Sunday, October 3, 2010

What a crock of

soda fountain syrup! (Got you, didn't I!)
There is something about fall and winter that makes crocks more appealing. It may be the colors...the sheer weight of them...but I always love to bring them out for a showcase in the fall.
The earlier crocks were salt glazed. Pottery referred to as salt glazed or salted is created by adding common salt, sodium chloride, into the chamber of a hot kiln. Sodium oxide acts as a flux and reacts with the silica and clay in the clay body. A typical salt glaze piece has a glassine finish, usually with a glossy and slightly orange-peel texture, enhancing the natural colour of the body beneath it. Salt was originally imported from England when Americans began producing salt-glazed stoneware in the early 1700s in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Yorktown, Virginia. American stoneware crocks were the normal housewares of the 19th century. This is an old salt glazed crock... these crocks were not mold made so they are not as perfect as the later crocks when molds allowed mass production. On the stand above, the crock on the left on the bottom shelf is also salt-glazed, and you can see the difference in shape on the mold made crocks.

The golden area of manufactured stoneware existed from 1890s-1930s. The two toned crocks were produced in large numbers which is why they are so readily available in the crock world. Most have what is called an "Albany Slip" glaze as seen on this chicken feeder. Developed near Albany, NY, the mixture was created from a specific clay found along the Upper Hudson. The crock was dipped into the liquid slip before firing. Once it was fired a dark brown glaze was produced. Some crocks have salt glazed exteriors and Albany Slip interiors. It is fun to find crocks that can be traced to a company or a maker.

This is York Pottery from PA...the company morphed into Pfaltzgraff.
Star Stoneware...the company was in business in Crooksville, Ohio, from 1892-1945. The jug design is called a beehive top...easy to see. Many of the jugs are funnel style though like the first one above.
This one is quite interesting...turns out W. H. Jones was a is this for a variation on a fifth of whiskey? W. H. JONES & CO. was indeed in Boston from 1851-1917. Even if you cannot trace the manufacturer, the research on the mark was quite intriguing.
The glass industry brought the demise of the stoneware producers...the Mason jar was instrumental in changing the way food was kept in the pantry...alas, stoneware was no longer number

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