906 05 Sobotište, Slovakia
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Sobotište ceramists

Technological knowledge of the production of faience was acquired by anabaptists before their arrival in Sobotište, but their producers had to get acquainted with the new environment and raw materials resources. One of the most difficult problems was the relationship of the production material – clay with applied coatings and their mutual adherence. In Sobotište there were deposits of extraordinary quality clay, which they dug in two places in the municipal bounds: under the Limestones and in the Calvinist Mountains. All the materials necessary for the production of faience were prepared by the ceramists themselves.

Unlike other craftsmen, the anabaptists did not associate in crafts. Only after the re-Catholicization did the Sobotište descendants of the anabaptists create their own craft in 1770 together with potters. In the craft workshops there was a strict discipline, craftsmen were governed by a special order. The emphasis was on the use of working time, the quality of products and order in the workshop, which was taken care of by the Fatrers of  workshops. The original joint workshop (Hafnerhaus) in Sobotište, identified by Heřman Landsfeld in the 1930s, stood on the edge of the fraternal court. After a great flood in 1630 it was destroyed and rebuilt, but then in 1663 it was burned down by the Turks.

After the collapse of joint ownership in ??? several independent ceramic workshops were established in Sobotište. After the collapse of the joint craft production, those potters who experienced collective production became independent, or became wandering commodities, or craft elsewhere.One of the most famous ceramist makers in Sobotište was the generation of Müllerian jug-shapers (the building of the ceramic workshop from the second half of the 17th century was demolished in the 1970s).

At present around 400 marks on 17th century Haban ceramics are expertly processed and described, most often letters or signs. Heřman Landsfeld identified a total of 32 initial and 22 iconographic symbols from Sobotište. Irena Pišútová presents on the ceramics from Sobotište from the 18th and 19th centuries 12 initial marks, to which also the surnames of the jug-shapers are assigned:

AE, A (Alhchusovci)
W (Wirtovci)
IS (Jacob Schultz)
GB, IB (Baumgartnerovci)
HS (Henrich Schmiedt)
M (Müllerovci)
S (Benjamin Schmiedt)
IP (Pulmannovci)
E (Egelovci)
C (Čederleovci/Csederlovci)

In different variations there is also the mark H, but it is not documented whether the initial H belonged to the Sobotište family of the Huber or Hartmann family. It could also be a member of the jug-shapers origin Hornovcov  of the Veľké Levár, who settled in Sobotište. Furthermore, it was the S brand (Sabatisch) referring to the place of production of the product (but not exclusively, the S brand could also refer to other sites, eg Smolenice).