The discovery of an early-modern potter's workshop in Kroměříž : (paper on the work of potters and stovebuilders in the bishopric of Kroměříž in the 17th century)
Source document: . Středověké a novověké zdroje tradiční kultury : sborník příspěvků ze semináře konaného 30. listopadu 2005 v Ústavu evropské etnologie. Editor: Křížová, Alena. Vyd. 1. Brno: Ústav evropské etnologie Masarykovy univerzity, 2006, pp. -165
In late 2004 Kroměříž Museum acquired - as a result of its archaeological research on Kroměříž's Riegrovo náměstí [Riegr Square] - a substantial assemblage of early-modern ceramics, which has made an important contribution to our understanding of local work in pottery from the later 17th century The archaeological circumstances as established on the site of house 159/160 Riegrovo náměstí were dominated by traces of the work of potters and stovebuilders in the shape of pits which served as kilns (objects 1, 2, 5, 11, 12, 14), the remnants of baking apparatus (object 3), and desultory strata of potters' waste which filled the uneven terrain of the mid and rear parts of the site (next to the ramparts). Entered in site records as the owners of the house in the second half of the 17th century are the potters Jeremiáš Skála and Jan Kratochvíle (Kratochvil). Most of the ceramics - or waste produced in the workshops of potters and stovebuilders - discovered are from the Early Modern age. Of these materials, sherds predominate of pieces intended for practical purposes - pieces untreated or glazed (to a lesser extent, smoked) which belonged to hollow or shallow utensils, most commonly pots, jugs, bowls, plates, tripods, and to a more limited degree roasting dishes and table drinking sets (hoioa-type drinking vessels, small jugs, cooling jugs). Almost no evidence of lids was found. With the exception of articles for use in stovebuilding (and a number of utensils shaped for particular purposes) most of the findings were from common kitchen- and tableware for use in the town kitchens and the dwellings of the people. The overwhelming majority of sherds were of coloured body (of a brown or brick-red hue), often with marked traces of grog. We can assume that the potters of the town used local clays of lower quality. The findings did not include products of whitish or grey-whitish body (of fine, elutriated clay), the like of which we know from waste sites from baroque times uncovered on plots in the area of Velké náměstí [Great Square] on which stood the houses of the town's more privileged classes. The potters' waste accumulated from the findings made it clear that a significant proportion of the products of coloured body bore a (green or brown-green) glaze. From the point of view of typology, the collected findings are altogether striking. Plates of red body are common, with insides coated in white engobe and a green glaze. A small proportion of plates have their origin in Renaissance morphology. Also represented are later engobed plates with narrower edges, some of which bear ornamental painting (in the image of a plant). With the exception of the ixidimen-tary ornamentation of bowls and plates, the collection contains no products with more interesting adornments. The range of workshop products contains some of unusual shape, which probably were designed to meet the demands of a particular customer. The green-glazed stove tile is another important product of the town potter represented here: evidence is in the form of many semi-finished products and rejected items. The great majority of stoves were of the tiled type; these can be placed in the episcopate of Charles Liechtenstein-Kastelkorn (1664-95). In addition to the findings of archaeology, this type of tile (with a heraldic motif on its front side, as is the case with the tiles discovered during investigations on the site of the baroque orangery in the Flower Garden) are also known from the surviving late-Renaissance stoves at the castle at Chropyně, which are thought to be the work of a circle of Moravian Anabaptist stovebuilders. The social environment of the potter - who was a member of the urban craftsman class - is illustrated in a set of table glasses, which, together with potters' and kitchen waste, was found among the contents of the kitchen midden.
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