Made in the Catawba River Valley region of North Carolina by David Hartzog, this two-gallon alkaline-glazed stoneware jug is a rare example of a piece signed by this potter. It is marked with “DAVID HARTZOG HIS MAKE” across one side of the jug. The stamped design identifying the maker’s name and “his make” was likely made with a roulette wheel that had the inscription carved onto it. Rolling the wheel onto the piece left the impression with the potter’s signature in a decorative band. The jug is also decorated with incised lines and a sine wave. It was thrown on a pottery wheel and has a strap handle. A strap handle is made by pulling a strip of clay and then placing one end of the strip against the vessel, then looping it out to make the handle shape. Alkaline glaze is mix of clay and ash or lime that acted as a flux. There is also an iron wash that is splashed over parts of the jug from the rim to the base.
MAKER: David Hartzog (1808-1883) worked in western Lincoln County and made both lead-glazed earthenware and alkaline-glazed stoneware. The 1850 Manufacturers Census notes that he employed two male workers and paid them $15.00 each month.
Harpe, Jason and Brian Dedmond. “Valley Ablaze: Pottery Tradition in the Catawba Valley.” Conover, NC: Goosepen Studio & Press, 2012.
Smith, Howard A. “A History of the Hartsoe Family in Lincoln County North Carolina.” In POTTERS OF THE CATAWBA VALLEY, edited by Daisy Wade Bridges, Vol. IV of “Journal of Studies: Ceramic Circle of Charlotte,” 16. Charlotte, NC: Mint Museum, 1980.