STYLE: Much of the stoneware produced in Edgefield from about 1840 to 1860 was decorated with clay slip which was brushed or trailed onto the dried ware before it was fired. Decoration was applied to stonewares produced at the Phoenix Factory and the C. Rhodes Factory on Shaw’s Creek. The Edgefield decorative tradition appears to have originated at the Phoenix Factory where a kaolin based clay slip and an iron bearing clay slip were often combined to create figures, scenes and floral motifs. The clay slip decoration was applied to the wares before firing. Loops and swags, sometimes punctuated by tassels or flowers, were a common Edgefield decorative motif. The dominant decorative motif found on wares produced at Collin Rhodes’ factory was the maker’s mark, “C. Rhodes Factory,” boldly lettered in longhand in trailed slip and framed by a flower with stem, also in clay slip.
MAKER: The Phoenix Factory was built on the site of the former Shaw’s Creek pottery factory in Aiken County, South Carolina, just south of Edgefield. The Phoenix Factory had a number of potters working together including Thomas Chandler, Collin and Milton Rhodes, John Isaac Durham, William Durham, Robert Mathis, and Amos Landrum. The Phoenix Factory, however, was short lived, closing in 1842.
Wingard, Philip. “From Baltimore to the South Carolina Backcountry: Thomas Chandler’s Influence on 19th-Century Stoneware.” CERAMICS IN AMERICA (2013) 52-53.
Baldwin, Cinda K. “Great and Noble Jar: Traditional Stoneware of South Carolina.” Athens, GA: UGA Press, 1993.