Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Daryle Lambert - Spatterware or Spongeware?

Yesterday, I introduced you to Spatterware and the exciting prices that can be achieved if you find the right pieces. I hope you didn't go rushing off to buy something and ended up with Spatterware's poor cousin, Spongeware.

The technique used to produce Spongeware is totally different than that for Spatterware. With Spongeware, the design is applied by a sponge or piece of cloth, and often the entire surface of the item is decorated. The reason that I call this type of dinnerware the poor cousin is because you will find very few pieces selling over $1,000, while with Spatterware, $1,000 is often just the starting point.

Spongeware is more primitive than the Spatterware, so therefore, it is far less attractive for using as decoration, in my opinion. When I spent my early years on the farm with my grandparents, there was always a lot of spongeware being used in everyday situations. In fact my grandfather used a Spongeware crock to make his butter in. But just because it is the poor cousin, doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t become familiar with it.

Looking through several books, I found that there are still pieces of this stoneware that you should be familiar with. For example, I find a maple syrup jug in blue and white with a bail handle will still bring over $1,000. Also a teapot might fetch up to a $1,000 if it is in mint condition.

In Hancock County, Kentucky, we didn’t make maple syrup, but we did have molasses made from sugar cane and real honey that we harvested right from the bee hive. These were always kept in Spongeware jars just waiting for grandmother's homemade biscuits and freshly churned butter.

It is amazing how so many of the items I see, like Spatterware and Spongeware, return me in my mind's eye to my wonderful early years spent of the farm. I am so thankful that writing for you gives me this opportunity to return to those times ahd share them with others. I've noticed that when people get to be a certain age, they long for some of the items that bring them back to their childhood days. I can see that there is comfort in that, and is probably the reason many people buy certain items. In fact, I just might go out and find myself a piece of spongeware to remind me of where I came from.

I remember some excitement on the farm one day when we discovered a bee hive inside the wall next to the chimney. Of course all the children were screaming and my uncles were setting the newspapers afire so that the smoke would scare the bees away. My little cousins and I all wondered if the whole house was going to be set ablaze. But, they did have the blaze under control and yes, we did get to enjoy all the honey later that day. I can still see that spongeware container. Yes, I do believe that God is truly in charge. - Daryle

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