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Above is an hand-thrown earthenware bowl made in
Sheboygan. As you can see, the bowl melted irregular in the
kiln. This was due to the poor clay found in Wisconsin.
Earthenware was produced from the local clays. Earthenware is porous
verses stoneware which is vitreous. Stoneware is made from clay
brought in from other states & mixed with sand. Local potters
would add local clays to stretch their supply of clay. The piece
above has a lead glaze to reduce absorption. The two pieces of
earthenware were made by Conrad Londenberg (sp?) who sold to 20 stores in
the Sheboygan area, which he haul in a cart from store to store. He
also sold pottery from his house. He started selling in 1856 &
was still selling in 1893. He died in 1899.
Above are two 'flip' jugs. With a flip of
the wrist someone can separate or remove the cream that had risen to the
top of the jug of fresh milk. To the right is the earlier earthenware jug
made in Sheboygan with a lead glaze. On the left is a stoneware jug
with an Albany slip glaze.
Above is the earthenware bowl along with two
hand thrown stoneware bowls. The two bowls neatly stack on top of
each other. The inside you can see the potter finger's indent &
the outer side is smooth from using some tool.
Above is a stoneware bottle marked "J B
- Ashland Wis."
Above is three just. The two outside ones
are glazed with Albany slip. The center & right jugs are marked
& shown below. Both are marked "C Hermann & Co -
The above churn has a stylized flower, but
nobody knew what the original flower was the basis for this design.
This same design is seen on some Canadian & Pennsylvanian
stoneware. It is marked "John B Maxfield -
Milwaukee" Maxfield used clay from Ohio.
This churn has an identifiable flower motif of
tulips. Tulips were a very common motif of German heritage.
The stoneware crock above with the Albany slip interior
is marked "T Guenther - Sheboygan". This was made by
Theodore Guenther who got his clays from the east coast. The crock
& the two churns above & the two jugs below are salt glazed.
Salt would be thrown in the kiln where it would vaporize & then coat
the pottery with a clear coating. The blue designs were done with
cobalt salts. The brown jug below used magnesium to create that
On the left is John B Maxfield jug & on the
right is a Whitewater Pottery ware.
The jug is marked "John B Maxfield -
Maxfield started production as "John & Amos
Maxfield" in 1853. Later it became "John B Maxfield"
In his dissertation on Wisconsin Pottery in 1972, Mark
Knippen identified 248 potters who worked at approximately 40 kilns.
He found a lot of his data by going through the 1850 through the 1890
census data looking for people who identified themselves as potters.
A question that could be answered from this data was if the person created
pottery or was just in the business.
Related Sites: (The sites will open up in
a new window)
Has an extensive listing of
over 100 clay beer bottles made in Wisconsin from
1850 until the turn of the century. The listings include name, location
and pictures of many. Be sure to read the introduction to clay bottles
because it contains information about how they were made, of what materials, the
markings and much more. Recently added were pictures of