Friday, March 28, 2008

A Love for Stoneware

I have a love for stoneware. I've collected quite a bit over the years, old and new. These two bowls are from Gerry's grandmother. All have a story to tell. Some were machine made, others were handmade on a wheel or slab. Some were massed produced for people who could not afford "fine china". Stoneware or ceramic dishes were in use all over America. They were and to this day, "hard working" dishes.
Many are hand made, one of a kind. My collection is varied. Any kind of bowl, pitcher, or dish is included. It just has something that intrigues me. It might be the variance in color, a unique shape, or texture in the glaze.
All are useful. Each piece has been used many times in our home. They are used daily. The large pieces used to be on the table every night. With eight children, the size was perfect for the large amount of food put on the table. Now they are used mostly for our large family gatherings.
Stoneware holds the heat wonderfully, or when chilled first will keep food cold. Some is light weight and very finely made. Most are heavy and thick.
Hand made pieces are my favorite. Each piece is individual. The way the glaze flowed on the bisque. The beginning swirl at the center of each hand thrown piece. The roll of the finished edge. The slight unevenness of the slab pieces.

The "hand print" of each artisan is on each piece. The perfection of years of experience, the charm of the first piece. Imagine a lump of clay in someones hands. Each time they make a piece, it's "new" again. The joy of exploring what your hands can create, be it something new or the skill of matching a piece.

It's history old and new. It tells the story of our home as each piece has been collected or made and used.


Look Beyond The Picket Fence said...

I too share your love for stoneware. It adds a nice touch to the kitchen. I have a few pieces.

Esther Sunday said...

Wow!!! SUPER collection! They oughta be in a magazine! Love, Esther