more or less.

 

My own piece of faience dates to approx. 600 B.C.E. and is slightly green.

 

Jack

 

Jack C. Thompson

Thompson Conservation Laboratory

Portland, OR

 

 

Date: Tue, 04 Jan 2000 16:35:05 MST

From: rmhowe <magnusm at ncsu.edu>

Subject: Saxon and Medieval Pottery in London citation

To: Potters at onelist.com

 

Dunno if you've seen this one. Has some black and white plates.

Magnus

 

Vince, A.G.: Saxon and Medieval Pottery in London, A Review; Dept. of

Urban Archaeology, Museum of London Offprint 33,  

originally printed in Medieval Archaeology 29, 1985 pp.25-93.

 

Lots of chronologies by type and cross sections.

A flat hip-style costrel that looks rather like a leather molded

imitation. A urinal.

 

I *May* have bought it through Oxbow. I can't remember.

 

Magnus

 

 

Date: Thu, 16 Mar 2000 15:09:30 +1100

From: "HICKS, MELISSA" <HICKS_M at casa.gov.au>

Subject: SC - Tudor Greenware - lead poisoning?

 

I ma not sure this is relevant here or if I should find a potters list ...

 

I've just started research into Tudor Greenware - a form of pottery made in

England (Surrey mainly) in the 15th Century.  From what I can understand (I

am *just* starting to research this) the bowls, goblets and pitchers/jugs

are formed from a pale clay, fired and then partially covered with a green

glaze. Usually only the top 1/3 to 1/2 of the item was covered with the

green glaze, so we end up with a pretty green and white contrast.

 

However I was taught yesterday that lead glazes (which were the usual means

of creating a green glaze) made with raw materials (lead, silica etc.) were

dangerous as the lead leeched out during the glaze firing process.  But, if

the raw glaze elements were fired together first to form a glass and then

ground and added to water and a binder and then used to form the glaze

(process is called frittering), then the tableware would be safe.

 

Is there any evidence that 15th Century English would know about lead

poisoning, or know how to stop it happening?  I assumed not, as a form of

lead powder was used in face powder in late 16th Century England, but I

thought I should ask anyway.

 

Has anyone looked into this form of pottery?  All extant pieces seem to be

food related, bowls, cups, goblets and pitchers/jugs with the except of one

incredibly beautiful "bleeding cup".

 

Meliora.

 

 

Date: Fri, 17 Mar 2000 00:21:46 -0600

From: "RANDALL DIAMOND" <ringofkings at mindspring.com>

Subject: SC - Re: Tudor greenware - Lead poisoning?

 

Meliora wrote:

>>>However I was taught yesterday that lead glazes (which were the usual

means of creating a green glaze) made with raw materials (lead, silica etc.)

were dangerous as the lead leeched out during the glaze firing process.

But, if

the raw glaze elements were fired together first to form a glass and then

ground and added to water and a binder and then used to form the glaze

(process is called frittering), then the tableware would be safe.

 

Is there any evidence that 15th Century English would know about lead

poisoning, or know how to stop it happening?  I assumed not, as a form of

lead powder was used in face powder in late 16th Century England, but I

thought I should ask anyway.<<<

 

NINETEENTH century folks mostly didn't have a clue about lead

in ceramics.  Also "greenware" in ceramic terms is unfired clayware;

"Tudor green' ware" is a very limited production technique of ceramic

ware produced, as you say in Surrey, from the late 14th century.

"Frittering" is what I do to wisteria blossoms with a batter and oil;

"fritting" is the accurate potter's term.  I understand how these

terms can be misheard by a beginner.  Among other things, I have

done a bit of ceramic work.  You can see some of  my work in

the December 1992 issue of CERAMICS magazine where they

chose me as "Artisan of the Month".  I (apparently uniquely) paint

copies of Renaissance masterpieces on plates with underglazes.

 

Generally the flux (pun intended) over lead in modern ceramics

is very much overblown as far as the dangers, at least the extent

of danger, that is, IMO.   The problem arose with a lot of popular and

very cheap import ware which had lead overglazes.  These were

definitely dangerous to eat from due to a high, high lead content,

but they really were not made to eat from.  It is a lot like how much

junk you have to stuff in lab rat to give it cancer or how bad and

dangerous asbestos is  (they have admitted they really overplayed

the dangers). The lead oxide (PbO) does not create the green

colour in the glaze, it is the agent that produces the evenness of

the coating of the shiny vitrification of the surface, the "glaze".  It

acts as a fluxing agent.  The colours come from other powdered

minerals mixed in with it.  This is a basic "overglaze" as opposed to

"underglaze" which are pure minerals in a liquid slip, which when fired

have no vitreous sheen.  A clear finish can be added over it in a

second firing.  The importance of glaze is that it seals the porous

nature of plain fired clay (bisque or "biscuit" fired) to moisture; a very

good characteristic for food containers.  It won't "soak up" food tastes

and odors like plain terra cotta clay ware will.  The outgassing of the kiln

for lead glazed pottery is noxious, but generally the other "safe" glazes

are nasty too.  This is akin to the use of mercury to gilt silver.  Just

even to THINK about doing period giltwork will have the EPA on your back in

a heartbeat!  I know, I am a silversmith too.  You would need a major

chemical laboratory facility to legally do it.  The primary danger of lead

glazes is that they leech out into your food and beverages if you use

these impliments DAILY and can cause health problems.  This is the

same problem that contributed significantly to the deterioration of the

Roman Empire; they were poisoned by their lead water piping to the

extent of severe mental disorders and birth defects.  Modern "food

safe" glazes have absolutely no lead in them and you have been

misinformed that fritting with an overglaze can make them safe.

They can't.  Lead and food are irresolvable.  This is unfortunate,

as the replication of period ceramics really can not be exactly

duplicated in appearance with food safe modern glazes.  I once

made absinthe, growing all the necessary herbs and such for an

entry in A&S.  Period as hell, but also likewise as illegal.  But even

I won't make ceramic food vessels with a lead based glaze.  I have

plenty of lead oxide; it is commonly used in modern NONFOOD art

cermaics like Raku.  Our mundane society is just too litigation happy

to even chance an accurate reproduction being inadvertantly used

and some jerk has his lawyers sue me for everything I have on the

CHANCE that the lead has caused him some harm or might do so

20 years down the line.  That is why I like the SCA; it is more rational

most of the time than "normal" mundane society IMO.

 

>>>Has anyone looked into this form of pottery?  All extant pieces seem to be

food related, bowls, cups, goblets and pitchers/jugs with the except of one

incredibly beautiful "bleeding cup".<<<

 

Oh yes, there is nothing special about it.   It is virtually the same as

ALL the other European ceramics dating from around the 9th

throught the early 14th century, especially ware for the commoners.

Look at the paintings like those of Brugels and you will find many

examples from many European cultures, but most of them are

going to have been manufactured in France or Italy at that time.

The REASON thet you hear specifically of "Tudor green' ware" is

that the state of English pottery making was far, far behind the

French and Italians.   The use of lead glazes over buff ware at

this time in Surrey is the FIRST use in England of glazes since

Roman times.  The reason that so many of the items are food

related is that the  relatively simple process was entirely too

crude to utilize in the growing sophistification of Renaissance

ceramics. "Art" quality pieces for the nobility were mostly imported

and were in the tin oxide process developed in Italy called "majolica".

Artistic English ceramics largely did not exist until the mid 16th

century with the rise to popularity of a blue glazed ware we know

as "delft".  England became a major producer and exported it

throughout the 17th century until it was replace by pocelain ware.

Also the stuff was made in quite large quantities to satisfy the

demand among the commons; much more was made than the

more costly "artsy" and elegant gaudy stuff for the nobles.

The "Tudor green' ware" was also not restricted to just green.

They also had lead glazed yellows and rich browns.  It did not

last very long as it was surplanted by the spread of majolica

as the secret processes of the Italians spread around Europe

in the 16th century.

 

Majolica, both period and modern, differs from other glaze

techniques in that the entire piece was coated with a thick

coat of tin oxide, which is a very nice white glaze.  They then

painted the coloured designs on it with very diluted coloured

slip suspensions that would sink INTO the white glaze upon

firing. This process results in very pastel intensity colours and

is difficult to master.  Too thin an application of colours and it

washes out to nothing; too thick and it will cause bubbles and

pits. Modern special glazes have been compounded but

they look different from period techiques.

 

I hope you will enjoy your pursuit of ceramics as much as have

I. It is a wonderful and useful thing to learn and many nice

reproductions are feasible.  Just use good judgement and

document the period techiques, but explain why you used

modern substitutes in making your items.  If judges have a

problem with this, I hope they have decide to use period lead

based ceramics themselves.  I am a firm believer in "evolution

in action".

 

Akim Yaroslavich

 

 

Date: Sat, 25 Mar 2000 15:11:06 +1100

From: Lorix <lorix at trump.net.au>

Subject: [Fwd: [Fwd: SC - Tudor Greenware - lead poisoning?]]

 

Some time ago, Mel asked a question about Tudor Greenware.  I forwarded her question to a Laurel & potter in our Barony and this is her reply.

 

Lorix

 

Lenehan wrote:

> Nowadays even a fritted lead glaze is frowned upon.  It was originally used

> to keep colours clear, and to acheve red, the most difficult colour to fire.

> Green glaze can be made from copper carbonate or chromium carbonate, made

> safe in a clear silica glaze and vitrified to at least 1100 degrees C. (This

> is an earthenware temperature, which is relevant for English and Spanish

> ceramics).

> I doubt the Renaissance and Tudor potters & public knew or cared about

> problems with lead.  It just made for a good glaze.  They didn't have the

> raw ingredients easily to hand such as gerstley borate or nepheline syenite

> which are common safe ingredients in modern glazes.

> Madelaine de Bourgogne, OL. OP.

 

 

From: owly at hem.utfors.se

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: pottery

Date: Mon, 02 Apr 2001 20:49:23 GMT

Organization: Utfors AB

 

>help me please I am late 1400's Scot and I want to learn more about the

>pottery of the era can any one point me in the right direction?

>Sean Macdonald

 

Check out the Medieval Pottery Research Group at

http://www.pmiles.demon.co.uk/mprg/mprg.htm

 

Anna de Byxe

 

 

From: "Glenda Robinson" <glendar at compassnet.com.au>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Pottery for Cooking/Eating

Date: Mon, 21 May 2001 23:42:13 +1000

 

The Romans used pottery over coals. It was a special one, called E-ware,

Samian ware and red ware. That type's so tough that if it breaks, you can

rivet it back together (I have pictures in a book somewhere).

 

Gee I'd like to get my hands on some of this clay! My MIL's a potter, and

I'll get her to do some for me when she gives up her day job (if we can get

our hands on the clay - thankfully I know an expert on this type of pottery,

who should be able to put me on to a supplier.

 

Glenda.

 

> stefan at texas.net writes:

> << whereas the pottery

> pots couldn't be. They had to be put on coals? or next tot he fire? >>

> As clay (even fired clay) heats...the molecules expand (it's more complex

> than that..but "expand" should suffice for here)...and if they expand at

> different rates...i.e.: the bottom of the pot (on the heat) and the top (not

> on the heat)..the vessel will explode!(or at the very least..crack) So...no

> intense direct heat to any one surface of a pottery vessel!  I would

> say..."next to" a fire...not on coals.  (but you could probably bury it in

> coals if it were covered!)

> Etain inghean Ruaidhri

 

 

Date: Mon, 21 May 2001 10:52:48 -0700

From: Solstice Studios <solstice at moscow.com>

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Subject: [Sca-cooks] "sweetened earth bowl"

 

<snip>

Any idea what a "pancheon of earth sweetened for the purpose" is?

<snip>

 

I talked this over with my archaelogist-potter-husband and he has an

idea.

 

Historically pottery was fired very low temperature, making it very

pourous. Honey or pitch was often used to both seal the cups/bowls from

being pourous, as well as to slightly flavor the contents. Pitch was

strongly flavored and they would tend to prefer honey for food dishes.

Also, honey was anti-bacterial-- it would retard mildew and microbial

growth,. So it would not only seal the vessal, but help prevent mildew,

etc from forming in the clay from organic residue (like buttermil) that

would soak into it.

 

He thinks that it may be this custom that the book refered to.

 

We tried making low-temp historic vessels and decided to just modify it

to stoneware instead. Stoneware is fired at a much higher temperature.

The low temp firings made it very pourous and liable to breakage and

microbes both, and we didn't want to track honey-pots all over the place

in camping. In our arts competitions, its considered a reasonable modern

varient and most folks seem to prefer the stronger and impermiable style

of pottery as well, especially since it can still look just about the

same as the low fired.

 

<SNIP>

Somehow, I don't think my first idea of a hole in the ground sprinkled

with sugar, is the correct interpretation. :-)

<SNIP>

 

Tee hee! I can picture this one too!!! :)

 

 

Date: Tue, 22 May 2001 15:32:51 +0200

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

From: "Cindy M. Renfrow" <cindy at thousandeggs.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] Re: Pottery for Cooking/Eating

 

>I want to see reproductions for purchase by me of:

>-- accurate mortar and pestle from different cultures (say,

>Roman and Japanese, for example);

>-- a working strainer or colander

>-- amphorae

>-- vinegar and pickle crocks

>-- ointment and balm jars

 

http://www.hellenic-art.com/pottery/kylicae.htm

 

http://www.northerner.com/

 

http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/LCVInternational/periodpr.htm

 

Cindy

 

 

Date: Tue, 22 May 2001 16:26:22 +0200

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

From: "Cindy M. Renfrow" <cindy at thousandeggs.com>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] "sweetened earth bowl"

 

<snip>

>Historically pottery was fired very low temperature, making it very

>pourous. Honey or pitch was often used to both seal the cups/bowls from

>being pourous, as well as to slightly flavor the contents. Pitch was

>strongly flavored and they would tend to prefer honey for food dishes.

>Also, honey was anti-bacterial-- it would retard mildew and microbial

>growth,. So it would not only seal the vessal, but help prevent mildew,

>etc from forming in the clay from organic residue (like buttermil) that

>would soak into it.

<snip>

 

Documentation please? I know pitch was used to seal wooden casks and the

hulls of boats, and I have heard of oatmeal being used to seal the seams of

iron cauldrons, but I've never heard of honey being used to seal unglazed

pottery. Probably something to do with it's being water-soluble.

 

I believe the word "sweet" in this case refers to a very clean and

sweet-smelling vessel, as opposed to one which is foul and sour-smelling.

 

"Then Tun it up in a strong and sweet cask,"

 

"then let the tubs, that the honey must be wrought in, be cleansed very

clean with scalding water, so that it may not prove sowre;"

 

" Observe that your cask be sweet and clean."

 

"then tun it up in a sweet Cask."

 

Cindy

 

 

Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2001 13:53:25 +0200

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

From: "Cindy M. Renfrow" <cindy at thousandeggs.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] sealing pottery

 

Hello! There was a question several weeks ago about sealing unglazed pottery.

 

I ran across these recipes in Cato's De Agricultura ( On Farming), tr. by

Andrew Dalby (Prospect Books, 1998, ISBN 0907325 807), pp. 127, 151. The

first is for repairing a cracked earthenware vat. The second is for sealing

an earthenware vat to use for olive oil.

 

"...mend wine vats with lead, or bind with sappy oak stems.  If you mend or

bind them well, fill the cracks with putty, and pitch well, any vat can

become a wine vat.  Make up putty for wine vats as follows:  1 lb. wax, 1

lb. resin, 1/3 oz. sulphur. Put all together in a new saucepan, add

powdered gypsum till it reaches the consistency of a plaster. Use to mend

vats. After mending, to make all the same colour: mix 2 parts raw clay

with a third part lime. Make small bricks, cook in the oven, grind and

apply."

 

"Coat new oil vats as follows.  Fill with amurca for 7 days; top up the

amurca each day. Then empty out the amurca and let dry. When dry:

Dissolve gum in water one day, dilute it the next. Heat the vat, not as hot

as if you were going to pitch it: warm is enough: use kindling wood for

heating. When it is moderately warm, pour in the gum and then spread it.

If you mixed the gum correctly, 4 lb. gum is enough for a 50-urna vat."

 

Amurca is the watery residue leftover from the making of olive oil. Cato

sometimes uses it plain, & other times concentrates it by boiling.

 

"If you are to put oil in a new jar, rinse it first with amurca just as it

comes, raw; shake very thoroughly so that it soaks in. If you do this, the

jar will not soak up oil, the oil will be better and the jar itself

stronger." (p. 169)

 

Cindy

 

 

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Date: Fri, 3 Aug 2001 14:59:18 -0400

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] A Comment & A Question was ( Jonathan Swift

        was an Optimist)

From: Elizabeth A Heckert <spynnere at juno.com>

 

On Fri, 3 Aug 2001 15:53:29 -0500 "Decker, Terry D."

<TerryD at Health.State.OK.US> writes:

>I am seeking references to trenchers in both primary and secondary

>sources for a paper I am preparing.  Does anyone have any references

handy?

>Bear

 

  I have a book on inter-library loan right now, called "Medieval Pottery

in Britain AD 900-1600" by Michael R. McCarth and Catherine M. Brooks (

Leicester University Press, 1988, ISBN 0-7185-1254-5; ISBN 0-7185-1271-5

pbk.)

Chapter 2,  'Production and Distribution' says:

 

"The later Middle Ages was thus a period of change. [...] Potters made

inroads into the wood turner's domain with the manufacture of ceramic

drinking vessels and in the seventeenth century, pottery plates,

imitating pewter forms, began to edge out wooden boards and trenchers."

(pg.90)

 

   Chapter 3 is a lovely chapter called 'Pottery and Society'.  It

compares ceramic and non-ceramic vessels.  It says about trenchers:

 

"Wooden (or 'treen') trenchers and platters were widespread in the

later medieval and early post-medieval periods, replacing the bread

trenchers of earlier times."  (pg. 99)  This page also has a picture of a

wooden trencher in the Oxfordshire County Museum, Woodstock.

 

   The rest of the citations which are listed as 'plates/platters' in the

index are records of items recovered at digs, and are mostly about

platters. I found a website talking about pit-fired pottery, which is a

less sophisticated means of firing, than was in main use at the end of

our 'period', and that gentleman said that he found plates to be the

hardest to fire.

<http://www.physics.mq.edu.au/~gnott/Miklagard/Articles/#Fig.1> is the

site.

 

   Sorry this is so long!  It's basically anti-evidence I suppose, but it

might give you some background; that is if you want to be that in-depth

with the article.  I also didn't want you to go to the trouble of geting

the pottery book and then find out it's useless to your research!

 

   Elizabeth

 

 

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Date: Sat, 1 Sep 2001 20:44:52 -0400

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks] And they think _our_ beer tastes bad

From: Elizabeth A Heckert <spynnere at juno.com>

 

On Sun, 02 Sep 2001 21:56:18 -0400 Philip & Susan Troy <troy at asan.com>

writes:

>And they think _our_ beer tastes bad... from Reuters, via Netscape

 

>> LONDON (Reuters)

> The ale is brewed in clay pots with traces of baked animal droppings.

 

   Y'all, don't freak!  The newspaper guys got it *Way* wrong!!!

C'mon--we are talking modern media (grin!).  The key statement in the

article is the one above.  And sorry, apparently it was one of several

choices in the Dark Ages up until around the Norman invasion--in Britain

at least.

 

   They are NOT talking about brewing baked dung!!  To withstand the

temperature of a cooking fire, or a crucible, clay had to be tempered

with other things.  Sand, ground fired clay, shells and yes (bleah!) even

dung was used to make the clay better able to stand the heat of the fire.

The tempering agent is added to the wet clay, and fired with the rest of

the pot.

 

   How do I know this?  I am trying to get ready for a late-ish Viking

era demo at the end of October.  I've got a few pieces made and drying

using *sand* and *ground clay* thank you very much as tempering agents.

If they survive the pit-fire process, I'll be using them and a leather

pot for camp cooking.

 

   There is an article on the web, by a Mr. Peter Beatson, of the New

Varangian Guard, a Viking re-enacting group out of New South Wales, on

pit-fired pottery of the Dark Ages.

<http://www.physics.mq.edu.au/~gnott/Miklagard/Articles/#Fig.1.

 

   To be fair to the poor journalist, tempering has a slippery

definition. Some people include the ground clay (or grog) as a tempering

agent, and some do not.  Theophilus talks about grogging clay for

crucibles in *On Divers Arts*.  I assume--but I have not read it

specifically--that chemists and other such intelligent souls can analyse

the pottery and tell what it was made of.

 

   Honest, I bet it was the journalist, and the poor Skara Brae people

are muttering in their beer to-night!!

 

   Elizabeth

 

 

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

Date: Sun, 14 Oct 2001 14:06:13 -0400

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks]  Ceramic frying pans, was: OOP: Frying pan

        opinions? Try period ceramic pan.

From: Elizabeth A Heckert <spynnere at juno.com>

 

On Mon, 15 Oct 2001 13:13:00 -0700 (PDT) Huette von Ahrens

<ahrenshav at yahoo.com> writes:

>However, if you want to make pancakes using a period

>pan, there is a 1560 painting by Joachim Beuchelaer

>showing a woman making pancakes using a ceramic [yes,

>Olga, ceramic!] pan.

 

"Medieval Pottery in Britain AD 900 - 1600"

M McCarthy and C. Brooks

Leiscester University Press; 1988

 

   This book is an archeological report and has lovely drawings--they're

cut away, so you get an idea of how thick the section is.  It has

ordinary frying-pan shapes as well as frying pans on legs, from at least

the mid 1300s.

 

   Elizabeth

 

 

Date: Mon, 07 Jan 2002 13:28:05 -0500

From: James Koch <alchem at en.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Leaded Glaze in pottery

 

"Tanya Guptill (Mira Silverlock)" wrote:

> I've purchased a gorgeous Ottoman-style plate, but I know that it has a

> lead glaze.  Does anyone have any brilliant idea on a product that could

> be painted onto the surface to make the plate food-safe?  I was thinking

> of some sort of resin....

>

> Mira Silverlock

 

A few years back I ran across a chemical test product for leachable lead

in pottery glaze.  A drop was placed on the item in question.  This

would turn some bright color if lead was present in unsafe quantities.

Unfortunately I can't remember where I saw this.  You may want to do a

web search for "lead" and "test".  

 

As to a protective film, you may want to go with a clear enamel.  You

may also be able to pre-leach much of the lead from the plate by soaking

it in white vinegar.  Test a spot first to see if the color of the glaze

is affected.  

 

Coating won't be necessary though if you use the plate for dry or

non-acidic foods (for instance as a candy or cookie dish).  Most of the

problems in the past with lead glazed pottery were from vessels such as

pitchers and bowls used to store food. Acetic acid (vinegar) is the

number one dissolver of lead, since lead acetate is highly soluble.

Tomato, citrus, and similar acidic juices are also a problem.  

 

Of course if you are using the plate only occasionally your exposure

will be much reduced.  Also, if you live outside of a major city and are

an adult you don't need to worry since you probably have a very low

level of lead in your body to begin with. People living in older cities

tend to have higher lead levels in their bones and blood due to the

stuff being in the soil from paint and leaded gasoline used in the past.

 

Jim Koch (Gladius The Alchemist)

 

 

From: mikea at mikea.ath.cx (Mike Andrews)

Subject: Re: Leaded Glaze in pottery

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Organization: Department of Forensic Thaumaturgy, Miskatonic University, Arkham, MA

Date: Mon, 07 Jan 2002 19:33:26 GMT

 

James Koch <alchem at en.com> wrote:

: A few years back I ran across a chemical test product for leachable lead

: in pottery glaze.  A drop was placed on the item in question.  This

: would turn some bright color if lead was present in unsafe quantities.

: Unfortunately I can't remember where I saw this.  You may want to do a

: web search for "lead" and "test".  

 

I've seen these in some hardware stopres, and (IIRC) in at least

one Wal-Mart.

 

 

From: db <deadmonk at hotmail.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Leaded Glaze in pottery

Date: Mon, 07 Jan 2002 16:15:56 -0800

 

Contact a bee keepers supply house. They have a clear epoxy that is food

grade for coating their tanks (I bought it for coating the inside of cow

horn drinking horns.) About $10 worth will cover all you and your shire and

most of your friends could possibly use. If you can't find it, let me know

and I will get the address for you when next I am near my files. I won't

garentee it will be lead proof, or that it won't ever scratch off. But if I

were going to use a clear epoxy on dishes, that is what I would use.

 

db

 

 

From: "Elaine Koogler" <ekoogler011 at home.com>

To: <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

Date: Tue, 22 Jan 2002 10:59:51 -0500

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Book on pottery

 

I just found a book that I believe would be an invaluable

reference to any who are interested in British pottery in our period.  The

book is "If These Pots Could Talk-- Collecting 2000 Years of British

Household Pottery" by Ivor Noel Hume. Admittedly only a part of it would

deal with our period, but I suspect that part would be very good.  Hume was

the archaeologist in residence for Colonial Williamsburg for many years, and

his writing is not only very accurate and well-researched, but interesting

reading as well.  I have his "Here Lies Virginia", and I have read it

through several times.  I can't get this book just yet, but did find it

through Addall.com for $49.49 including shipping from Amazon (normal US

retail is $65.00).

 

Kiri

 

 

From: David Razler <davidrazler at home.com>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Ceramics Information in the Middle Ages

Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2002 06:23:25 GMT

 

On 4 Feb 2002 17:58:01 -0800, techietroll at sluggy.net (TechieTroll)

wrote:

>     I was wondering if anyone would know of any good books on how

>ceramics were done in the middle ages, most specifically if they did

>any real hand building or if it was mostly just thrown material.  I'm

>especially looking for info from Germany or the general UK area,

>though anything would be more than wonderful.

>Thanks

>D. Murphy

 

The Finds in the City of London/ Museum of London household and

personal accessories volumes are excellent, one, I believe the former,

containing a detailed chemical analysis of some ceramics and glazes.

Borrow though - they have become hellishly overpriced (about doubple

the price they were when I first regarded them as Hellishly Overpriced

thanks to Aunt Maggie's privitization of the British equivalent of the

government printing office.

 

                        d/A

 

 

From: Ted Eisenstein <alban at socket.net>

Newsgroups: rec.org.sca

Subject: Re: Ceramics Information in the Middle Ages

Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2002 09:11:44 -0600

 

>> I was wondering if anyone would know of any good books on how

>> ceramics were done in the middle ages, most specifically if they did

>> any real hand building or if it was mostly just thrown material.  I'm

>> especially looking for info from Germany or the general UK area,

>> though anything would be more than wonderful.

 

now that I've actually woken up. . . Here are some books gotten off

the sca-potters' list and other places.

 

   Barton, KJ, Pottery in England from 3500 BC to 1750 AD, AS Barnes, 1975.

      Brears, Peter CD, The English Country Pottery, Charles E. Tuttle,

1971.

   Cooper, Emmanuel, History of Pottery, St. Martins Press, 1972.

   Evison, Veral, H Hodges & J G Hurst, eds., MEDIEVAL POTTERY FROM

EXCAVATION,Studies presented to Gerald Clough Dunning;St. Martin's Press;

1974

   Fisher, Stanley, English Ceramics Hawthorne Books, 1965.

   Hobson, RL, A Guide to Ensglish Pottery and Porcelain, British Museum,

1923.

   Hodges, Richard, The 8th-Century Pottery Industry in La Londe, Near

Rouen, and its Implications for Cross-Channel Trade with Hamwic, Anglo-Saxon

Southampton. Antiquity ;65(249):882-887. The finding of pottery kilns at La

Londe, near Rouen, identifies a source of traded goods for the early

medieval period in Northern Europe, and further explains the pattern of

North Sea and English Channel traffic.

   Honey, William B., European Ceramic Art, Faber and Faber, 1949.

   Jennings, Sara, Medieval Pottery in the Yorkshire Museum, The Yorkshire

Museum, 1992.

   Lewis, Griselda, A Collectors History of English Pottery, Viking Press,

1969.

   McCarthy, M and C Brooks, Medieval Pottery in Britain AD 900-1600,

Leicester University Press, 1988.

   Myres, J.G.D. Clark, eds., A CORPUS OF ANGLO-SAXON POTTERY OF THE PAGAN

PERIOD, Part of the Gulbenkian Archaeological Series

   Myres, JNL and Barbara Green, THE ANGLO-SAXON CEMETERIES OF

CAISTOR-BY-NORWICH AND MARKSHALL NORFOLK The Society of Antiquaries(England)

ISBN-0 500 770220

   Picollopasso, N., Three Books of the Potters Art

   Rackham, Bernard, English Pottery, Scribner and Sons, 1924.

   Rackham, Bernard, Medieval English Pottery, Faber and Faber.

   Sinopoli, Carla M., Approaches to Archeological Ceramics

 

Alban

 

 

Date: Fri, 26 Mar 2004 20:40:13 -0800

From: Shana Cooke <gitsh01 at earthlink.net>

Subject: Re: [SCA-AS] Pottery question

To: Arts and Sciences in the SCA <artssciences at lists.gallowglass.org>

 

Chartier wrote:

<<< One of the ladies of our shire is interested in pottery.

She has fired before in a modern kiln, so doing a fireing "in period" will

be a challenge.

Her question is: "Did they use any glaze that did not contain lead?"

 

Any information at this poit is welcome.

 

Marguerite Chartier

local MOAS for the Shire of Coldwood, East Kingdom. >>>

 

I'm researching 12th century english pottery, and if any glaze was used

at all (which not all pieces were), then it had a lead glaze, sometimes

with specs of copper mixed in.

 

For myself, I am looking for non-leaded glazes that have a similar

appearance to the yellow 12th century lead glaze, rather than dealing

with poisonous pottery. I think the judges will understand. I doubt

they'd want to eat or drink from a lead-lined vessel. ;)

 

Shana

 

 

Date: Fri, 26 Mar 2004 23:48:51 -0800 (PST)

From: Anna Troy <owly3 at yahoo.se>

Subject: Re: [SCA-AS] Pottery question

To: Arts and Sciences in the SCA <artssciences at lists.gallowglass.org>

 

Check out The Medieval Pottery Research Group,

http://www.medievalpottery.org.uk/nlcurr.htm

Maybe there is something there. I was also wondering

about salt gaze, when was that introduced?

 

Anna de Byxe

 

 

Date: Sun, 28 Mar 2004 23:38:35 -0500

From: Baron Jehan <baronjehan at comcast.net>

To: manche at lists.panix.com

Subject: Re: [MCH] [SCA-AS] Pottery question (fwd)

 

Salt glaze is generally used on stoneware, which became an important export

product of the Rhineland (Raeren, Siegburg, etc) around the 15th century.

Stonewares were known in China in ancient times, but not in Europe until the

late middle ages. It requires a much higher firing temperature than most

medieval wares. Salt glaze kilns require a wood fire, and are difficult to

build in many populated areas due to zoning laws and emission controls. The

results are very variable, and it might take some time to get the hang of

it. But it certainly would be well worth it if she wanted to learn! Salt

glazed stonewares are generally used to make jugs, bottles, and mugs,

because stoneware was the first Europen pottery that was actually impervious

to liquid. It pretty much displaced earthenware jugs in the 16th c. Typical

styles are the Bartman jug or Bellarmine

http://www1.bellarmine.edu/strobert/jugs/index.asp

and the Breughel style pot-belled mug. Here is a commercial potter making

pretty accurate Raeren ware mugs, 15th-16th c:

http://www.jeffbrownpottery.com/medieval5.html

 

Tin glaze was used in Islamic wares during the medieval period (see Iznik

ware and the like, http://www.turkishculture.org/ceramic_arts/pottery.html),

and were eventually adopted in Europe for Spanish lustreware, Italian

majolica, faience and delftware. Tin glaze is opaque and white and can be

fired in a modern electric kiln. You can underpaint it with cobalt blue and

get the typical blue-and-white defltware (accurate repros by Julia Smith

http://www.juliasmith.com/historicpottery/delftware.htm), or overpaint it

with polychrome glazes to get the amazing majolica wares of the Italian

renaissance. http://www.nga.gov/collection/gallery/itacer/itacer-main1.html

or metallic glazes to get lustreware

(http://www.wallacecollection.org/b+i/index.php),

In the renaissance tin glazed ware was most commonly used for high-status

dishes, platters, and chargers that get put on the shelf for your guests to

admire, although in the 17th-18th c. they became common enough for ordinary

dinnerware.

 

Earthenware is usually lead glazed. There is no subtitute for the stunningly

clear and brilliant colors you can get with lead, but many potters making

historic reproductions nowadays manage to find reasonable substitutes. Lots

of things use just a clear glaze sloshed over the part that needs to be

protected the inside of cooking pots & dishes, for example). The colors used

for decoration were relatively limited. Green glaze (yummy toxic copper!)

was very popular, as was yellow and shades of brown. These colors are often

applied to light-colored clay bodies, although you sometimes see a splash of

green over a red-bodied earthenware, and in England they made nearly black

iron glaze like this:

http://www2002.stoke.gov.uk/museums/pmag/archaeology/collections/Cistercianw

aremedpot.htm)

Popular decorative techniques involved using lighter colored slips over

darker colored clay bodies, or vice versa.

 

Most pottery throughout history, including the middle ages, is earthenware.

There's a nice website on construction of true low-fired medieval wares at

http://www.medievalpottery.uk7.net/

and here's a report from someone who's done some low-tech earthenware

firing, very tempting to try!

http://users.bigpond.net.au/quarfwa/miklagard/Articles/Pottery.htm

 

If she's interested in learning about period pottery, I would not suggest

that she obsess too much about lead glazes just yet. She ought to learn what

forms, clay fabrics, techniques, etc. are used in the culture that she wants

to study and should look at extant examples to see what the appropriate

kinds of vessels are in the first place. The Ashmolean has a website called

"PotWeb" that is still in progess, but has many examples of period ceramics,

I highly recommend it for an overview:

http://potweb.ashmol.ox.ac.uk/PotPeriods.html

 

It doesn't pay to start building a wood-fired salt glaze kiln if you don't

make the right kind of things in it. She needs to find books with

archeological drawings that show the thickness of the vessels and views from

more than one angle (not just the top or front). For example, I once found a

plate made by an SCA artisan that was intended to be a copy of sgraffito

dish museum piece -- the potter had only seen the dish flat on, and made it

the thing flat as a pancake. The actually dish  is actually about 3" deep

and has high, rimmed sides to it.

 

I'll try to rustle up a bibliography later.

 

Jehan

 

 

Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2004 15:33:29 -0500

From: Jadwiga Zajaczkowa / Jenne Heise <jenne at fiedlerfamily.net>

Subject: [willofyre at hotmail.com: Re: [MCH] [SCA-AS] Pottery question

        (fwd)]

To: Arts and Sciences in the SCA <artssciences at lists.gallowglass.org>

 

From: "Heather Stiles" <willofyre at hotmail.com>

 

Salt glazing was developed by German potters during the 15th century.  This

process requires a gas or wood firing kiln.  You cannot do salt glaze in an

electric kiln, due to the corrosion of the salt on the elements.  The kiln

must be outside, or in a shed, as it does give off harmful fumes.

 

   Most glaze recipes did contain lead.  I have taken some clear glaze

recipes and adjusted them so that there is no longer any lead in them, and

they pretty much look and function the same.  I have many glaze recipes on

my website, and am still in the process of testing glazes and posting more.  

Please visit my website www.willofyre.com, and click on the "How To" page.  

There are some glaze recipes on there, some are functional, some are not.  I

have a lot of recipes on the Middle Eastern glaze page that I have adjusted

and substituted the lead.  Anyone is welcome to try them. I will also be

developing some European Middle Ages glazes soon that are lead free.

 

~~Safia al-Khansaa'

 

 

From: Ed Shelton <shelton_ed at hotmail.com>

Date: September 23, 2005 1:24:56 PM CDT

To: ansteorra at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] question on ceramics and its history

 

I have documentation of plaster molding being used under plates on a  

kick wheel during throwing to form the smooth inside of the plate and  

of plaster press molds for "lace woven" plate edges.  Both processes  

are shown in "Three Books of the Potter's Art", a thirteenth century  

treatise on pottery techniques.

 

I have found no evidence of slip casting until at least the late  

seventeenth century.

 

Why not throw or coil the piece and keep the whole thing period?  :)

 

Centurian Giotto

 

 

From: Paul DeLisle <ferret at hot.rr.com>

Date: September 24, 2005 6:53:56 AM CDT

To: "Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA, Inc." <ansteorra at ansteorra.org>

Subject: RE: [Ansteorra] question on ceramics and its history

 

> Also, for us folks who aren't that familiar with pottery, what do you

> and Mistress Clarissa mean by "slip casting"?

>     Stefan

 

Stefan:

"Slip" is the term used for liquid plaster (or ceramic.)

 

In plaster, the slip is poured into a negative mold (also usually made of

plaster, with a seam to allow it to split in two or more pieces); and

allowed to slowly dry (the dry mold wicks the moisture out of the slip,

allowing it to dry slowly from the outer surfaces first.)

 

In ceramics, the slip is poured into a negative mold; allowed to coat the

inside, and poured back out; creating a hollow positive object (such as a

vase, or a statue.)

 

As it dries, it it takes on the consistency of wet leather (very fragile),

and then dried mud, or tree bark (not so fragile, but brittle.) At this

stage, it's called "greenware" (because it hasn't been baked in a kiln, or

"fired".) After it dries completely, it is alternately fired, painted,

and/or glazed, to achieve the desired effect.

 

Alden

(who knows a little about a lot of things...)

 

 

From: prudencecurious at netscape.net

Date: September 24, 2005 1:04:40 PM CDT

To: ansteorra at ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] question on ceramics and its history

 

While slip was used throughout period for painting items, most items were either wheel thrown or hand pinched.

 

But you may want to investigate Pots and People: that have shaped the heritage of medieval and later England by Maureen Mellor (a publication of the Ashmolean Museum) because on page 35 in figure 43 is a "Moulded Rhenish stoneware Schnelle, made in Siegburg, Germany with an inscription "Judit ano 1572"..."  I believe the inscription is referring to a date for the molded picture and not the creation date, but this book is a wonderful small resource for starting a ceramic library.  It is available from $12 to $35 through Bookfinder.com.  Not being a ceramicist myself, I get lost in all the terms of stonewear, tinwear and the like.  Maybe it can help you.

 

If you are interested in documenting painting with slip, World Ceramics: An illustrated history edited by Robert J Charleston could be useful.  It can likewise be found through bookfinder.com from $10.00 to $125.

 

You might want to see if you can get either book through interlibrary loan to see if they actually have the information you seek.

 

Prudence the Curious

 

-----Original Message-----

From: Brenna <daydreambelever64 at yahoo.com>

 

I want to thank every one for the helpful information, I  was so hoping to find

slip casting some how period but i guess i will have no luck,

i am still researching on how to pain in a period way,

not sure i am ready to invert in a poetry wheel yet but maybe some day

 

Lady Brenna

 

 

From: Cairenn Day <cpenny at swbell.net>

Date: September 24, 2005 11:32:40 PM CDT

To: "Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA, Inc." <ansteorra at ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] question on ceramics and its history

 

I have a notion that the problem with slip casting in period was the

defloculant (the ingredient that helps to hold the clay, in suspension

was not known or used, so the slip would 'settle' too quickly.  The

Romans, also used molds, but it seems that they threw into them, so a

raised design would be on the outside.

 

Cairenn, The Howling Artist

 

 

Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2005 22:30:26 -0400

From: Johnna Holloway <johnna at sitka.engin.umich.edu>

Subject: Re: [Sca-cooks]Italian Ceramics was trenchers

To: Cooks within the SCA <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

Terry Decker wrote:

> While it's been around for a few thousand years, majolica came back

> into vogue in 14th Century Spain and was given widespread popularity

> in Italy by the Della Robbia family of Florence.  I don't have any

> information on the trade in majolica handy, do you?

> Bear

 

I think this would answer the question but I don't own it.

http://www.getty.edu/bookstore/titles/ceramics.html

Italian Ceramics

Catalogue of the J. Paul Getty Museum Collections

Catherine Hess

J. Paul Getty Museum

224 pages, 9 x 12 inches

50 color and 217 duotone illustrations, 17 line drawings, 2 maps

ISBN 0-89236-670-2

hardcover, $85.00

 

Johnnae

 

 

Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2005 00:50:38 -0500

From: "otsisto" <otsisto at socket.net>

Subject: RE: [Sca-cooks]Italian Ceramics was trenchers

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at ansteorra.org>

 

<<< Italian Ceramics

Catalogue of the J. Paul Getty Museum Collections

Catherine Hess

J. Paul Getty Museum

224 pages, 9 x 12 inches

50 color and 217 duotone illustrations, 17 line drawings, 2 maps

ISBN 0-89236-670-2

hardcover, $85.00 >>>

 

Someone I know who got interested in maiolica said the book was not as

informative of the art and history as she would have liked but it has nice

pictures.

http://www.chass.utoronto.ca/~kovacevi/homepage.htm

http://www.rencentral.com/GSS/lesson11-maiolica.shtml

http://www.italianmajolica.com/majolica/history.html

 

Some online sites.

 

Lyse

 

 

Date: Sun, 29 Jan 2006 05:04:24 -0800 (PST)

From: Louise Smithson <helewyse at yahoo.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Re: Slip Casting

To: sca-cooks at ansteorra.org

 

>>> 

   Anyone know a source for the history of ceramics? I've a friend who is

trying to document slip casting in period in Europe. She has some possible

pre-period Egyptian and period Eastern evidence but nothing European.  Book

references, websites, and museums to contact would all be appreciated.

 

Daniel

<<< 

 

   Sorry Daniel, your friend is out of luck.  The reason that she has  

not found any evidence for slip casting in period in Europe is simply  

because it wasn't done.  There is good documentary evidence for slab  

moulds in period ceramics at least in Italy in the 16th century  

(around the time Majolica was at it's hight).  Slip casting is very  

much a modern commercial inovation.  You need several things to make  

it work 1) high quality plaster molds, 2) clay slip of a defined  

composition which will flow into the molds and dry without cracks/

holes etc.   The middle eastern evidence I have seen into mold use  

was also slab molding not slip casting.  Ceramic technology travelled  

really slowly.  The middle east was using tin glazes and producing  

excellent painted ceramics (lustre ware and islamic ware, as early as  

8th century) long before the spanish (hispano moresque ware around  

12th) long before the Italians (Majolica around the 14th - 16th).  

Until about that same time (16th C) the british were producing earthernware vessels glazed with lead in two colors green or yellow.  The germans had stoneware and salt glazing techniques worked out around the late 14th early 15th.  The chinese were way ahead of everyone.  I can post your question to the SCA-potters elist but I doubt that I will have anything positive to report.

 

   Helewyse cook & potter

 

 

From: rmhowe <MMagnusM at bellsouth.net>

Date: March 8, 2006 9:05:24 PM CST

To: - Stephan's Florilegium <StefanliRous at austin.rr.com>

Subject: Twelfth-Century Pottery Kiln

 

Canterbury Archaeological Trust Occasional Papers

 

No 1 A Twelfth-Century Pottery Kiln at Pound Lane, Canterbury:

evidence for an Immigrant Potter in the Late Norman Period,

John Cotter (1997)

 

In 1986 a medieval pottery kiln was excavated at Pound Lane, Canterbury. It is the only medieval kiln to have been found in the city and remarkably it appears to have been worked by a continental potter, perhaps a Norman, at some date around the middle of the twelfth century.

 

Though made from local materials, the wheel-thrown, sometimes glazed and roulette-decorated ware produced here signals a major break with local Kentish ceramic traditions and indeed the degree of continental influence exhibited by Pound Lane ware is practically unique among contemporary English pottery industries.

 

The report contains a short account of the site and excavation, followed by a more detailed account of the kiln itself, its plan and parallels. An extensive typology of the kiln products is presented together with observations on manufacture and statistical frequency. The local, English and European contexts of the Pound Lane industry are each treated in detail and an attempt is made to define the likely homeland of the immigrant potter. This section is copiously illustrated with parallels taken from a wide range of continental imports as well as previously unpublished material. Later sections examine Canterbury's particularly rich documentary sources for evidence of potters, immigrant communities and the possibility of Church patronage. The duration of the kiln and interaction with the local (Tyler Hill) potting community are also considered.

 

This is considerably broader in scope than most medieval pottery reports. The continental connections involved raise some thought-provoking questions on the extent to which immigrant potters may have influenced the development of English pottery in the Norman period and to what extent this was a new phenomenon or just the continuation of a much older one. Probably the main implication of the report however is that the consequences of Norman occupation may have had more far-reaching effects on native English pottery industries than has hitherto been supposed.

 

Paperback. A4, 124 pages, 69 figures

ISBN 1 870545 07 9

Price GB ú9.95

http://www.canterburytrust.co.uk/pubs/pubspg.htm

PUBLISHED BY CANTERBURY ARCHAEOLOGICAL TRUST LTD WITH THE AID OF A GRANT FROM ENGLISH HERITAGE AND A DONATION FROM BARRETTS OF CANTERBURY

 

 

Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2006 10:32:01 -0500

From: "Michael Gunter" <countgunthar at hotmail.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] Cool pottery site

To: sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org

 

This was posted on the Ansteorra list by Mistress Clarissa.

Very cool pottery and even cooking vessels!

 

Wow.

 

http://www.hudsonclaypotter.com/

 

Gunthar

 

 

From: kcmarsh at cox.net

Date: September 5, 2006 3:26:29 PM CDT

To: Barony of Bryn Gwlad <bryn-gwlad at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Bryn-gwlad] SCA feast gear

 

UT Austin has this book:

 

Title: Andalusian ceramics in Spain and New Spain :

Alternative title:  a cultural register from the third century B.C. to 1700

Author:       Lister, Florence Cline.

Author:       Florence C. Lister and Robert H. Lister.

Publisher:   University of Arizona Press, Tucson : c1987.

ISBN:  0816509743

 

Maelgwyn

 

 

From: Sir Lyonel Oliver Grace <sirlyonel at hotmail.com>

Date: October 26, 2006 6:39:37 AM CDT

To: ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] a question for any potters...

 

> This may sound a smidge odd, but... I am trying to find out if  

> unglazed pottery is safe as a container for salt - the salt will

> subsequently/eventually be used on food... ?

> Does the unglazed pottery leach out anything bad? Would the salt  

> start to taste like pottery?

> Zubeydah

 

As long as (1) the pottery is fired and (2) you're using the pottery in

question only for dry contents, you should have no problems. The only danger

with using greenware is its porosity. If it gets wet, you can't guarantee

that you'll ever get it dry again, which means you've created a lovely

bacterial breeding ground.

 

Salt should be no problem in greenware.

 

If you're using unfired clay (sunbaked or air-dried), there is a possible

(but extremely minor) problem with silicates. Because air-dried clay is

never truly dry, any anhydrous substance (like table salt) can absorb liquid

from the clay. White and grey clays are typically high in silicates. I doubt

that ingesting such small quantities of silicates would be harmful, but it

would likely make the salt taste flat.

 

En Lyonel

 

 

From: Forrest Hedrick <ambrose_blackwood at yahoo.com>

Date: October 26, 2006 8:58:05 AM CDT

To: ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] pottery question

 

I found that if you rub the interior of pottery or bronze containers with plain old parafin and buff it, this creates a nice "proof" against whatever you put in said container from actually touching the material it's made of. The draw back is anything over 100 degrees will melt the parafin, so don't use this on soup bowls.  Also, after most events, you'll have to repeat the process to restore the "proof".  Trust an old hand at trial and error on these things.  Nothing worse than a morning cup of coffee with a parafin slick across the top.  Try getting that out of moustache without lighter fluid!  But, the parafin trick is great for solids and cold food stuffs.  In the case of wooden receptacles, it helps to prolong the life of the dish/cup. You ca also use olive oil, mineral oil, or some such.  Vegetable oil tends to "turn" and leaves a nasty taste.

 

In Service to the Dream and Ansteorra,

Lord Ambrose Blackwood von Mapt, al Kaleed Ibn Tarl

Apprentice to Mistress Shanahan the Fey

(more notoriously known as, Fo)

 

 

From: Maleah <baroness_maleah at cox.net>

Date: October 26, 2006 2:57:55 PM CDT

To: "Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA, Inc." <ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] a question for any potters...

 

One quick note here. Generally the term "greenware" is used for the clay

before its first firing after it has been taken from the molds or off the

potters wheel. The term used after the first firing and what most people who

work with ceramics call unglazed pottery is "bisque" or "bisquet". Most of

the items I've seen, even from period displays at the Victoria and Albert

Museum, where the outside is unglazed the inside is glazed or paraffin

lined. Unglazed will tend to wick a certain amount of moisture from the

atmosphere. Not sure if it will be enough to effect your salt (remember that

salt draws moisture as well, that whole osmosis thing). Hope these ramblings

have been helpful.

 

Maleah

Spanghollow Pottery at your service (shameless plug)

 

 

From: Sir Lyonel Oliver Grace <sirlyonel at hotmail.com>

Date: October 26, 2006 9:29:42 PM CDT

To: ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] a question for any potters...

 

> One quick note here. Generally the term "greenware" is used for the clay

> before its first firing after it has been taken from the molds or off the

> potters wheel. The term used after the first firing and what most people

> who work with ceramics call unglazed pottery is "bisque" or "bisquet".

 

DOH!

 

He's right, of course. Sorry, I'm a half-decade out of practice.

 

Lyonel

 

 

From: robert segrest <aumbob at yahoo.com>

Date: October 26, 2006 11:24:49 AM CDT

To: Ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: [Ansteorra] unglazed pottery

 

One of the concerns of using unglazed pottery is lead

and other heavy metals that are usually present in

trace (and sometimes more significant)amounts in the

clay, or in the paints, dyes, and other agents used to

color the pottery.

 

From a chemical point of view, while most metals can

form salts with the Cl- ion of the NaCl that you

intend to keep in the container, the Cl- will prefer

to bond with the Na+.

 

On the more practical side, you are putting an

abrasive substance in an clay container.  This will

mean that you will eat a little of the container when

you eat the salt.  The softer the material of the

container, the more of it you will be eating.

 

Truly a fired ceramic will probably not suffer much

abrasion, and it would probably take a couple of

centuries to eat enough salt for the slight

contamination of clay to have enough bad stuff in it

to matter.  That said, I personally would not

intentionally eat anything from a ceramic container

that was not glazed with an unleaded glaze.

 

As for period use of unglazed ceramic, we also have

good documentation of period use of other

'contaminated' materials and of the resulting lead

poisoning that appears to have been pretty commonplace

in many regions, including classic Rome.

 

Laszlo

 

 

From: Sir Lyonel Oliver Grace <sirlyonel at hotmail.com>

Date: October 27, 2006 6:50:53 AM CDT

To: ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] a question for any potters... a new one...

 

I've been looking for references on lead in clay (as opposed to lead in

glazes and paints) since the issue was first raised yesterday. I can find no

references to support such a claim. The only toxicity problems I've seen

referenced for pottery have been due to metal oxides in pigments: lead

white, Scheel green (arsenic), vermilion (mercury), cadmium yellow, Naples

yellow (arsenic again), and so forth.

 

As for the unglazed pottery poisoning tale--no. You could drink from a lead

chalice every morning and *might* develop neurological symptoms after

several years, but it probably wouldn't kill you. Now, a thalium-impregnated

mug would be a different story.

 

As I tried to say in the first place, I don't think an unglazed bisque salt

cellar poses any health threat. Laszlo (I think it was Laszlo) mentioned the

abrasive nature of salt crystals. No doubt, but a bisqued clay won't grind

down by any noticeable amount in a given evening. We put salt in glass

containers all the time, and we do see some damage after prolonged use.

Still, I've never heard any suggestion that we're ingesting ground glass

from our salt shakers.

 

Fill the salt cellar before feast. Empty it afterwards. No problem.

 

Lyonel

 

 

From: Patty <prand at swbell.net>

Date: October 27, 2006 1:27:16 PM CDT

To: "Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA, Inc." <ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] a question for any potters... a new one...

 

The issues with lead and toxicity of clay and glazes is mostly found in its raw state.  Some glazes are toxic in the liquid state, if you work with children or you have health issues you need to look for non-toxic glazes.  Dinnerware safe means that if the piece is fired properly the item is safe for food use.

 

Caitriona

 

 

From: Judie Willey <littledragon0861 at gmail.com>

Date: October 27, 2006 1:28:58 PM CDT

To: "Kingdom of Ansteorra - SCA, Inc." <ansteorra at lists.ansteorra.org>

Subject: Re: [Ansteorra] a question for any potters... a new one...

 

On 10/27/06, Patty <prand at swbell.net> wrote:

> The issues with lead and toxicity of clay and glazes is mostly found in

> its raw state.  Some glazes are toxic in the liquid state, if you work with

> children or you have health issues you need to look for non-toxic

> glazes.  Dinnerware safe means that if the piece is fired properly  

> the item is safe for food use.

> Caitriona

 

Not true...you must use lead free glazes on any item which will be  

used for food

 

Hadassah

--

Rebbe Hadassah Sarai bas Yossi

MoC Barony of Steppes

 

 

Date: Wed, 12 Sep 2007 12:38:55 -0400

From: "Saint Phlip" <phlip at 99main.com>

Subject: [Sca-cooks] For you potters...

To: "Cooks within the SCA" <sca-cooks at lists.ansteorra.org>,   "Arts and

        Sciences in the SCA" <artssciences at lists.gallowglass.org>

 

http://www.oxbowbooks.com/bookinfo.cfm?ID=63219&;MID=11474

 

Ticknall Pots and Potters

by Janet Spavold and Sue Brown

 

The first comprehensive account of the potteries of Ticknall, near

Derby, England, and the people who worked them. Ticknall ware has long

been used as a dating horizon and the results of in-depth research now

available shows that the timelines previously used are in some

instances inaccurate. This book includes many distribution plans,

photographs of surviving remnants of ware, and many other

illustrations. The text extends to over 80 000 words. Much of the

material is new and will be of interest to professional archaeologists

and local residents. A pioneering study of the extensive but neglected

pottery industry in Ticknall, showing its importance over four

centuries. Janet Spavold & Sue Brown have spent many years carefully

researching this, the first comprehensive account of the potteries of

Ticknall and the people who worked in them. Ticknall was a major

producer of Cistercian as well as basic household wares. Distributed

by specialist pot sellers, it was sold from Cheshire across to

Lincolnshire and Lancashire down to Oxfordshire. Ticknall ware is

universally known for its design simplicity and dates back many

hundreds of years, it is considered so reliable that it has been used

as a dating horizon by archaeologists. However, as a result of this

extensive research it appears that some of the time lines are in fact

inaccurate. The book is well illustrated with maps, graphs, drawings,

and photographs, the latter revealing the hitherto unrecognised skill

of the early potters. This book is a must for all those with an

interest in local history and certainly archaeologists at all levels.

192p, illus. (Landmark 2005)

--

Saint Phlip

 

 

<the end>



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