Thursday, September 19, 2013

Medalta Pottery of Medicine Hat

Photo left: Historic brick kilns at Medalta

Established in 1912 by The Medicine Hat Pottery Company, the Medalta name combined word parts from town and province. This crockery facility once did a brisk trade.

The CPR was an important customer, as were the Armed Forces. In fact, peacetime pottery production was suspended for the duration of WWII, when troop trains, mess halls, hospitals and POW camps needed Medalta ware.

Even Haile Selassie, the last Emperor of Ethiopia, had a set of dishes with his own crest on them made to order at Medalta.

Right: Inside the kiln, Yasemin ponders the pottery of the past.

Above: Western-themed pottery reflects the culture of the region.

One day, the doors closed on an intact operation.

In 1967, as a Centennial Project, Medalta reopened as a museum, displaying original processes, as well as an excavated kiln foundation.

A few dishes are still made and sold, and many, many designs, like the cattle themed ones above left, remain on display.

Right: Examples of made to order Medalta ware from the heyday


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