Page 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

History of Uhl Pottery Company

by O. I. (Mockey) Lett

(5) GLAZING –

THE DRY PIECE OF WARE WAS EITHER DIPPED INTO THE GLAZE, HAD GLAZE POURED ON THE OUTSIDE, OR HAD GLAZE PUMPED INTO IT OR SPRAYED ON THE OUTSIDE. MOST OF THE JARS, JUGS, ETC. HAD THE GLAZE PUMPED INTO THE INSIDE BY A HAND PUMP, WHICH FIT INTO EACH GLAZE TUB. THEN THE GLAZE WAS POURED ONTO THE OUTSIDE OF THE PIECE WITH A METAL PITCHER WITH A WIDE LIP. IT WAS VERY IMPORTANT THAT THE INSIDE WAS COMPLETELY COVERED WITH GLAZE, BECAUSE IF IT WERE NOT COVERED THE CONTENTS WOULD LEAK THROUGH THE BARE CLAY. MOST OF THE SMALL ITEMS WERE DIPPED AFTER THE INSIDE HAD BEEN PUMPED. THE GLAZES WERE MIXED FROM VARIOUS MINERALS; SUCH AS ZINC, OXIDE, FELDSPAR, FLINT, BALL CLAYS, COBALT OXIDE AND COPPER OXIDE. EACH MINERAL HAD A SPECIAL USE IN THE GLAZE FOR COLOR AND TO MAKE THE GLAZE CONFORM WITH THE SHRINKAGE OF THE CLAY. THE COMPOUNDING OF GLAZES WAS AN ART IN ITSELF AND REQUIRED MUCH EXPERIMENTING AND MANY KILN TESTS. THE FORMULAS FOR THE VARIOUS GLAZES WERE GUARDED CAREFULLY BY THE VARIOUS MANUFACTURES. OF COURSE SOME GLAZE STAINS FOR VARIOUS COLORS COULD BE PURCHASED AND ADDED TO A TRANSPARENT BASE. WE PURCHASED SOME OF THESE FROM MEIER AND SWAN AN ENGLISH MANUFACTURER. I REMEMBER ESPECIALLY OUR PINK AND LIGHT GREEN GLAZES WERE FROM THERE. ANOTHER INTERESTING GLAZE WAS OUR SO-CALLED “BRINDLE” GLAZE AS USED ON SOME PITCHERS, MUGS AND BAKING NAPPIES. ADDING SOME PATOKA RIVER “MUD” TO OUR REGULAR BROWN GLAZE MADE THIS GLAZE. THIS WAS DISCOVERED BY PERRY DAY AND WAS A FORM OF BALL CLAY, WHICH WAS THE BASIS OF OUR BROWN GLAZE. AFTER THE PIECE WAS GLAZED IT WAS NECESSARY TO REMOVE THE GLAZE FROM ANY PART OF THE PIECE THAT WAS GOING TO TOUCH ANY OTHER PIECE DURING THE BURNING OF THE KILN, FOR EXAMPLE THE SHOULDERS OF JUGS, MILK CROCKS – THE TOP EDGES OF JARS, MILK CROCKS, ETC. THE BOTTOMS OR BOTTOM EDGES OF MOST ALL PIECES.

(6) SETTING OF KILNS –

AFTER THE WARE WAS GLAZED AND THOROUGHLY DRY IT IS THEN READY TO PLACED IN THE KILNS FOR BURNING. UHL POTTERY HAD (4) PERIODIC KILNS WHICH WERE DOWN DRAFT KILNS AND EACH HELD APPROXIMATELY TWO CARLOADS OF WARE. THE WARE WAS PLACED IN THE KILNS BY KILN-SETTERS WHO WAS WELL VERSED IN FILLING THE KILN TO CAPACITY. THE WARE WAS SET IN RINGS AND THE OUTSIDE RING WAS USUALLY MILK CROCKS WHICH WERE SET IN ROWS WITH THE SHOULDER OF ONE RESTING ON THE ONE BELOW IT. THEY WERE SET SO THAT THE TOP ONE WAS BELOW THE FLASH WALL AND THEREFORE THEY WOULD NOT BE SUBJECTED TO THE DIRECT FLAME FROM FIRE BOXES. JARS WERE SET ONE UPON THE OTHER IN ROWS FROM BOTTOM OF KILN TO ALMOST THE TOP. UNDER EACH JAR WOULD BE NESTED OTHER WARE SO THAT ALMOST ALL SPACE WAS UTILIZED. FOR EXAMPLE – UNDER A 12 GAL. JAR YOU MIGHT HAVE AN ICE WATER JAR OR MAYBE A LARGE MIXING BOWL. IT WAS IMPORTANT NOT TO PUT TOO MUCH WEIGHT ON THE BOTTOM OF THE JAR OR YOU MIGHT CAUSE IT TO CRACK. ALSO JUGS WERE USUALLY SET IN THE KILN WITH A CORRESPONDING SIZE JAR OVER THE TOP AND RESTING ON THE SHOULDER OF THE OF THE JUG. IE 1 GAL. JAR OVER TOP OF 1 GAL JUG – 2 GAL. JAR OVER TOP OF 2 GAL. JUG ETC. ALL OF THE NOVELTY ITEMS WERE SET IN CONTAINERS CALLED SAGGERS OF VARIOUS DIAMETERS AND WEIGHTS. THESE WERE JIGGERED BUT UNFINISHED AND WERE USED OVER AND OVER. THEY WERE MADE VERY HEAVY SO THEY DID NOT BREAK VERY READILY. THEN, TOO, WE USED CRACKED AND BROKEN JARS AS SAGGERS TO COVER PITCHERS, GLAZED FLOWER POTS ETC. THAT COULD NOT BE BURNED ON THE OUTSIDE SINCE THE FLAMES AND ASH WOULD EFFECT SOME OF OUR MORE DELICATE GLAZES, SUCH AS PINKS, LIGHT GREEN, LIGHT BLUE. AFTER THE ENTIRE KILN WAS FILLED WITH WARE, THE DOOR WAS THEN SEALED WITH FIRE BRICK AND FIRE CLAY AND WAS READY TO START BURNING.

The Huntingburg Public LibraryspacerInside the Huntingburg Public Library