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Phoenix Factory __Workshop of
Place Made:
Aiken County South Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
stoneware –alkaline-glazed
HOA: 7 1/2″
Accession Number:
Thrown on a pottery wheel and finely potted, having thin walls, this pitcher is glazed with a light green-colored alkaline glaze and decorated with brushed floral motifs in a dark brown slip. An alkaline glaze involves a mix of clay and ash or lime that acted as a flux. 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. It is stamped “PHOENIX FACTORY / ED:SC.”

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 factory had a number of potters working closely together, including Thomas Chandler, Milton Rhodes, John Isaac Durham, William Durham, Robert Mathis, and Amos Landrum Scholar Cinda Baldwin noted that the Phoenix Factory relied on the railroad, advertising that their wares were sold via the rail line from Aiken to Charleston. Many scholars note that the Phoenix Factory was where slip decoration to a large degree began to be employed, and some of the more illustriously decorated pieces from the Edgefield area are often associated with this site. 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.

Credit Line:
Loan Courtesy of C. Philip and Corbett Toussaint