Wednesday, December 17, 2008

isaac button country potter

from grit in the gears : Isaac Button was a country potter in my part of England, near Halifax, -Soil Hill Pottery, which had been working since the early 1700s belonged to him. Robert Fournier (I think it's Robert in the film carrying the board of pots away) and John Anderson made this film in 1963-64. The full film is about forty minutes long. I don't know if it is still available.

In the Independent, November 18th, 1995, John Windsor wrote:

"Isaac Button was a true English country potter. In a day, he could turn a ton of clay into pots. I timed him as he threw a lump of clay on to the wheel, pulled it high, then cut it off with wire: 22 seconds. In an hour, he could turn out 120 pots. In a day, 1,200.

Button's kiln, at Soil Hill, near Halifax, now lies cold and desolate. He died in 1969. But the 41-minute video that records his dexterity had me on the edge of my seat. In his day, speed was essential. Even before the packaging revolution, household pots and jugs made from clay were treated as disposables. They cost only a few pence. Craftsmen potters had to be quick to earn a living from poorly-paid villagers...........

found via bifurcated rivets


soubriquet said...

Fifteen men on a dead man's chest? No wonder he's dead.

Thanks for the link. And watch out for they rivets. Bifurcated, they be, dangnabit.

a rose is a rose said...

i love pots. i have potted. it's not easy and there is no way i could be 1000 an hour (or even two).

i love rivets, even bifurcated ones. unfortunately, not too very many know what a bifurcate (yes, i know) is, here in my hood much less a soubriquet.

i do so like your site. thanks for being