Pottery Underground Railroad Quilts Platter

Every platter is individually created using hand-building techniques, and finished with Terra Sigillata. Color is in laid into quilt block design, highlighting the quilt pattern.,$210.

Underground Railroad Quilts Platter

Our family has chosen to educate our children at home. I am their primary ‘teacher’. In 2010 we began studying the American Civil War for history. In order to teach, I must first learn. This time period in history has always fascinated me. Much of my childhood was spent ‘reenacting’ the war with my family. I loved rough camping ‘Civil War’ style (no modern camping gear or supplies); soda was drunk from tin cups, the cooler was hidden under wool blankets. My father and brother would dress in woolen uniforms in the sweltering, shimmering dog days of summer, and I wound don a long hooped skirt, snood and carry a parasol. We visited every Civil War battlefield from Pennsylvania to Georgia and we loved it! One of my favorite books was Gone with the Wind which I read over and over. Growing up in the 70’s + 80’s was a very un-chivalrous time. In real life men did not open doors and let ladies go first, they did not tip their hats and say, “How do you do?” Of course not, this was the time of ‘woman’s lib’, think Working Girl starring Melanie Griffith and Harrison Ford. Reenacting the Civil War was an opportunity to experience life in a time when priorities were different from the one in which I was living.

As I reexamined this period in history my previous ideas were challenged. Men did not get up and dust off their pants after an hour firing blanks at each other. Women were separated from those they loved and depended on for years and found themselves struggling to feed and protect themselves and their families. Issues that caused the war were not as clear cut as I had once believed. All this was churning in my head, and it seemed when I was in the studio they would swirl more forcefully. Creating the Quilt platter was a way to make these ideas more concrete.

My research of this time period included the topic of the underground railroad. A neighbor loaned me a book on the quilts used to steer runaway slaves to freedom to ‘free’ states in the north. These underground railroad quilts used the quilt blocks to communicate directions to those seeking freedom.

Underground Railroad Quilts-Pottery quilt platter

Underground Railroad Quilts Platter