|A bowl with a painted decoration from the Poljanska gate (photo: Jože Štukl). |
The exhibited pottery was found in Škofja Loka in 1972, when the protective excavations of the Komun and the Poljanska town gate in Mestni trg (Town Square) were carried out.
Loka’s painted bourgeois pottery could be categorized as high-quality tableware of a bourgeois type. Among the tableware there are different types of shallow and soup plates, large and small bowls and platters. This tableware therefore reveals the eating habits of that time and the manner in which food was served.
If we examine the manufacturing technique
, we can see that all these vessels were made on a throwing wheel and richly decorated. This richness in the forms of the decoratively painted, polished, engraved and glazed motifs surpasses the usual functional and even decorative purpose of plain everyday tableware.
Among the more demanding techniques of decoration
we can find the engraving technique. With this technique we can see various motifs engraved in the white engobe. This sort of decoration is usually richly painted. However there are also some vessels where the decoration is limited only to painting. All vessels were ultimately coated with a transparent glaze and re-fired.
|A plate with a plant motif (photo: Jože Štukl). |
that were used for painting are blue, violet, green, orange, yellow, brown and white. The potters managed to get an even greater colour variety and broader choice of hues with mixing or applying a thicker or more tenuous colour.
include a variety of images from the world of plants, which mainly include leaves, vines, flowers, various fruits etc. Among the animal motifs we can most frequently find images of birds, fishes and a cock. The most numerous and by far the richest are however the geometrical motifs (concentric circles, rim plaits with circular or angular lines, sequences of lines, dots, zig-zag ornaments, triangles, squares, rhombi, meshwork and numerous combinations of these and similar motifs). The motifs' expressed range from realistic to stylized images.
|Individual letters of the alphabet on a fragment of a bowl (photo: Jože Štukl). |
Large plates with engraved dates (e.g. 1583) and individual letters of the alphabet are considered a speciality. The plate with a depiction of a female bust in profile can be categorized among the representative pieces of painted pottery which were given as presents on various occasions.
|A plate with year (photo: Jože Štukl).|
|A plate with a profile of a woman’s bust (photo: Jože Štukl).|
Regarding the origins of Loka’s painted bourgeois pottery, we can say, with a strong likelihood, that the pottery was made by local potters and was not imported. In the decorative techniques and in the motifs, we can find similarities with the north Italian pottery of that time. But these are actually only similarities. As regards the realization and combination of motifs, Loka’s painted bourgeois pottery is unique and very different from the north Italian production. Taking into account the strong pottery tradition in Škofja Loka, which is documented in historical sources originating from a time before the establishment of the Potter’s Guild, and considering the large amounts of the pottery discovered, we can justly assume that the discovered pieces were made by local potters although they were manufactured under the influence of the more developed pottery centres.
The exhibited pottery can be roughly dated to the 16th. and the first half of the 17th. centuries.