A qualitative study of the R. L. Bloomfield and Athens potteries as a model of narrative inquiry in historical research in art education
Blair, Charles B
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This dissertation is the historical study of two local potteries that manufactured stoneware products at the same location in Athens, Georgia, in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The R. L. Bloomfield Pottery, also known as the Athens Pottery Works, was in business from approximately 1884 until 1892. The Athens Pottery, also known as the Harsha Pottery, existed from approximately 1912 until 1914. The description of the transition of the earlier Bloomfield Pottery into the Athens Pottery serves as a metaphor for the decline of the handmade pottery tradition, at the turn of the twentieth century, into the era of mass- produced machine- made goods. During this change, the potters who still produced handmade products have been confused with unskilled factory workers, because censuses and other documents list them as laborers. This study attempts to rectify this error by identifying these potters so that they may be recognized for their contributions to the tradition of ceramics that is currently a part of the curriculum of art education. In the process of generating this study, a bifurcated synthesis of historical methodology and narrative inquiry has been created to fit the specific needs of this art educational study. Procedures of historical methodology were illuminated by the use of a narrative in the tradition of arts- based research. This experimental fusion provides another direction for qualitative methodologies specifically for graduate students in art education.
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