Friday, December 6, 2013

Byzantine Pottery Tableware

This series of pottery was inspired by the beautiful pottery made in Byzantine Serres. There are several books that have examples but my favorite is Ceramic Art from Byzantine Serres  by  Demetra Papanikola-Bakirtzis.
All my examples are as close to the originals as I can make them. they are red earthenware covered with a white slip. I then carve designs in them, the designs are pretty thick so they are considered "champleve" rather than scraffito. After they have been bisque fired I glaze them with a lead-free transparent glaze (I guess that isn't exactly like the original) and loosely glaze them with green and yellow glazes. The green and yellow are also lead-free. The glazing is very loose and doesn't try to be precise, and that is like the originals.
I have two Byzantine Plates for sale on Etsy:

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


I have been researching and writing notes on cooking pots used in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. It is a huge subject. One of the types of cooking pots are pipkins. I have a few other pictures of pipkins in this blog and just wanted to show a few other varieties of pipkins I have made. What seems to make a pot a pipkin is the tripod feet and a handle on only one side of the pot. Lids are not always seen, although there are some. I like using lids when using these to cook, especially over coals, and many people who have my pottery distinctly prefer pots with lids, so I will keep making them.

This style of pipkin has one loop handle, what I have seen most commonly. The lid has a little inside ring, it makes it sit in the pot very well and is quite helpful for cooking. I've seen an example of this style of lid only in an Archaeologist's drawing.  The feet are funny, there are a number of  period examples of little animal paws on the pipkin legs.

A pulled handle. this pipkin has long tripod legs and a flat lid that fits inside on a "gallery" to hold it there. Not an uncommon way they made lids. The little flat knob is common for the lids.

This kind of pipkin is my favorite, Medium length tripod legs, a hollow handle which was thrown on the wheel that kind of a handle is easy to grasp and insulates from the heat somewhat. When the pot is really boiling away some sort of pot holder is required even with the extra insulation of air.

Oops, not a pipkin, the handles on opposite sides make this a cauldron. The short little legs can be either on pipkins or cauldrons.