Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Ceramics, Nails, Glass...O My!

Since we have opened up units between the wall and the sidewalk we have come across a great many things. Square 8 turned out to be a jackpot of artifacts! This unit is on the Laurel Street side of the wall about 70 ft in from the corner. From looking at old maps and photographs this unit could have been right outside the old greenhouse and together with the artifacts recovered it might be one of our first clues to uncovering remnants of the old structure. Tons of terracotta including small fragments of seedling pots came out of the unit. The presence of this type of artifact does not surprise me if it is from the greenhouse, because what would you expect to find in a greenhouse?...well flower pots of course! Also, more metal and glass came out of this unit than all of the other units combined...another clue to a possible structure. In addition to the terracotta there were also some interesting fragments of ceramics. Two fragments of a transfer printed ceramic with over glazed hand painted motif were recovered from this unit, pictured to the left. The interesting thing about this piece is that it is both transfer printed and hand painted. Though these were common processes for decorating ceramics, I have never seen in on one piece together. It will be interesting to investigate these pieces and what that might mean.

Just to fill you in an what I mean as to transfer-printed ceramic versus hand-painted, here is a little insight. Transfer-print is a technique used where an applique with a design is transferred to the ceramic, then a clear glaze is applied over the print. Hand-painted decorations are just that, hand-painted then glazed over. The piece above was transfer-printed, glazed, hand-painted, and then glazed again, fascinating!

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