MAKER: Thomas Mitchel Chandler, Jr. (1810-1854) was born in Accomack County, Virginia. His family moved to Baltimore in 1817 and there Thomas developed into an extraordinary potter. Thomas’s future was partly determined by his father’s move to Baltimore. As a chairmaker, Chandler’s father bought property in a district with many other craftspeople, including five major potters: Henry Remmey, Sr., Henry Myers, David Parr, Elisha Parr, and William Amoss. Henry Myers probably trained Thomas Chandler; Chandler’s first dated and signed piece resembles pieces made in Henry Myers’s shop in the 1820s.
Chandler left Baltimore in 1829 and between 1829 and 1832 may have traveled as an itinerant potter. In 1832 he was in Albany, New York, where he enlisted in the U.S. Army. The Army sent Chandler south to Augusta, Georgia, and between 1832 and 1836 he served in various capacities and likely worked with several potters in Georgia. Scholar Philip Wingard estimates that Chandler was in Edgefield, South Carolina, working by 1836, since several of his pieces with decorative slip work and dated 1836 have survived in the region. He worked in various pottery factories and with various partners in the region until he had his own shop by 1850. In 1852, though, he and his family left for North Carolina where he died in 1854.
Wingard, Phillip. “From Baltimore to the South Carolina Backcountry: Thomas Chandler’s Influence on 19th-Century Stoneware.” CERAMICS IN AMERICA, 2013, 38-76.