Ironstone

Ironstone is a type of refined earthenware exhibiting a white, hard, almost vitrified paste, with a white thick glasslike glaze. Ironstone can often be characterized by having a network of very fine crazing appearing underneath the glassy surface. The background colour is white but tends to look blueish grey. Ironstone is often undecorated but may […]

Rockingham

The distinct decorative type known as Rockingham is a result of a combination of two glazes that create a mottled design. Rockingham is highly fired earthenware or stoneware that is generally buff to yellow paste with a brownish glaze. Rockingham can be manufactured in two ways. The first requires the vessel to be dipped in […]

Decalcomania

Teacup with decalcomania angel motif

Decalcomania is a decorative technique in which intricate enameled images were transferred to pottery vessels. The first experimentation with decals occurred in 1830s Europe but it wasn’t until the 1870s that manufacturers in France made significant improvements to the technology leading to its perfection at the close of the nineteenth century.  The term decalcomania means the […]

Don Mills

A Bold Vision between The Forks How Modern Design Helped Shape a Community’s Character Don Mills Crossing is a unique place within the City of Toronto, featuring an expansive, iconic modernist architecture. Created in answer to the growing Toronto population during the post-war period, Don Mills and Flemingdon Park developments were designed as complete neighbourhoods […]

Left Handed Stone Knife

A Lithic Analyst’s Ode to a Stone Knife The loss of a favourite pocket knife was an alarming incident for many a young boy or girl growing up. Maybe it was the perfect whittling knife we carried with us as Scouts or Guides, or a “coming-of-age” gift from Grandpa. Nevertheless, in a few days we […]

Projectile Point with Embedded Fossil

Microscopic view of an archaic point with fossil shell

This projectile point fragment was discovered during field walking and it contains the extra surprise of a tiny, fossilized bivalve shell embedded inside the grey and white chert. Because were are missing the base and tip of this point, we can’t identify the exact age or style of this tool. It was also found in the middle of a small […]

Transfer Print: Floware

Floware Urn Historical Archaeology Ceramic Reference Transferprint 19th Century Ontario

Floware is a specific type of transferprint with a blurred, watery effect. This decoration is created by exposing the surface of the ceramic to chlorine in the kiln, which causes the colours to “flow.” This motif features two distinct colours; blue or mulberry, with the dark purple mulberry pigment often reading as almost black. Floware occurs […]

Hand-Painted: Monochrome Blue

Monochrome blue plate handpainted historical archaeology reference 19th century Ontario

Monochrome blue is a specific style of hand-painted decoration that is applied using an all-blue palette. It usually features floral designs, but may also include geometric designs. For our own classification, we exclude handpainted Asian-style themes from this motif, which we instead designate as Chinoiserie.  The popularity of blue and white ceramics can be traced back […]

Hand-Painted: Chinoiserie

Chinoiserie blue and white hand painted saucer- historical ceramic reference 19th century archaeology

Handpainted chinoiserie motifs show up on some of the earliest ceramics we discover in Ontario, and they are always a pleasure to discover. These early Asian-themed motifs appear most often on tin-enamelled earthenware, creamware, and pearlware. Chinoiserie is an early example of globalization, as British ceramic manufacturers attempted to replicate the popular motifs and colourways of […]

Early Archaic Nettling Point

We present to you a 3-D scan of a gorgeous Early Archaic Nettling point discovered this past winter by our Field Director Robb Bhardwaj, who shared his story of discovery with us: Nettling Projectile Point by ASI on Sketchfab “Sometimes in archaeology, artifacts seem to want to be found. I came upon just such an […]