Beach Pottery and Milk Glass

Some of our favorite beachcombing finds are ceramic fragments with intricate designs and patterns. For centuries, dinnerware has been made from china, bisque, porcelain, earthenware, and stoneware. Most of the blue and white pieces of sea pottery are of Asian descent, while some of the English pieces depict British Royalty. The majority of American dinnerware comes from the Homer Laughlin Company. One of their most popular lines still produced today is the brightly colored Fiestaware from the 1930’s. Some shards can be identified by the trademarks imprinted on the bottom, which are interesting designs themselves.

Milk glass is a fairly recent term that encompasses many forms and colors of opaque glass manufactured over the years. It was first made in Venice during the 16th century. American manufacturers started producing it in the 1900’s as a less expensive substitute for porcelain. It is generally milky white in color, although it was also created in colors such as blue, pink, yellow, brown, and black. It was made into dinnerware, lamps, vases, candy dishes, ornamental baskets, bottles and jars. “Hobnail”, one of the most popular designs, has a series of raised dots or squares.

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