The Potter’s Workshop – Folk Pottery at the Hungarian Ethnographic Museum, Budapest

The Hungarian Ethnographic Museum in Budapest has the most wonderful collections of traditional folk ceramics and costume not to mention furniture. This display is of objects and photographs from various potteries, mainly from Hodmezövásárhely which is a major pottery production centre in SW Hungary. Much of the material seems to have been collected in the early years of the 20th-century directly from the potters (or Bowl Masters – see the last image) in a very specifically ethnographic manner. The series of photographs recording activities are systematic – other displays include a record of work being sold at a market. Frustratingly to me al least, the curators have not chosen to display any photos or objects relating to the kilns or firings.
The Potter’s Workshop. Hungarian Ethnographic Museum, Budapest.  

Momentum potter’s wheel. Hodmezövásáhely, Hungary, 1903. Hungarian Ethnographic Museum, Budapest

This momentum wheel looks more like a piece of furniture than a tool. The modelled legs are great. The high back and narrow seat are much ore functional providing a rigid support for centring and managing large quantities of clay. It was collected in 1903 from the workshop of Mihaly Maksa in Hodmezövásárhely. Several of the pots on the shelves to the right of the wheel were made by him.

Foot-wedging and preparing clay for throwing. Presumably in Hodmezövásáhely, Hungary, c.1903. Hungarian Ethnographic Museum, Budapest
Above the photos of wedging are photographs of a clay pit and a potter throwing. Possibly in Hodmezövásáhely, Hungary c.1903. Hungarian Ethnographic Museum, Budapest
Slip-trailing. Presumably in Hodmezövásáhely, Hungary c.1903. Hungarian Ethnographic Museum, Budapest

Slip-trailing – not easy to see the process exactly but a pouring vessel is being used – there is a ceramic one displayed on the right hand side of the front shelf of the wheel. The big dish and the sgraffito jug below are not from Hodmezövásárhely.

A 19th century potter’s workshop sign from Hódmezövasárhely. Translated it reads József Patócs Bowl Master. Great title – no mere potter!

This entry was posted in Folk and Country Pottery, Hungary, Slipware. Bookmark the permalink.

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