Mary's Maiolica Arts

Historical Reenactment

Most of my work is based on my research of historic Renaissance maiolica. The items on this page are some of my best historical recreations of pottery from the Renaissance.

Queen Elizabeth bowl

Queen Elizabeth I Bowl

This ornate rimmed bowl was created as a special commission by members of a local historical reenactment group. It is based on a early 17th century piece given to Queen Elizabeth I of England by the tin-glazed potters of England.

I made the bowl on a potters wheel and decorated it with commercial food safe ceramic glazes and underglazes. I did not have the exact dimensions of the original bowl when I made the bowl, so mine is slightly larger that the historic bowl presented to Queen Elizabeth I.

The center design is thought to be a depiction of the Tower of London. The historic bowl is owned by the Museum of London.

Deer Oakleaf plate

Deer and Oak Leaves Plate

This large (approximately 12 inches) plate is decorated with an oak leaf design described and illustrated in the period manuscript "Three Books of the Potter's Art" written by Cipriano Piccolpasso in 1557. Piccolpasso names this the "Oak Design".

There are "Oak Design" plates in a number of museum collections. The oak leaf design on this plate was primarily based on a 16th century dish in the collection of the British Museum. The image I have of the historic plate is a very small and in black and white. I used another "Oak Design" plate to determine the colors.

I used a number of sources for the center deer design. A number of motifs are common for the center of period maiolica including: portaits, heraldry, weapons, cupids, and animals such as deer, boar, and rabbits. The deer in the center is based primarily on a deer painted in blue and white on a 16th century maiolica plate from Montelupo. I also referred to a 16th century maiolica bowl with a center design of a dog attacking a doe. [See my reproduction of this bowl else where on this page] I used the period illuminated manuscript "the Hunting Book of Gaston Phebus" primarily as a source for a color representation of a deer during the time period. During the Renaissance, printed materials were often used as a design source for maiolica.


Medieval Beastiary bowl

Medieval Beastiary Bowl

This ornate rimmed bowl was based on a 16th century piece in the collection of the British Museum. An image of the historic bowl and a companion piece can be view on Historic Images page of my Maiolica Informatory.

I made the bowl on a potters wheel and decorated it with commercial food safe ceramic glazes and underglazes. I estimated the shrinkage of the clay as I made the bowl so that the fired piece would be approximately the same size as the original.

All the decoration was all done with same dark blue underglaze. I diluted the blue various amounts to achieve the shading.


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