M.A. Hadley Pottery: Art for the Table
M.A. Hadley Pottery is known for its distinctive hand painted look and single-firing process. It’s beautiful designs celebrate family, tradition, and simplicity. The Little Traveler has a large selection of M.A. Hadley Pottery all year round.
Decoration and single firing process
The decoration is hand painted directly on the green or unfired clay items. Items are then coated with a porcelain-like white glaze by dipping or spraying. The term underglaze is often associated with Hadley Pottery, meaning that the whimsical hand painted design is under the glaze. This makes the decoration permanent.
The pottery is fired only one time to create a maximum bond between the body, decoration, and glaze. Separate firings would leave the decoration vulnerable to abrasion and chipping. Hadley Pottery’s single firing process at approximately 2100 degree Fahrenheit results in chip resistant, dishwasher, oven, and microwave safe pottery.
Unique glazes and “Hadley Blue”
All glazes are compounded and ground on the premises in Louisville, Kentucky. “Hadley Blue” is the company’s signature color. It’s vibrant hue results from the combination of cobalt and various metal oxides. The high firing temperature and glazing requirements limit the range of colors but result in a highly durable product. All glazes are completely lead-free and cadmium-free.
How it’s made
1. Clay is transported inside the factory, where impurities are naturally removed with water. Clay is compressed and converted into “cakes” or thick square slabs.
2. Some Hadley Pottery items, including plates, are formed with a large press, which cuts through the cake to produce flattened curved shapes. Rounded items such as bowls and cups are either jiggered or cast on a potter’s wheel. Other items such as pitchers and figurines require unique molds.
3. Items are then air-dried, at which time they are called “green-ware.”
4. Artists hand paint Mary Alice Hadley designs on each piece before a white glaze is applied.
5. Products are then carefully loaded in the kiln. The heating process takes 24 hours. An additional 24 hours is required for cooling.