Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Winter Messages

I've been making some dishes similar to the piece below:
Wood-fired stoneware dish. I like the broad rim and the slightly dipped-in interior.

I also really enjoy how this shape has a bowled interior, but a straight exterior edge. I've also started rolling the rim, making it a little thicker than what is in the photo.

 I've been thinking about the potter Lester Breininger lately(I've linked an article by he and Greg Kramer since he doesn't have a website. A photo of him can be found here). Lester is a renowned potter and scholar who specializes in traditional Pennsylvania German red earthenware. He has very infamous  "porch sales" at his rather large and rambling home in Robesonia, Pennsylvania where people come from all over to see and buy his pottery. I picked up a few pieces about a year or so ago, and found that most of his dishes/plates have little messages or notes on the back. They're notes like, "it rained today" or, "It was sunny." 

Dish made by Lester Breininger Pottery.

The back of the dish reads, "Breininger Pottery/Robesonia, Pa./March 11, 2009/cloudy skies"
 I was told once about a "dirt dish" someone has that on the back was written something along the lines of "I made this for ---- who lives down the road and past the tree" which I also thought was kind of nice. So I decided to start writing some observations on my dishes. Here are my first few messages (sorry they're a little hard to read, I had just scratched them in and had not cleaned them up yet):

"Started to warm up today and the sun came out." Full date.

"Ice and some snow remains in the shade." I think I might just go with month and year.
I guess someday when the waster pile at my pottery studio is excavated hundreds of years from now (hahaha) people will have to piece together my funny messages. Remember potters, ceramics do not break down, so everything you make is likely to get dug up somewhere! Frightening thought isn't it? It makes me self conscious about the first pots I made...

5 comments:

Dennis Allen said...

Nice idea.

Dan Finnegan said...

I often write the date and time on pots...or on the inside of pots before i close them up! Sometimes the song that's on the radio, too. Mostly to keep those future archeologists busy!

Brenda Hornsby Heindl said...

Dan, what a brilliant idea to write things on the inside of the pot before you close it up! This would be especially fun on the inside of a bottle! I almost wrote "someone just backed into my car" this past Saturday because that had just happened, but I resisted. Perhaps I should just go with whatever comes to mind!

Anonymous said...

don't worry pumpkin...I have some of the first pots you made...and they are treasures already...to me anyway....d

Anonymous said...

The employees from Breininger Pottery have begun their own business named Robesonia Redware in order to continue the tradition of pottery and the Pennsylvania German style. They continue to sign the back of the plates as they did at Mr. Breininger's as well. They are having their version of the "Porch Show" which is open to all. They are calling it the "Summer Sale and Show" this upcoming weekend, August 18-19 from 8am-4pm at the historical Robesonia Furnace located right around the corner from where Breininger's Pottery was located. You can contact them at 610-693-6451 or through their website www.RobesoniaRedware.com.