Ware of the Week

Redware

Manufacture date: 1790s-1910s, but most common from the 1830s to 1880s

Common vessels: pots (bowls), milk crocks, milk pans, jugs, preserve or tomato jars, churns, cream pots, and porringers


Redware - Borsch Site

Mended redware pot from the Borsch site

Also known as coarse red earthenware, redware demonstrates a heavy, thick, clay body that must be glazed (lead glaze) in order to be non-porous. In general, these utilitarian vessels were used in the kitchen and dairy for food preparation and storage. Although made in many different places, the fragility of the vessels (they were easily broken during shipment) meant that they were often made by local potters.

Redware clay, unlike stoneware clay, was common in Ontario and did not need to be imported. In Ontario, redware potters were often German or English immigrants. The local manufacture of redware vessels in Ontario began c. 1790 and continued until the 1910s.

Often decorated using earth-toned or clear lead glazes; less common pieces exhibit light-coloured slips (white, pink, green, yellow) as a general treatment or as slip-trailed decoration.