It’s not like I’ve polled everyone I’ve ever met, but so far, I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t think ceramic crocks are cool for one reason or another. They might not be their style and they might not own any but most people seem to acknowledge ceramic crocks have their place.
Today, ceramic crocks are mainly used for home decoration but 200 years ago ceramic crocks were vital to survival.
Yes, survival. We take refrigeration for granted today. Sometimes my kids just loiter in front of the open refrigerator doors letting all the cool air out while pondering their snack options. *sigh*
Without a doubt, the invention of home refrigeration was a game changer when it came to storing and preserving food. But how did we make it through snack time before refrigeration?
Ceramic crocks were one answer.
Families used ceramic crocks to preserve food through pickling or fermentation so that they could eat fruits and vegetables over the winter when their gardens were not producing. Ceramic crocks were also used for brining meat, storing butter, and making hard cider.
I’m pretty sure a glass or two of hard cider would help me survive the winter in the 1700s! How about you?
For those of you living in the U.S., stoneware, including ceramic crocks, was imported from Europe until around the American Revolutionary War. After the 1780s, American potters began producing stoneware for their communities and it was a localized business mainly due to logistics.
How do you know if your ceramic crock is the real deal? According to the experts, there are tells.
If your ceramic crock is shiny and also kind of bumpy, that’s a good sign it has a salt glaze and is an antique, not a reproduction. If your crock says “limited or Ltd” on the bottom it was made after 1861 and if your crock says “made in” followed by a country name, it was likely made in the 1900s.
There are other ways to determine if your crock is antique or reproduction and you can learn more about that here.
I think I have some crocks that are true antiques based on their glaze and bumpy texture but I’m not sure about all of them. Although, that doesn’t matter much to me. I love them all equally!
My dear neighbor recently gave me her collection of ceramic crocks. I KNOW! She’s a saint. I told her I would love them forever and I wasn’t even joking.
Most of my crocks serve two purposes. They are decorative, of course. But they also store things I don’t use often like cookie cutters or craft supplies. I use two larger crocks, a #4 and a #6, as trash cans. And almost all of my crocks have held a plant a time or two.
Having the luxury of living in the 21st century and being able to decorate with ceramic crocks instead of depending on them for food preservation is something I don’t take for granted. Understanding how far science has brought us, especially in the last 100 years, makes me so happy and appreciative of the conveniences of modern life.
I used information from these articles and sites to write this blog post. Definitely check them out if you’d like to learn more about how to identify and value your ceramic crocks.
17 Uses For Ceramic Crocks
- Use a ceramic crock as a plant holder for either inside or on your front porch.
- Use a crock as a vase for a bouquet of flowers.
- Store and display craft and office supplies like paintbrushes, pens, pencils, etc.
- Endless possibilities for shelf or mantel decor with ceramic crocks.
- Use it as a utensil caddy next to your stove or a dishwashing caddy next to the sink.
- Use a smaller crock as a coin jar.
- Crocks sized #3 – #6 make great trash cans for a bathroom or office.
- Turn a really large crock into a side table by adding a wood top.
- Go back to their originally intended use and make something like sauerkraut!
- If you have a smaller crock with a lid use it to hold powdered laundry detergent.
- Use a crock to hold small items like playing cards, matchbooks, etc.
- A large crock could hold kindling or a collection of throw blankets.
- Shallow crocks can be used like a bowl for chips on a buffet table.
- Use a crock as a candle holder.
- Turn a crock into a picnic caddy to hold paper plates, utensils, etc.
- Use a medium-sized crock as a magazine, newspaper, or music book holder.
- Use as a caddy to hold pet toys, leashes, and other supplies.
Thanks for being here today. I appreciate you! Here are some other blog posts you might enjoy.