Sunday, March 18, 2012

Pueblo Pottery from HH Tammen circa 1894

1894 Catalog of the HH Tammen Company
Winterthur Museum Library 

pages 18, 19 (click to enlarge)

"The only implements used in making this Puebloan pottery are little trowels made of clay and mortars and pestles of stone, the latter serving to reduce to a powder the mineral substances employed in part in the decoration. When formed by hand and trowel and into the desired shapes, a number of the unbaked vessels are placed together, and an oven-shaped pile of combustible manure is piled around them and set on fire, by which process those utensils intended for cooking'are finished, when sufficiently hardened in the fire. The finer vessels, designed for uses which will not impair their beauty, are covered with a fine quality of white clay, which, after being allowed to dry, is capable of a high polish. Upon this coating the vegetable and mineral paints are applied, with a piece of rabbit skin for a brush, in such designs as suit the artist's fancy. The intense blackness of one kind of ware is produced by covering them, when very hot, with a second heap of manure-fuel ; the sudden partial cooling that ensues, causes them to absorb the smoke, which becomes oxidized upon their surfaces. In the Santa Clara towns the burning is done in small square ovens built into the walls of the houses; each family bakes its own pottery, and family marks, or peculiarities of symbolical ornamentation distinguish each matron's make. We offer for sale the following rare collection of twenty-three pieces…"