In 19th-century America, sturdy waterproof stoneware pottery became popular for utilitarian items such as crocks, jugs, and butter churns. The rough-textured outer glaze was created when common rock salt was thrown into the kiln during firing, which vaporized and combined with melted silica from the pottery.
The blue decoration--made with a cobalt oxide glaze mixture--lent variety and artistry to these otherwise plain pieces.
The pottery is one of the few manufacturers in the world that continues to employ the centuries-old technique of glazing ceramics with salt during the firing process. The application is difficult to control, giving each piece of stoneware a unique texture and distinctive colored finish.
See their pottery inspiration examples in "A Type of Learning" in Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation and learn more about the ongoing artistry of salt-glazed stoneware in our digital collections.
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