Saturday, June 9, 2012

Connecticut Kilns and North Carolina Connections

Me holding a piece of kiln furniture from the Connecticut kiln site. Private collection.
I have been on the road for the last few days looking at a kiln collection in Brooklyn, New York and just today seeing a collection from a kiln site in Bloomfield, Connecticut. While I work on permissions for sharing photos from the Brooklyn site, I am very excited to share photos from my Connecticut visit.
Decorated bottle fragment from Bloomfield, Connecticut site. Private collection.
If you might remember from late last year, I posted about my visit to the Museum of the Cape Fear in Fayetteville, North Carolina to see a collection from a kiln site explored there. The potters who operated that early kiln were originally from Connecticut. The reason why this kiln site in Connecticut was so incredibly exciting (in a nerdy sort of way) was the fact that so much of the kiln furniture was so similar to the North Carolina material. Connecticut connections!
Mark on bottom of jug fragment showing where kiln furniture was. Private collection.

Piece of kiln furniture with mark showing where the edge of a piece rested on top of it. Private collection.

How the jug would have sat on the bar-shaped piece of kiln furniture. Private collection.

Like the North Carolina kiln site where I speculated about how the bottles were stacked, this kiln site in Connecticut showed signs of similar bottle stacking methods. Like the North Carolina kiln furniture, there were round marks left on the bar-shaped kiln furniture which was shaped in the same fashion as the North Carolina kiln furniture:
Round marking left on kiln furniture. Note the pinched middle, similar to the North Carolina kiln furniture. Private collection.

Round mark and part of a bottle neck left on a bar-shaped piece of kiln furniture. Private collection.
The necks and handles of the jug fragments from the Connecticut kiln site also showed the same signs as the North Carolina kiln site that the bar-shaped kiln furniture rested across the top of the neck and handle.
Jug neck showing marks left from the kiln furniture. Private collection.

Jug neck and handle showing mark left and part of a piece of furniture. Private collection.
And, as usual, kiln floors and sections of the kiln are always exciting to see. There were several chunks of the kiln including this beautiful piece of what I think was a wall, with an incredible amount of melting and running:
Section of the kiln. Private collection.
It has been a great trip, I will try to get more up in the coming weeks and don't forget, if you're interested in Virginia earthenware, the 2012 Virginia Decorative Arts Seminar will be focusing on the topic and I will be presenting along with a great lineup of speakers next weekend! Check out the schedule and be sure to come!


Dennis Allen said...

Interesting as usual but the first one is not kiln furniture, it's a bagel.

Timothy James Scarlett said...

Great stuff, Brenda! What do you call the vitreous mass in the last photo? I've always used the specific and technical term "goop," but I'm sure there is a better term.

Liberty Stoneware said...

Dennis, it is more about the size of a Krispy Kreme donut, just petrified, and sandy. Tim, while "goop" is certainly an excellent term for these strange conclomerations, I tend to refer to it as a fragment of the kiln interior, because the mass is no longer one or several bricks, but rather, a whole slew of them that have melted into one another. Seeing that mass was very reassuring because the people who excavated it wondered whether because so many of the sherds in the waster piles showed evidence of explosions and over-fired pieces, the kiln had not been used that frequently. Seeing that section of kiln as well as few other chunks told me that the kiln was fired numerous times, so they didn't give up after a few explosions!

Martha and her Kiln Methods said...

It looks like you had an amazing trip finding pieces. Thanks for sharing the pictures!