Competition

This is the kind of stuff you can read about anywhere:

…Redware potteries were a common sight in most areas of Colonial and Federalist America. A few places with stoneware clay deposits, or sufficient river access for stoneware clay shipments, had both stoneware and redware potteries. A very few had both under one roof. Lead glazed redware began to fade away once canals and railroads made cheap access to the sturdier salt fired stoneware possible almost anywhere.  Blah blah blah…

On the other hand, there is very little documentation about how the individuals involved actually felt about the transition.

But one illuminating conversation between a stoneware and a redware potter has survived. Rather, the exchange was recounted many years later by Daniel Arrit to Marion Rawston in her 1938 book Candleday Art. Daniel had worked for stoneware potter George Fulton in Botecourt, MD. Much of Fulton’s wares were sold in nearby Blacksburg where Thomas Waddle had a redware shop. The encounter, according to Daniel, went like this:

“You know, marm, this was good stoneware, not that no ‘count red earthen ware. You could bile [boil] in our stoneware. I’ve drive the wagon many a time to Blacksburg, and there old Waddle that sold the redware would see me coming and shout, “what you bringing that no ‘count stuff to this town for?” And I’d shout back, “yours is the no ‘count stuff, ain’t burnt to a body. Mine’s burnt to a stone body. Give me a piece of your old no ’count ware, I want to pitch it down the road a piece.” So I pitched one of my crocks down the road twenty feet and it never broke none. His’n? He daren’t give me any. He went out of business afore long.”

‘Pitching crocks down the road’ to prove a point. What would Waddle have said about that exchange?

Reading:
American Stoneware. William Ketchum.  Holt & Co./New York.  1991.

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5 Responses to “Competition”

  1. Tweets that mention Competition « This Day in Pottery History -- Topsy.com Says:

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  2. Brandt Zipp Says:

    Thanks for posting this. This is one of the most interesting statements on American stoneware / redware to have survived, and it’s thankfully made it into multiple books on the subject. The longer version is even more illuminating. George Newman Fulton potted in Botetourt County, Virginia, as well as adjacent Alleghany County, and many examples of his work still exist. While rarer (but less valuable), examples of the aforementioned T.R. Waddell’s pottery survive, as well, but these, too, are made of stoneware, not redware. As has been detailed by Kurt Russ in his research on Fulton, Arritt was probably referring to a similarly-named Blacksburg potter who made “that no ‘count red earthen ware,” mistakenly calling him Waddell.

  3. grandma Says:

    I’ve had two marked pieces by Waddle,selling them to friends.They were just gosh awful ugly.I’m sorry I did not keep at least one.I have a jug but it is unmarked but I feel sure it too is Waddle even unsigned.

  4. grandma Says:

    No I’m getting ready to sell my collections and it will be included.

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