Traditional Handmade Custom Dinnerware

Oval steak platter and sandwich/salad plate with scrafitto “Trellis” pattern and color accent

Handmade Pitcher Molds

Soup Bowls and Dinner Plates

Sarah’s freehand scrafitto decoration in wet slip

Cupboard friendly stacking

History

For over 50 years, Judson Pottery has been making custom dinnerware. One of our first commissions was for an artist and his wife in Taos who had an impossibly narrow dining room in an old adobe house. They needed oval plates to fit the long, narrow table. We made twenty-four place settings for them. After that we were hooked on the process.

"Pitcher" Molding Process

Rather than being thrown on the wheel, most of our dinnerware is made by the traditional hand process where soft clay slabs are placed over pitcher molds (pitcher is a medieval English pottery term for the handmade clay molds in the form of upside-down plates and bowls) then compressed into place, smoothed and trimmed. Foot rings are added while the plate or bowl is still upside down on the mold.

The resulting plates and bowls are uniform in dimensions, so they stack easily and look neat in the cupboard. Also, matching replacements are easier for us to make at a later date if needed.

While our pitcher molded plates and bowls have a utilitarian uniformity, each piece also has pleasing irregularities not typical of wheel-thrown ware. This character nicely compliments our local clays and glazes.

Because the stresses of making are more uniformly distributed with pitcher molding than with wheel-thrown plates and bowls, this dinnerware has proved highly durable for years of daily use.

Different variations on pitcher molding were being used by the Chinese more than a thousand years ago and in Europe from the middle ages to the Industrial Revolution. In Early America it was a part of the colorful German and English earthenware traditions. Once the industrialization of ceramic manufacturing took hold, the folk tradition of pitcher molding died out.

Sarah does most of our dinnerware decoration. She is a gifted and fluent decorator. Sarah will be happy to work with you to discover patterns that will express your sensibilities.

Cost

Bridal registry welcome!

Dinner Plate
10.5" round
$60.00
Salad Plate
8.75" round
$48.00
Pasta Bowl
10.5" round
$66.00
Soup Bowl
8.75" round
$54.00
Steak Platter
13" x 9.5" oval
$69.00
Sandwich Plate
10.25" x 7.5" oval
$48.00
Dessert Dish
6.5" round
$24.00
Cup and Saucer
6.5" round saucer
$45.00

Lead free, oven-proof and dishwasher safe.

 

Some Pattern Examples  

All patterns can work with round or oval plates

Hexagram

Blue Sky

Badger Claw

Grassroots

Moonshine

Trellis

Blue Milkweed

Earth & Sky

Milkweed

Wild Blue

Wreath

Blue on Blue

Berry Vine

Basketweave

Catseye

Twilight

Prairie Sky

Wavy Gravy

How to order

  • Visit Judson Pottery to select your dinnerware pieces and decide on quantity.
  • Consult with Sarah to personalize your pattern.
  • 20% deposit with order.
  • Allow 60 days for fulfillment.