History of American Pottery-1600-1699

History of American Pottery-1600-1699

History of American Pottery: 1600-1699

History of American Pottery-1600-1699: As European settlers arrived in America in search of religious freedom, they built homes and lives in this untamed new world, transforming the raw wilderness in the process. First priorities were the basic necessities: food and shelter. The majority of these new settlers were farmers. These colonists made the vast bulk of the things they needed: lamp oil, soap, eating utensils, tools, farm implements, clothing, furniture, and food. There was little to no cash available and no imaginable way to get any. They bartered for what they could not make: salt, sugar, nails.
The first eating utensils were probably made of wood, but other items such as food storage containers, needed to be constructed of more durable materials to protect the summer’s harvest for a long cold winter. Since cash money was scarce, some farmers turned to crafting crude jars and dishes out of local clays during the slow winter months. These farmer/pottmakers were largely self taught and had little skill. Their work was utilitarian in nature with little to no decoration. Not much of their work remains in existence.
At this point in history, all European nations had the same fundamental belief in ‘zero sum gain’; meaning there was a finite amount of resources and money (gold and silver). Thus a nation could grow in wealth, resources, and land only by taking it from someone else. This belief fueled most, if not all, of the conflicts in the western world: militarily, economically, and socially; and it would greatly affect the development of pottery in North America as we shall see.
The economic policies of the British Empire from 16th-early 19th century were dominated by the theory of Mercantilism. Mercantilism differed among the European Nations, but the basic tenets of the philosophy was: all usable land should be utilized for agriculture, manufacturing, or extraction of natural resources, all natural resources should be used in domestic manufacturing, finished goods have a higher worth than natural resources, discourage imports(except raw materials) and encourage exports, in instances where imports are necessary seek to exchange for other goods, prohibit the exporting of gold and silver (even for payments), prohibit importing anything that can be manufactured within the mother country.

DIY Strawberry Pocket Planter

DIY Strawberry Pocket Planter

DIY Strawberry pocket planter is a video series I made after receiving many requests from customers to put up more videos of the pottery process. I must confess, watching a potter at work has ALWAYS fascinated me! Even after 25 years I still LOVE to watch this amazing...