Scroddle – definition

English redware or scroddleware bureau form bank

p4A ItemID F7951941
Slip-Decorated Redware Rocking Chair, Inscribed ":M:H: / 1884", English origin, 1884, slab-constructed rocking chair, composed of scroddled clay with scored and pierced back

p4A ItemID F7941260
Glazed Redware Dresser Bank, probably English, second half 19th century, slab-constructed Empire-style dresser, composed of scroddled clay

p4A ItemID F7941259
GEORGE OHR (1857 - 1918) Pottery scroddled bisque pitcher

p4A ItemID F7937264

Scroddle – Definition

Scroddle is a difficult word to track down. The second edition of the Oxford English Dictionary (1991) has no listing. Various art sources, including the Getty’s Art and Architecture Thesaurus, also seem to draw a blank. Regardless of the origins, the word and its various incarnations — scroddle, scroddled, scroddleware, scroddled ware, scrodle, scrotle, scrottle — refers to a type of pottery made out of scraps, the odds and ends of various types of clay, which results in a mottled or striated appearance in the body or the ground of the finished object.

Over time the term came to, at least occasionally, be applied to the appearance rather than the technique. There are instances of it referring to objects that have been treated with a mottled or striated glaze. Specifically, agateware seems to be associated with “scroddle,” as does something similar to lava ware, a mixture of clay and slag from the iron-smelting process. Perhaps it also had a mottled appearance, leading to another, lesser, association with lava ware and some Fulton pottery that was purported to be virtually unbreakable. The general sense is that this term should only be a secondary term, if used at all, as the meaning is too varied to offer much value.

Reference note by p4A editorial staff with additional assistance from Brenda Hornsby Heindl, July 2011


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