Erin Kettenburg Pennsylvania German Sgraffito Plate
This authentic 18th/19th century redware plate hand-made by Erin Kettenburg. This plate measures 10 inches in diameter and is a spectacular example of quality, historical sgraffito work. Each piece is made of traditional hand-rolled, drape-molded red Pennsylvania clay and is decorated with basic period materials: yellow/white slip, various manganese, copper and iron oxide colorants and clear overglaze. (For safe handling, Erin does not use lead-based overglazes.) This plate utilizes a slightly crazed overglaze however it has not been highlighted with any premature darkening. As per tradition, backs are unglazed. Each piece is signed on the back. More information about Erin Kettenburg's redware: This redware pottery is being created in true historical tradition and is entirely hand-made. Each plate is formed of red clay which is rolled by hand to appropriate thickness (no rolling mill is utilized) and shaped upon various hump or ‘drape’ molds. A base coating of lightly-colored slip is then applied and decorative elements are subsequently cut through the slip in the old Pennsylvania German sgraffito tradition. Selected coloring agents are used and finally a clear overglaze is applied and fired which yields a very subtle, attractive ‘crazed’ surface. The backs are signed and unglazed. A wide variety of pieces are available ranging from the basic copper-green highlights to more elaborate multi-colored designs incorporating manganese and iron oxide. Erin is working in a primitive folk-art style and each is entirely unique: due to the entirely hand-made nature of these plates, no two will ever be identical! As with true 18th and early 19th century work, the hand of the potter is quite evident in each.
When Robert Weil started collecting images for the Contemporary Makers book in 1973 the challenge to record contemporary gun work was daunting. Gathering material was difficult and time consuming. Few makers thought that there was any value in published documentation of their work. Electronic publishing has changed all that. Having a website or having one's work available to view on the internet is becoming a necessity. In spite of all the potential to finally have a true overview of what's being produced by the artists of today, a great deal of work still remains covered up and basically unknown. Our role is to make an effort to document some portion of what’s going on today. To comment on the established makers and to uncover the unknown. We welcome your comments and suggestions and look to you our readers to make us aware of the talented makers out there. Art and Jan Riser Robert Weil and The Makers