What is Edgefield Pottery?
pottery is pottery made in the old Edgefield district of South Carolina
from about 1820 to the early twentieth century.
What is so special about Edgefield pottery?
a piece of Edgefield is like holding a small piece of history in your
hands. Much of the Edgefield pottery was made before the Civil War in
plantation run potteries.
What is the difference between Edgefield pottery and other pottery?
pottery was alkaline glazed, unlike pottery from outside the South.
Abner Landrum began the first Edgefield pottery around 1820 and
experimented with using alkaline glazes like the Chinese had used 1000
years earlier. He did this because lead glazes were poisonous and salt
glazing was too expensive. Because of his success other potteries in the
Edgefield District sprang up. As potters moved west they took alkaline
glazing with them outside of Edgefield to parts of upstate South
Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and as far west as Texas.
Why do people collect Edgefield?
collect most anything. Collecting Edgefield is part love of craft, love
of art, and love of history. Making pottery was artisanship and
craftsmanship rolled up together. On top of the basic knowledge required
to make pottery out of what simply lay in the land was the potter’s
personal touches. This included experimenting with different forms,
decorations, and glazes. There is also history in that each piece has
its own story. Who made it? When was it made? For what was it used? Why
did they do it this way while everyone else did it another way? Most
times we can only guess at the story. That is what is fun about
collecting, figuring this stuff out. There are no hard and fast facts.
No tell-all books with values listed. EVERY piece is one of a kind.
Every piece has a bit of mystery attached. As you learn through
collecting you begin to pick out the rare from the common. You enjoy
your rare finds more and more.