A selection of ceramics through the ages (5 second delay) Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology
PotWeb: Ceramics online
@ the Ashmolean Museum

People and their collections

Robert Plot 1640-96 - scientist & antiquary

Plot and pottery (10) glossary of terms

In The Natural History of Stafford-shire (1686) Robert Plot uses terminology that may be unfamiliar to the modern reader. These terms, and others used in discussion here, are explained below:

  • flat ware - plate or dish

  • hollow ware - cup, mug, posset pot, jug

  • marl - coarse local clay with large natural inclusions (small stones)

  • saggar/shrager - special container made to hold and protect hollow wares during firing

  • sherd/shard - broken fragment of pottery

  • slip - finely prepared clay thinned with water to liquid consistency

  • wasters - heat-distorted or cracked pottery discarded at or near the kiln site. Some distorted pottery was traded if the vessels were still functional, so one or two 'wasters' at a domestic site does not necessarily mean that there was a kiln nearby.

The pottery kiln and firing time

Plot and Pottery

Themes in learned society

Robert Plot: case study
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last updated: jcm/15-dec-2005