Welcome to the “Pottery of Wisconsin” website. Its three principals, Henry Hecker, Mark Knipping and Peter Maas, have been collecting examples and researching the history of Wisconsin pottery for a combined span of almost a century now. Yet even today we do not pretend to know all there is to know about the subject. This website is intended to function as an open-ended forum to gather and disseminate photographic and historical materials which better document the potters and pottery of this state. Brief introductory chapters on earthenware and stoneware and the development and subsequent decline of the pottery industry here largely are adapted from Knipping’s Master’s Thesis completed in 1971. Subsequent essays on each of the major potteries draw upon research conducted since that time. We invite visitors to the website to add to this body of documented knowledge or to modify or correct statements which they believe to be incomplete or incorrect. The watchword in this endeavor shall be documented, that is, verifiable factual information rather than rumor or speculation.
This is intended to be a history – his story – so it is hoped that some of the humanity involved in the pottery industry will peep through beyond raw statistics. Crunching numbers is valuable in laying a foundation for greater understanding but is not the final value we seek.
When I heard the learn’ d astronomer,
When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
When I was shown the charts and diagrams, to add, divide, and measure them,
When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
Till rising and gliding out I wander’d off by myself,
In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
Look’ d up in perfect silence at the stars.