Moonstone Pottery specializes in reproductions of English pottery from the 16th and 17th Centuries, as well as functional pottery for the table. Barbara Flynn has been producing hand-thrown stoneware in the Central Coast of California since 1988 and sold her work at California Renaissance Faires for many years.
Puzzle mugs were very popular in England and the US until the 19th C. The puzzle mug Barbara makes is a style from the early 16th C that carried inscriptions inviting the drinker to place a bet on drinking without spilling. The inscriptions Barbara puts on her puzzle mugs are true to examples she has found in English museums.
Bellarmine jugs originated in Germany and have a stylized face motif near the neck of the bottle. These popular Bellarmine jugs made by Barbara Flynn have been given as awards by Bellarmine University in Lexington, KY. They were also called Bartmann jugs or 'witches' bottles. If you were plagued by a witch, you filled a Bellarmine jug with the urine and hairpins of a known witch and buried it under your hearth to protect your home.
The costrel, also called a harvest bottle or pilgrim bottle, carried everything liquid for the foot traveler.
Each piece is handmade, glazed or decorated by the artist and then fired in a gas kiln to 2350 degrees. Since it is fired at such a high temperature, stoneware is relatively chip and breakage resistant and can be used safely in the microwave, dishwasher and oven. It is completely non-toxic, free of lead, cadmium or lithium.