Legacy in Clay: Pottery of Washington County, Virginia

July 22, 2005 - November 20, 2005

Price-Strongwell Cultural Heritage Galleries

Exhibit Details

The story of 18th and 19th century potteries in Washington County relates to a larger legacy stretching from Europe to Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Families carried their pottery traditions to southwest Virginia, influencing each other. As potters trained, married, and relocated, they maintained certain aspects of established pottery production while developing new techniques. Potters pulled native clay from the earth, shaped the wet vessels, and fired the wares on brick kilns. Oxide or cobalt occasionally decorated the functional wares. Early potters formed lead-glazed earthenware, but by the mid-19th century, most potters created salt-glazed stoneware, fired at a higher temperature.