A view of folk pottery's muddy past as seen through clay: an analysis on a sample of ceramics found at the historic Caldwell Pottery factory site in Arrow Rock, Missouri

Dick-Jacobson, Talva (2009) A view of folk pottery's muddy past as seen through clay: an analysis on a sample of ceramics found at the historic Caldwell Pottery factory site in Arrow Rock, Missouri. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

During excavations in 1996, Dr. Tim Baumann, a professor at the University of Missouri - St. Louis, uncovered a historic nineteenth-century pottery factory under the Brown Masonic Lodge in Arrow Rock, Missouri. Following summertime excavations of the site between 1996 and 2001, a sub-floor of a bottleneck kiln was exposed, along with fire boxes, waster dumps, the foundation of a workshop, storage shed, and features used for the storage of glaze, and thousands of ceramic artefacts. The artefacts, features and structures found were used primarily between the mid 1800s and the late 1870s. Historical documents including industrial censuses suggest that the Arrow Rock Pottery was a substantial industry with employed people producing primarily functional utilitarian pottery. The assemblage of artefacts collected from the site was dominated by ceramic sherds that can be divided into two categories: functional vessels used domestically for preparation or food storage and the kiln furniture or utensils used in the bottleneck kiln to support the vessels during the firing procedure. -- This thesis explores a sample of ceramic artefacts found at the Caldwell Pottery factory. The purpose of this study is to understand what is "folk pottery" in the southern states of the United States of America? Who made such ceramic wares? What does it look like, judging by archaeological, historic and ethnographic information? The analysis of the artefacts not only quantified the frequency of forms but allowed them to be classified into two categories, vessels and kiln implements. Reconstructions of these goods are presented as an example of the type of ceramics produced at the Caldwell pottery factory. This research explores history in an attempt to understand how folk pottery, which was once a fixture in American pantries, was replaced by glassware as both the consumer and business changed in America as it progressed into the nineteenth century. Through the combination of a literature, ethnoarchaeological research as an apprentice folk potter, and the analysis of 700 ceramic artefacts the objectives of the research was achieved. This typological analysis is the first of its kind in the State of Missouri.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/9705
Item ID: 9705
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (leaves 170-181)
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Archaeology
Date: 2009
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: United States--Missouri--Arrow Rock
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Excavations (Archaeology)--Missouri--Arrow Rock; Folk art--Missouri--Arrow Rock--History--19th century; Kilns--Missouri--Arrow Rock; Pots--Missouri--Arrow Rock; Pottery--Missouri--Arrow Rock--History--19th century

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