During the 18th and 19th centuries, potters made objects worked from local clay known as redware. Jugs, bowls, cups, porringers, and crocks were made at a wheel, while flat pieces such as the platter pictured here were made using a process called drape molding – forming clay into a ball, flattening it, cutting the slab into a shape, and then draping it over a mold to dry.

Because of the porous nature of the clay, redware was often glazed. The most common glaze was a clear coating of lead mixed with silica. For decorative effects, potters also used liquid clay called slips. METC’s redware platter is an example of a slip-decorated piece.

The yellow wave designs on the dish, a popular motif in redware, are the result of a white slip changing colors after being glazed and fired.

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