|Juvenile & A-B-C Plates|
"The Potters' Art, Plate Making" records for posterity a moment from the nineteenth centur...
"The Potters' Art, Plate Making" records for posterity a moment from the nineteenth century ceramics industry. The scene depicts the method for manufacturing plates known as "jiggering." The head of the team is the plate maker, also known as a presser, who would literally throw a bat of clay onto the center of the turning wheel and form the plate. At his elbow is the mould runner who was responsible for taking the freshly thrown plates to a heated drying area and for feeding fresh moulds onto the jiggering wheel. With his back to us is the wheel boy or jigger turner who turned the crank on top of the bench which turned the wheel.
The simple raised letter blank is decorated in brown transfer with enamels daubed on in red, blue and yellow.
|Date:||Second Half Nineteenth Century|
|Dimensions:||Diameter 5 7/8 in.|
While this is the first time we have encountered this curious momento of 19th century indu...
While this is the first time we have encountered this curious momento of 19th century industry, Noel Riley in Gifts for Good Children: The History of Children's China, 1790-1890 documents the entire series,"The Potters' Art," which traces pottery manufacture from the preparation of clay slip to packing the finish products. (page 154-155). She includes images from a set of stereoscope cards, C. 1860, which she cites as the source of the "Plate Making" images.
While "Occupations and Trades" constitutes a large category in Riley's survey of subjects for juvenile wares, "The Potters' Art" must have meant more to its unknown maker than simply another image of farm workers or washer women or street vendors. It strikes us as an expression of professional pride that says "Look at what we can do now and how we do it."