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Links: Medieval and Renaissance Pottery

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  • Lis
    Greetings, all. Hope you all are enjoying a tad LESS snow than I have been these last few days. We ve had just over 4 feet of snow the last two weeks, here in
    Message 1 of 1 , Jan 5, 2003
      Greetings, all. Hope you all are enjoying a tad LESS snow than I have been
      these last few days. We've had just over 4 feet of snow the last two weeks,
      here in the northern extremes of Riverouge!

      I'd like to extend my apologies up front to our cunning and patient list
      ministers for passing along this missive, which is sure to set off
      bounce-alarms due to length :)

      This week's Links post is quite long and contains 51 active links regarding
      Medieval and Renaissance pottery/ceramics. It will be useful both for folks
      who collect pottery for dining or cooking purposes, and for those who wish
      to make such objects. Please pass these links along wherever they may find
      an interested audience and feel free to use them to update your own Links
      pages. As always I make no claims to the accuracy of the contents of the
      pages, but they looked good to me. YMMV.

      I'd like to note that in the US there is a distinction between the words
      Ceramic and Pottery that apparently does not exist elsewhere in the world.
      Thus any of the webpages dedicated to "ceramics" do not necessarily mean the
      items were made from poured slip (liquid clay, in the US called ceramics),
      but were probably rather thrown or hand-shaped from solid clay (in the US
      called pottery).

      Cheers, and a Happy New Year


      Experiments in Early Medieval Pottery
      (Site Excerpt) In Viking age North-western Europe ceramics were mostly made
      for local use, with only a few centres (notably in the Rhineland and
      England) producing high quality wares for export, though in many cases the
      export was incidental, as containers for trade goods such as wine. As a
      result there was much regional specificity in the shapes and quality of
      pottery. As an example, take Scandinavia, and the most common pottery
      vessel, the cooking pot. In Jutland the standard form was hemispherical,
      with the rim usually turned inwards (Fig. 1-a), a form existing prior to the
      Viking period. At the trading ports Hedeby and Ribe, and a few other West
      Jutish sites globular pots ('kugeltopf') with turned-out rims are found
      (Fig. 1-b), this is the characteristic 'North Sea' form originating in the
      Frisian area......

      Medieval Pottery Construction
      (Sie Excerpt from the Handles page) The most common handle on English
      medieval jugs is probably the 'pulled' handle. It is rapidly and easily
      made, and has the advantage of being stronger and less prone to failure than
      handles produced by other methods. Pulling, in effect, is a form of
      throwing. The action of stroking the clay re-aligns its plate-like particles
      in the direction of pull, as in throwing the walls of a pot. This results in
      an overlapping configuration of platelets lying in the same plane, which
      allows the handle to be thinned without rupture.

      Medieval Pottery from the Church Excavation at Portmahomack
      (Site Excerpt) Grass-marked ware. This fabric is commonly recovered from
      excavations in the Northern Isles and is normally assigned an early medieval
      date (MacAskill 1982a, 405). Hand-made pottery very similar to this, known
      as craggan ware was being made as late as the 19th century in the West
      Highlands and the Hebrides, but is normally in identifiably modern forms
      such as cups and tea-pots (Quail 1979, 39).

      Shards of the 15th century
      Broken pieces of history under their feet
      (Site Excerpt) While workmen have been busy restoring the college - where
      artists such as Clarice Cliff and Susie Cooper learned their trade - to its
      former glory, a team of archaeologists have been seeking treasures from the
      Mother Town's past. Large pottery bowls and jugs from the 1400s were
      uncovered when experts sifted through drains and trenches at the back of the
      school. It is the first time such strong evidence of large-scale pottery
      manufacturing from as far back as the 15th century has been found in
      Burslem. Historians have suspected pottery was being produced in Burslem a
      long time before it was officially documented- and they now have the proof
      in a find of pieces that were discarded at an ancient factory on the site.

      Ancient Touch
      An antiquities dealer with photos of medieval pottery, beads, etc.

      Spoilheap Medieval Pottery
      (Site Excerpt) Rural potteries probably only operated part-time and the
      potters were peasants who spent most of their time farming. It was a family
      industry, continuing through generations. Clay pits were usually dug quite
      close to the kiln, on the peasant's croft or common. However, in the Middle
      and Late Saxon period (mid-7th to 11th centuries), many potteries were based
      in towns.

      Regia Anglorum Anglo-Saxon Pottery
      (Site Excerpt) The British Isles has large and diverse areas of clay that
      are suitable to make pottery. Broadly speaking, the area diagonally south of
      York and down to Cheshire has in various places clay deposits that are close
      to the surface. This enabled people from much, much earlier times and up to
      the Viking period to dig clay for pottery without having to go too deep.
      Clay is very heavy, and difficult to dig out. The rest of Britain by and
      large had to make do with 'costly' imports that could have come from a few
      miles down the road, or possibly several days travel away. Their only other
      alternatives were wooden vessels, or in other more remote areas, 'soft'
      soap-stone containers.

      Potweb: Ceramics Online at the Ashmolean Museum
      (Site Excerpt) The Ashmolean, Britain's oldest public museum, has one of the
      finest collections of ceramics in the world.Now the Museum is launching an
      ambitious and pioneering project for the twenty-first century - PotWeb - to
      create an online catalogue of the entire ceramic collection. The online
      catalogue will be fully illustrated and supported by a computerised
      database, bringing together the fruits of fifty years of historical and
      archaeological research. Together these resources will form the basis of a
      wider interactive educational package with supporting resource packs. A new
      interactive facility will also be made available within the Museum for
      visitors and researchers.

      Medieval Pottery Research Group
      (Site Excerpt) MPRG was founded in 1975 to bring together people with an
      interest in the pottery vessels that were made, traded, and used in Europe
      between the end of the Roman period and the 16th century. On these pages,
      you can find details of our publications and conferences, and other
      information such as how to join MPRG. (See also their Bibliography page at
      http://ntserver002.liv.ac.uk/mprg/history.htm ).

      Two Medieval London-type Jugs
      (Site Excerpt) Two of the most significant medieval pots found on the
      Longmarket site are the subject of this note. Both are of considerable
      interest and beauty and although broken they are remarkable for their state
      of completeness and preservation. The reason for their excellent condition
      is that both vessels were thrown to the bottom of two separate cess-pits or
      latrines where they lay undisturbed for the next seven centuries.

      Anglian Pottery in York
      (Site Excerpt) Excavations at Fishergate unearthed traces of Anglian
      buildings and some of their internal fittings, including nails, keys,
      handles and wooden chest hinges. A range of domestic utensils, including
      iron knives, were recovered along with a few fine glass vessels, metal
      implements and, most commonly, pottery. Environmental evidence suggests that
      rushes were used either for roofing or strewn on the floor, perhaps both.
      Finds of counters of stone, bone and pot suggest that the inhabitants of
      Eoforwic were as fond of board games as their Roman predecessors or their
      Viking successors.

      Kent Archaeological Society's Archeologica Cantiana
      An archived digest of their publication online.

      Corpus Middeleeuws Aardewerk (Medieval Ceramics of the Netherlands and
      (Site Excerpt: Note that this is a journal for subscribers) Ceramics from a
      cesspit belonging to the inn `De Drye Mooren' at Breda (1661-1663) The
      cesspit was discovered during the restoration of a Breda house called `De
      Drye Mooren' (The Three Moors). During the 17th century an inn was kept in
      the house, which was owned by the Breda Reformed Church and its `Table of
      the Holy Ghost' (poor relief) from 1626 to 1703.

      Japanese Ceramics
      (Site Excerpt) Japan has a rich tradition of designing, forming and firing
      some truly unique and artistically fulfilling ceramics. The earliest
      Japanese ceramics date back to the prehistoric Jomon ("cord marked") period
      which extended roughly from 10,500 to 300 BC. The early Jomon pieces are
      usually large, cone shaped cooking pots. They have pointed bodies and the
      outer surface of the pots are usually stamped or rolled with rope or cord
      patterns. These early pieces were formed by the coil method in which
      successive coils of clay were placed on each other. This created a thick,
      slightly irregular and highly built-up appearance. Firing took place in
      open pits or ditches and since the heat rarely exceed 700 degrees, the pots
      are low-fired ceramics or earthenware that are generally largely

      MOAS Atlantia Pottery Links
      An exhaustive list of links. Not necesarily up to date, many useful links
      and many broken ones.

      A History of Pottery
      (Site Excerpt) The production of pottery is one of the most ancient arts.
      The oldest known body of pottery dates from the Jomon period (from about
      10,500 to 400 BC) in Japan; and even the earliest Jomon ceramics exhibit a
      unique sophistication of technique and design. Excavations in the Near East
      have revealed that primitive fired-clay vessels were made there more than
      8,000 years ago. Potters were working in Iran by about 5500 BC, and
      earthenware was probably being produced even earlier on the Iranian high
      plateau. Chinese potters had developed characteristic techniques by about
      5000 BC. In the New World many pre-Columbian American cultures developed
      highly artistic pottery traditions.

      Williams College Excavations at Psalmodi, France
      (Site Excerpt) The ceramic assemblage at Psalmodi includes a small number of
      sherds from the Bronze Age, Iron Age, and Early Roman periods. There is a
      large amount of Late Roman material as well as an excellent collection of
      Medieval and Early Modern wares. While most of the pottery at Psalmodi is
      local, imports are represented by African Red-Slip vessels, Amphoras,
      Medieval Spanish glazed wares and Italian products

      Medieval Ceramic Industry of the Severn Valley
      (Site Excerpt from an unpublished thesis) The subject of this thesis is the
      medieval ceramic industry of the Severn Valley. A large proportion of the
      ceramic artefacts used in the study region has been characterised by
      petrological analysis. This has involved the manufacture and study of over
      1,200 thin-sections.

      Museum of Medieval Tiles
      (Site Excerpt) 13th. Example of tile found in the chamber of Queen
      Philippa's apartment in the Clarendon Palace, Wilshire, England. Product
      common of the Wessex school. Size aprox. 5.5" x 5.5", circa 1237.

      Lund University Laboratory for Ceramic Research
      (Site Excerpt) The Laboratory for Ceramic Research is mainly involved in
      ceramic/archaeological research. This activity serves the archaeological
      science by providing laboratory investigations of ceramic artifacts. The aim
      of the technological analyses is to establish choice of raw materials,
      manufacturing techniques and vessel functions. Working with these data in
      combination with studies of vessel shapes and decorative elements, it is
      possible to shed light on questions concerning provenance and distribution
      of prehistoric and medieval ceramic materials.

      Arch-pot email group at yahoogroups.com

      The Potteries Museum at Stoke-on-Trent
      (Site Excerpt) The home of the World's finest collection of Staffordshire
      Ceramics.Discover the story of Stoke-on-Trent's people, industry, products
      and landscapes through displays of pottery, community history, archaeology,
      geology and wildlife. Explore rich and diverse collections of paintings,
      drawings, prints, costume and glass. More than 2000 objects on-line.

      Alan Vince Archaeological Consultancy
      Includes a slide show of medieval pottery.

      Potteries Museum and Art Gallery
      (Site Excerpt) The Museum has a collection of more than 650,000 objects. You
      can see many in the fantastic displays in our galleries. The Designation
      Challenge Fund has enabled us to provide on-line access to images and
      information about more than 2000 objects via this website.

      Portable Antiquities Scheme
      (Site Excerpt) The Portable Antiquities Scheme is a voluntary recording
      scheme for archaeological objects found by members of the public. Every year
      many thousands of objects are discovered, many of these by metal detector
      users, but also by people whilst out walking, gardening or going about their
      daily work. Such discoveries offer an important source for understanding our

      Statistical Analysis of Medieval Pottery Database from Kinet, Southern
      (Site Excerpt) Kinet is the modern name for Issos, a port town on the
      Mediterranean. In the medieval period, the Crusader Knights Templar
      resettled the site and used it for a lucrative trade in iron, timber,
      ceramics, cloth, and luxury goods like gems, silk, and spices. Senior
      Academic Technology Coordinator Christopher Nagle is working with Dr.
      Redford to construct a database of the medieval pottery that has been
      recovered from the site.

      Reproduction Medieval Pottery (A merchant's site)
      (Site excerpt) Stamfordware - Circa 10th - 12th Century. Produced in
      Stamford, England, this type of pottery was widely distributed throughout
      England and was used by its Viking, Saxon, and Norman inhabitants. It is
      typically made of fine white or pinkish clay and is glazed pale green, pale
      yellow, or orange, depending on the clay and whether copper was added to the

      The Medieval and Post-Medieval Pottery (A report from the Tyneside/Durahm,
      England Find)
      (Site Excerpt) Local Wares. These show marked similarity to well-known local
      traditions on Tyneside and in Durham but, with occasional exceptions, the
      fabrics cannot be identified with specific fabric types from those areas.
      Presumably, therefore, they have a more local provenance. (Following is the
      composition, probable provenence, and glazing descriptions of various types
      of pottery wares).

      Medieval Pottery from Leominster (Adobe Acrobat required)
      (Site excerpt) One Hundred and seventy-seven sherds of pottery and ceramic
      building material from an evaluation in Bridge Street, Leominster, carried
      out by Hereford City and County Archaeological Group (trading) Ltd were
      submitted for study.

      Vasilla's Photo Gallery
      (Site Excerpt, a SCAdian page whose author is a potter interested in
      Russian and English Medieval Pottery)To most potters, it's not surprising
      that many of the items made of clay in Russia were similar to the shapes of
      those items being made elsewhere in the world. Items were made that were
      plain or fancy with utilitarian function. Cooking pots, pitchers, jugs,
      bowls, cups and various other items have been found that are made of clay
      from the medieval period.

      Oxbow/David Browne Book Co. Offerings on MedievalPottery
      There are 18 selectionon the subject available for sale.

      A Petrographic studyof Scottish White Gritty Medieval Pottery (Adobe Acrobat
      (Site Excerpt) This appendix presents the detailed results of thin section
      analysis of a selectiono f White Gritty ware sherds; the aims, methodology
      and results have been sumaraized in section 5.2 but are repeated here for th
      e sake of completeness. The study treated a large body of material from 10

      Light, and the Culture of Medieval Pottery
      (Site Excerpt) This paper is specifically concerned with medievel pottery
      because that is my particular specialism but the philosophy behind this
      discussion should lend itself to the study of any type of object of any
      date. The basic premise is that the colours of the medieval pots are related
      by the lighting conditions that medieval people were accustomed to. Some
      pots are brightly coloured and highly decorated, others are dull. This is
      related in part to vessel function but must also reflect the intended place
      of use and thus variations in lighting conditions.

      Brief Bibliography, Medieval Pottery Construction

      (Site Excerpt) The Rocca of Campiglia is a large monumental complex located
      close to the town of Campiglia Marittima (Livorno). This area has been
      continuatively inhabited from the IX century to nowadays, as shown by
      several archaeological excavations. The 36 samples object of the present
      study are representative of the cooking ware and the common ware -with or
      without an engobe or a glaze- used in the Rocca between the IX and the XV

      SCA-Arts Ceramics and Ceramic Feastgear (a bibliography)

      Bubl Link: Pottery

      The Ceramics Web
      (Site Excerpt) The SDSU CeramicsWeb is an experimental web site for
      ceramics. It includes a such things as databases of glaze recipes and
      material analyses, links to other ceramics web sites, health and safety
      information, and a variety of educational materials related to ceramics.

      Glaze Calculator
      (Site Excerpt for the free download) The Glaze Calculator Website is
      provided to enhance the
      support services for our customers. The resources will help you resolve
      problems, report bugs, and suggest improvements to our products and service
      and discuss glazes with other users.

      Medieval Pottery Manufacture in Beverly
      (Site Excerpt) During the Middle Ages one of Beverley's major industries
      centred around the use of the abundant sources of local clays for the
      manufacture of pottery, bricks and roof-tiles. Most of this activity took
      place in an industrial suburb called Grovehill, on the eastern side of the
      medieval town: before the construction of the Beck (an artificial waterway
      which gave better access to the town). In the late 1120s, Grovehill would
      have been the main landing-place for goods shipped up the River Hull, and it
      continued to be the only place in the vicinity where larger vessels could
      load and unload cargoes.

      Byzantine Ceramics Project
      (Site Excerpt) Two separate provenience studies were performed on Byzantine
      pottery and ceramic tiles from Northern Greece and the area around Istanbul
      (Constantinople). NAA, XRD, and SEM/EDS, were the primary techniques used.In
      the first study, seventy-two pottery samples recovered from three sites in
      northern Greece-- Serres, Thessaloniki, and Philippi--were analyzed to
      determine whether stylistically similar pottery was manufactured at one site
      or several. A large sample of the pottery was recovered at Serres, a known
      pottery manufacturing center. NAA demonstrated that most of samples were, in
      fact, manufactured at Serres, but a smaller group was produced in

      2000 Years of Pottery Forms and Shapes
      (Site Excerpt) During the highly decorated period, jars included some
      examples with handles and some fine-walled vessels. Jugs predominated and
      were used for decanting wine or ale. Ceramic vessels began to copy metal
      prototypes: such an example is the aquamanile. Shelled lamps and skillets
      (frying pans) (not illustrated) were new innovations. The wide variety of
      jugs were often well decorated and many displayed a good sense of spatial
      design. White slip was sometimes found to cover the entire vessel and then
      concealed with green or mottled green glaze. These colours gradually became
      more evident than the clear glazes associated with the Early medieval
      period. Plastic decoration was very popular during the second half of the
      thirteenth century, but face masks were amongst the less usual styles of

      Romeins Aardwerk (Roman Artwork): Cermics reproduction on a non-english site
      I have included this site becasue of the stunning variety of pots
      represented in photos. Click on the links across the top or scroll down to
      see some great but slow-loading photos of replica pots. Also great
      representations of an historical kitchen.

      (Site Excerpt) ceramic-link.de aims to provide an international collection
      of internet pages, concerning historical and contemporary ceramics. Links to
      ceramic artists, museums, organisations, suppliers and much more can be
      found here. The majority of the sites are from Germany, but this is

      Burg Kirkel - Virtuelles Museum: - Keramik -
      German pottery finds: non-english but with some great photographs.

      Hit the In English Button, unless you read French. Not all pages are
      translated to English

      Society for the Study of Ceramic Antiquities in Gaul (french-only site)

      Italian Medieval Ceramics (In French)
      A few noteworthy photos

      French Renaissance Ceramics
      (Site Excerpt) The three objects in this tour are examples of
      "Saint-Porchaire" ware, one of the rarest and most mysterious of all types
      of Renaissance ceramics. Saint-Porchaire is recognized by its richly
      patterned layer of colorful paste decoration inlaid into a "clay skin"; its
      assembly from parts made through a variety of techniques such as molding,
      wheel-throwing, and hand modeling; and its uniform fine white clay that
      shrinks little in firing. Fewer than eighty examples are recorded, and the
      commonest forms are salt cellars, cups, ewers, and candlesticks, most in
      distinctive bizarre and fantastic designs. What is known is that a wide
      variety of techniques was used, the type of clay is found in relatively few
      places, and these ceramics were probably made by a single workshop.

      Database for Archaeological Pottery at the Unversity of Venice
      (Site Excerpt) Chemical data for the composition of archaeological pottery
      are listed following the excavation sites. If not otherwisereported, the
      data are given in percent of the relative oxide or element. These data can
      be used in a free way by the scientific community. In order to increase the
      amount of pottery data and then the utility of this database, scientific
      workers are invited to send us, by e-mail or diskette, chemical data of
      homogeneous series of archaeological ceramics together with the reference of
      the publications or meetings

      Medieval Pottery Cistern from Newcastle upon Tyne
      (Site Excerpt) This was recovered during the 1974-6 excavations of the
      Castle Ditch of the 'New Castle'. It was presented to the Museum of
      Antiquities with the rest of the excavation material on long term loan by
      the City of Newcastle upon Tyne in 1986. The pottery type is Reduced
      Greenware, probably of local manufacture. The bung is still in position and
      is made from the same material; this is unusual - the other cisterns
      recovered from the site appear to have had wooden bungs. It is likely,
      however, that the lid would have been of wood. The two strip handles have
      ribbed decoration and there is 'pie crust' decoration applied around the
      rim. The base is baggy so the vessel does not sit securely on a hard

      The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but
      to reveal to him, his own.---Benjamin Disraeli
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