Our saltglazed stoneware has natural variation to it; no two pieces will be absolutely identical. The pottery is made to be used as well as collected. All pieces are lead-free. Our saltglazed stoneware, though extremely durable, should not be used in either a regular or microwave oven. It is so dense that it does not cook well. (For baking, we recommend our redware.) Handwashing is recommended.
The process of saltglazing developed originally in Germany. From there, it spread to other western European countries and was introduced in North America when the continent was colonized by Europeans.
When saltglazing pottery, unglazed wares are placed in the kiln and heated to a very high temperature. At that point, salt is thrown into the hot kiln; the salt vaporizes, fuming throughout the kiln interior, and combines with the clay of the pottery, forming a natural glaze on all the pots. Saltglazed stoneware is a more durable product than redware. It is physically stronger and can take more abuse.
Patterns of reduction in the kiln give pots the same variations of color as the saltglaze of colonial and early America - anything from a light cream or gray color to a dark brown. Where wood ash settles on the pots, the glaze may have a greenish or yellowish hue. Most of our saltglazed pottery is undecorated. Many of the early styles of saltglazed wares are dipped in an iron-bearing wash before firing, pushing them even more towards the brown end of the color range. Each pot will look a little different from the next, depending on how the flame passes through the stacked pottery. Our saltglazed pots are stacked in the kiln in the old style, rim to rim on top of each other. This leaves "stacking marks" on the rims of most items - smooth, but a slightly different color than the rest of the rim.
Early saltglazed pottery, made before 1850, generally had no interior glaze other than that which naturally occurred in the salting process. (In our own area of N.C., this practice was continued through the 1930's.) In our attempt to be historically accurate we also add no additional glaze. This means that our ware cannot be depended upon to hold liquid for an extended period of time without some very slow seepage. Therefore, we do not recommend use of our saltglazed pottery for long-term storage of liquids, unless you are willing to put up with a little historically accurate seepage!
Much of the early saltglazed stoneware used in colonial America was made in Europe and imported to the colonies. Some, however, was made in this country. After the American Revolution, saltglazed stoneware became increasingly an American product.
4622 Busbee Road, Seagrove, NC 27341