Moravian Pottery

This is a plate made by a Moravian potter around 1800. Pottery like this was very popular and sold well. Moravian records show that settlers in the Piedmont backcountry traveled long distances in wagons to buy Moravian pottery.

The Moravians made earthenware pottery. Earthenware clay is found near the surface of the ground. The same type of clay is used to make bricks.

If you were a Moravian potter you would need the following three items to make earthenware pottery.

• A reddish-yellow clay found near the surface of the ground.

• A glaze made from lead and other minerals such as sand or quartz.

• A kiln that fires or bakes the pottery to a low temperature of 1800 degrees F.




This small bottle is shaped like a fish. A Moravian potter named Rudolf Christ made it almost 200 years ago. Moravian potters often made clay bottles that were shaped as chickens, squirrels, turtles, and fish.

No one is exactly sure what the bottles were used for. Most likely a Moravian settler carried a liquid in it. It would have fit well into a coat pocket. There is a hole at the mouth of the fish where a cork might have been used as a stopper.