Behind My Red Door

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

It all started in 1990...

...that is when I saw this ad in Early American Homes magazine (now Early American Life.) It was for a subscription to buy 12 pieces of Early American Salt Glazed Stoneware through Museums Editions Limited. I am often asked when or where I bought something and like so many of the pieces in our home, I started my stoneware collection about 20 years ago - with this subscription. I had seen pictures of antique pieces of salt glazed stoneware in magazines but there was no way I was able to buy antiques, but there were and are great reproductions available. Salt-glazed stoneware pottery was originally made hundreds of years ago in Germany and has been made in this country since the early American settlers started to fire it. Salt-glazed stoneware pottery is glazed during the firing process. When the kiln reaches a certain temperature, salt is thrown inside the kiln and it vaporizes. That vapor reacts with the silica in the clay to produce the glaze on the surface of the pottery.

In this subscription, each piece was made by Wisconsin Pottery and Joel Huntley and his master potters in that old fashioned kiln fired method. Each is also stamped with M.E.L. for Museum Edition Limited. This is the original 2 page ad I saved from the August 1990 issue of the magazine. You can click on these to see the stoneware better and read about each piece if you'd like.

Once you signed up and the first piece was shipped, then every 6-8 weeks you would receive another shipment of one large piece or two small pieces. Each shipment cost $34.95 no matter what the size. When I saw this ad, I was a young mom, working a few hours a week in the nursery school and this was the perfect way for me to start a collection of salt glazed pottery in an affordable way. Finding pieces in my neck of the woods was not easy. And the pieces in this collection were also meant to be used every day which made it very attractive indeed. The first piece that was sent out was a 2 /12 quart pitcher shown here in the back left along with some of the other pieces. The piece on the back right is always sitting on the microwave and stores our coffee - the coffee maker sits to the right of the microwave. The piece in the left front is usually in the bathroom downstairs and holds the Dixie cups by the sink.
The ad explained in exactly what order each piece would be shipped and this water jug below was the last piece that would be sent out. Great marketing there - you could cancel the subscription at any time but who wouldn't want to continue until you got this beauty!! They reeled me in for sure! This is great when we have a crowd and I mix up ice tea or lemonade or even ice water with lemon slices.
The three pieces shown here are used all the time Behind my Red Door. The piece on the top is a batter bowl with a handle on one side. The piece on the left in the second row is a colander and I use it all the time. And the piece to the right on that shelf is a casserole dish and I love how nicely it cleans after baking something like mac and cheese. The spoon rest sits to the right of the stove and is used all the time as well.
The batter jug on the left is not part of this collection - this is made by Crocker and Springer of Elash, Illinois and was made in 1993. The jug next to the lamp was part of the subscription.
And rounding out the 12 piece subscription is this 1/2 gallon jug I turned into a lamp, as I have done with several other jugs. At one time I could but the lamp kits locally, but no longer. I do know that they are available through Factory Direct Crafts though.

When I was looking to have additional utilitarian pieces of stoneware, I was fortunate to purchase this creamer and sugar set ... as well as our butter dish by from Crocker and Springer in the mid 90's. We use these pieces all the time as well.

Another of my favorite potters is Eldreth Pottery from PA. If you have are in the Lancaster area, there are 3 places to get this stoneware. I love the darker color of these pieces.

I also own these two vases from Rowe Pottery and this antique piece of F.B.Norton Stoneware. One of my treasures!Click here to see what a similiar piece of F.B.Norton is selling for... I did not pay anything even remotely close to that price for mine!

Thanks so much the prim friend who asked me to show my stoneware. It was fun to step back in time and I know a lot of gals who are looking to find more colonial items for their homes, and salt glazed stoneware certainly fits the bill.


Now I need your help!! Does anyone know of an ONLINE source to buy jars like these... specifically the tall ones with dark lids? They have to be like these and the source has to be online. It's not for me I am asking - it is for a friend. EDIT: SOURCE FOUND! THANK YOU!!
If you do, please leave me a comment with the source and URL if you know it. Thanks so much!

Edited - several gals have asked about the gingerboys in the jar. Click HERE to read about how I made them and there is a link to the recipe on Colleen's blog as well!
A few folks have asked about Momma Duck and her 11 eggs. As of this morning, she is still sitting on them. We are getting anxious to fix our driveway so we are hoping they hatch soon. I'll let you know when anything happens!


Yesterday I had the pleasure to chat on the phone with Jen from Taylors*Farmhouse*Attic. The time flew by and it was so much fun talking to a kindred spirit. If you haven't been to Jen's blog, stop over soon! She is a sweetheart and talented decorator and stitcher as well!

Before I say good bye for today, I want to thank all of my followers and anyone else who takes time out of your busy life to come by my blog regularly.

I appreciate each and everyone of you!!
Until Next Time - Hugs, Linda