Are you interested in learning more about what sparked Phil Schaltenbrand’s passion for Pennsylvania stoneware? Check out Big Ware Turners. Big Ware Turners, Schaltenbrand’s most recent book, highlights the golden age of Pennsylvania stoneware. Pennsylvania’s diverse array of salt-glazed pottery is showcased in the text. Many representative pieces are presented in color throughout the book, along with maps, drawings, period advertisements, and old documents that accent the text.
Schaltenbrand’s book, which took 15 years to research and write, documents 300 large and small stoneware operations which flourished in 43 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. Throughout the text, the author celebrates the skilled potter (many named and some pictured) who was the last of an American breed. No other American industry relied on hand-craftsmen at such a late period. A good potter could turn as many as four hundred vessels in a busy day. Such individuals continued to earn good wages in parts of Pennsylvania into the 1890s.
In Big Ware Turners Schaltenbrand has tried to offer information for scholars, historians, and collectors. At the same time the author has represented the human side of Pennsylvania stoneware manufacture. In a series of strategically positioned sidebars, Schaltenbrand touches on the role of women in the state’s potteries, the impact of the Civil War on stoneware manufacture, and the ways in which potteries coped with fire and flooding, their arch nemeses.
Big Ware Turners can be ordered by calling 724-945-6000 or mailing a check made payable to Phil Schaltenbrand, P.O. 72, Bentleyville, PA 15314. Paperback copies are $35.00, Hardback copies are $55.00. Shipping is $4.00 (please include 6% sales tax in Pennsylvania).