Making a (Pickle) Stand: Porcelain and Politics in Revolutionary Philadelphia

Michelle Erickson will give a public demonstration on her seminal work “Making a Bonnin and Morris Pickle Stand” published in Ceramics In America 2007 and recreate this 18th-century American porcelain superstar while a rare original example (currently on loan to the Museum of the American Revolution from the Philadelphia Museum of Art) is on view.

Erickson will share her process of reverse engineering to bring the piece to life using techniques of throwing, modeling, and life casting porcelain. While making the pickle stand in real time, Michelle will discuss the context of the original masterwork, which was produced in Philadelphia at the Bonnin and Morris factory (1770-1772) amidst burgeoning forces of Revolution. The first American porcelain manufacturer, the ‘tripartite’ form and the life cast shells that distinguish the 18th-century American design from its British and European counterparts describe a unique story of American Independence. 

Throughout the day, watch a 3D printing of a Philadelphia pickle stand in person in the rotunda and learn more about 3D printing artifacts, historical items, and fossils from Dr. Bernard Means, Director of the Virtual Curation Laboratory at Virginia Commonwealth University.


Image Credit: Still Making a Bonnin and Morris Pickle Stand, The Clay Studio Philadelphia Design Week, 2015 Videographer, Jorin Hood