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DECORATED YELLOW WARE


Yellowware is a lighter clay than stoneware or redware, and there was a great deal of that clay readily available to potters in America. Yellowware requires two firings. The first or biscuit firing resulted in the formed piece but left it permeable. The second gloss firing, comprised of an alkaline-based glaze, rendered the piece impermeable and ready for household use.

As with most wares coming to America they were manufactured in England and Yellow Ware was no exception. As immigration from Europe to America grew so did the metropolitan areas along our east coast, bringing skilled potters as well as other craftsmen. Looking for work many traveled west and soon Ohio was the preeminent location for the manufacture of Yellow Ware.


Yellowware clay lends itself quite readily as a canvas for numerous types of decoration. After the gloss firing, just plain yellow clay with its smooth glaze is attractive and functional. Slip bands became the decoration most utilized, often in horizontal stripes. Slip is a wet runny material comprised of water and clay and can be made in different colors. It is applied utilizing a slip cup quite like a tiny funnel. Sponged decoration is put on with a sturdy carved tool or stamp. After it is dipped in color, it is stamped over the entire piece. Various patterns and colors produce sponge-decorated ware. The sponging is done after the biscuit firing. Rockingham decoration on a Yellow Ware piece was done by drizzling a manganese brown glaze after the biscuit firing. This decoration produced a marbled or streaked design.

Flint's enamel decoration is very much like Rockingham with the addition of colors such as green, blue, black, and yellow. A clear glaze was applied after the biscuit firing, to which oxides were added in a dusting manner. As the piece went through the gloss firing the oxides merged with the glaze producing colored highlights over the mostly brown base color. Mocha decoration on Yellow Ware is a much more involved process and can take many forms or designs. Before the biscuit firing, a large band of white slip was placed on the item. The next step was to drip a combination of elements consisting of citric acid, hops, tobacco juice, turpentine as well and stale urine. This action produced hairlike or vascular designs commonly known as seaweed; from which fern, moss, tree and thistle likenesses can be seen. Earthworm or Cat's eye decorations were applied utilizing a slip cup having three compartments. Each compartment had its own narrow opening filled with a different color slip which was drizzled on the piece. The above are various types of decoration applied to one type of ware.....Yellow Ware! Enjoy the hunt! Thank you! What is this? Haha, thanks! ReplyReply allForward


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