• Nicholas Harrison

Learning from home - Part 2. Our second pottery lesson from our archaeology at home series

Updated: Jun 18

Name: Mottled Slipware ‘pie-crust’ plate. Origin: Although often referred to as Staffordshire type vessels, the fabric of this sherd suggests an origin further south perhaps as far as Bristol. A ‘sherd’ is an archaeological term for a broken piece of ceramic material. Date: Late 17th – mid 18th century. Discussion: This vessel is from a similar slipware tradition to the Staffordshire pie crust. The vessel was also made by pressing a slab of clay into a simple domed mould to obtain the correct plate shape but in this case, we cannot tell whether the rim was decorated by being formed into a ‘pie-crust’. The decoration was produced by trailing a mix of light and dark liquid slips onto the surface and then jiggling the plate while the slip was still wet in order to achieve the marbled effect. Finally, the vessel was coated in clear iron oxide rich glaze that when fired makes the light colour clay slip appear yellow. This particular piece was found last summer at one of our own digs in South Yorkshire.