Battleship Maine – Spanish American War

The Battleship Maine

Construction of the U.S.S. Maine was authorized in August of 1886, and she was launched in 1889 and commissioned in 1895. After several years spent patrolling the East Coast and Caribbean, orders sent the Maine and her crew to Cuba in response to continued civil unrest on the island.

The photograph above is a 1896 image of the ship framed in a sheet iron frame made from remnants of [...] Click here to continue reading.


Cartouche – Definition

Cartouche – Definition

The decorative arts world has many “squishy” and vague vocabulary words, but few are “squishier” and vaguer than cartouche. Originally, the term comes from Egyptology and is used to describe a oval enclosing hieroglyphics and having a horizontal line at one end. (The line denotes royalty.) The oval had significance not unlike that of a closed circle, in that it was believed that an oval around a person’s name provided protection [...] Click here to continue reading.


Clarice Cliff Pottery

Clarice Cliff (1899-1972)

Colorful & Quirky Ceramics

The Newport Pottery Bizarre Girls created bold Art Deco ware. Clarice Cliff’s hugely popular Art Deco era pottery features simple, streamlined forms decorated in brilliant colors and eye-catching patterns.

Clarice Cliff, one of eight children in a pottery making family grew up in the heart of Staffordshire pottery country in England. By the age of 17 she was working as a decorator at Wilkinson’s Royal Pottery where [...] Click here to continue reading.


Lithophanes – Definition

Lithophanes

Lithophane comes from two Greek words: lithos, meaning stone and phainein, which has a more shaded meaning that is close to making something appear quickly. The term refers to an image or scene that is etched or molded into very thin porcelain, so that the intaglio image “pops” when light is placed behind the porcelain. (Because of their windowpane-like appearance, they are sometimes mistakenly referred to as “lithopanes.”) This makes lithophanes three-dimensional, unlike [...] Click here to continue reading.


Gemel Pottery Jug or Bottle

Gemels

The pottery form known as a gemel, also gemel jug or gemel bottle, is one of the rarest forms in American stoneware. The word is derived from the Latin word “geminus,” meaning twin, double, paired, or half-and-half. The plural of this same word, “gemini,” is used to refer to the constellation composed of twin brothers, Castor and Pollux, of Greek mythology. The words “twin” or “double” definitely come to mind when one thinks [...] Click here to continue reading.


Drake, Dave – The Slave Potter

Dave Drake, the Slave Potter

The potter known as Dave the Slave was born circa 1800 in an area devoted to pottery making. The Edgefield District of South Carolina had the clay, workforce and demand to make it the area’s pottery capital. Large pottery factories dotted the district, most operating with slave labor. Their products were essential to life on the early to mid-19th century plantation where pottery served as refrigerator, Mason jar and [...] Click here to continue reading.


Mustard

Mustard

The word mustard is thought to come from two words: “mustum,” a Latin word for young wine, which is called must, and “ardens,” a Latin word for hot. It was a hot condiment made by grinding mustard seeds up with must to form a paste, and still today as a condiment made from mustard seeds (whole, ground, or cracked) and mixed with a liquid like water or lemon juice to create a paste, [...] Click here to continue reading.


Timmerman Pottery

Shimuel Timmerman, potter

Shimuel was a man of the times. He was a Justice of the Peace, fought in the Creek Indian War, and was a Confederate soldier. His only sibling, John, died as a POW at Camp Douglas, Illinois. His two sons continued to run the business after their father passed on. He is buried at the Wayfare Primitive Baptist Cemetery, Cow Creek, Echols County, Georgia. (Information provided to p4A by a granddaughter [...] Click here to continue reading.


Herend Porcelain

Herend Porcelain

The Herend Porcelain Manufactory was started in 1826 in Hungary by Vince Stingl, he started by making earthenware pottery, but by 1839, went bankrupt and his creditor Mor Fischer took over the factory. Fischer started artistic porcelain manufacturing in this year. Herend subsequently became very successful, being popular with much of the European aristocracy and nobility. His sons took over the operation in 1874 and the company continues to produce fine hand-crafted [...] Click here to continue reading.


Bezanson, Brother Thomas

Brother Thomas Bezanson

Brother Thomas Bezanson was a Canadian-born artist who is best known for his finely thrown porcelain vessels and complex glazes. After studying philosophy at the University of Ottawa, he spent twenty-five years as a Benedictine monk at Weston Priory, Vermont, before becoming the artist-in-residence at Mount Saint Benedict in Erie, Pennsylvania. Bezanson believed in art as the language of the spirit, and he approached pottery as a monk would their daily [...] Click here to continue reading.


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