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Ferguson, William ||Dial, Jonathan
Place Made:
Barrow County Georgia United States of America
Date Made:
stoneware –alkaline-glazed
HOA: 5″; DIA: 4 1/2″
Accession Number:
This small but supple pitcher is made of stoneware clay and is alkaline glazed. The glaze likely has a high amount of ash in it, which often causes the streaks or runny appearance of the clay during the kiln firing. Pitchers of this size from South Carolina and Georgia are often referred to as “cream pitchers” or “cream jugs.” It was likely made in the shop of William Ferguson and Jonathan Dial in Barrow County, Georgia. The handle is what is sometimes referred to as a strap handle. A strap handle is made by pulling or extruding a strip of clay, placing one end of the strip against the vessel, then looping it out to make the handle shape. This differs from a handle that is pulled from the vessel after the clay is attached, usually at the neck.

Table wares are generally noted as being made during and shortly after the Civil War because of poor access to other goods. However, scholar Dale Couch notes that the pottery made in Western South Carolina and in Georgia defies this notion as table wares are commonly found and manufactured by many potters in the second quarter of the 19th-century.

MAKERS: Jonathan Dial and William Ferguson are intricately connected to a large web of potter families and traditions with roots in South Carolina. Charles H. Ferguson, the father of William Ferguson, worked in the pottery manufacturing area of Edgefield, South Carolina before movng to Georgia. His relocation to Georgia began a dynasty of pottery manufacturers, including his son. William Ferguson and Jonathan Dial began their business partnership the late 1850s.

Burrison, John A. “Brothers in Clay: The Story of Georgia Folk Pottery.” Athens, GA: UGA Press, 1995.

Credit Line:
Gift of Dale Couch in honor of Susan and Bill Mariner