Candlesticks are some of the most collected items in American art pottery and Roseville has some of the most remarkable design elements and glazes. Many Roseville Pottery collectors say their collection began with just one pair of candlesticks. Most were hooked and knew they had to continue building their collection. Take a look at a few of the most popular patterns. Eclectic or traditional, glossy or matte finishes – there’s a Roseville pattern for everyone.
And speaking of eclectic, the Roseville Futura includes a candlestick design and it’s unlike anything else most have seen. First, the mouth is square and narrows the closer to the base you get. These designs have two complementing glazes – a bluish/green and more of an eggshell glaze really set these apart. But what draws the eye are the bulb shapes that grace the bottom of the candlesticks. It’s an acquired taste for many, but for the hardcore Futura collectors, this is a must have.
Apple Blossom remains one of the more popular Roseville patterns. Candlesticks are part of this line and they boast the traditional apple tree branch in the handles. The green glaze was smart and it works well with the brown and white that are part of the Apple Blossom charm. It’s little wonder that this was one of those strongest sellers when it was unveiled all those years ago.
Ah – but it’s the Roseville Dahlrose that will catch your attention and hold it. This line has a few bud vases, complete with plenty of decorative elements. Interestingly, these elements don’t overwhelm the presentation and because the bud vases are small, they easily double as candlesticks. That’s just part of the versatility a few of the Roseville patterns bring to the table. Browns and usually a few shades of green define the glazes and the abundance of the white Dahlrose against a textured body just works beautifully.
Many – if not most – of the Roseville patterns have at least one candlestick design. For those who are just beginning their collections, starting with candlesticks or even wall pockets will allow for a great start and will surely drive your passion for adding to your collection. There’s nothing better than coming across a pair of these beauties that you never knew existed. It’s an exhilarating feeling, especially if you’re able to add them to your own collection.
There are so many American art pottery lovers who are leery about purchases they make. It’s understandable; there are plenty of unethical dealers who are less interested in maintaining the authenticity of the sector and more interested in taking the money and running. There exists a code of ethics and reputable sellers adhere to these rules and are committed to running honest, above the board businesses. Here is the foundation in which Just Art Pottery operates.
The American Art Pottery Association is responsible for defining what those business practices and ethics are. One of the most important guidelines is that sellers must adhere to any contract, either verbal or written. Those art pottery dealers who are dedicated to the industry will not rescind a contractual offer, but instead, will honor it.
Not only that, but today’s art pottery is often bought and sold online. This presents unique challenges for businesses that are seeking to build trust in the community. It’s challenging because as consumers, we’re all leery of what we purchase online. We’re worried about our financial information floating around and we’re worried that we’ll receive something and discover it’s nothing like it was advertised. All it takes is one person who doesn’t respect good business habits to make things hard for all others. That’s why it’s even more important that a seller accurately demonstrate any damage. Ideally, he will provide clear photos so that consumers can make informed decisions. Further, ensuring the prices are prominently displayed is also important; it’s all about transparency.
Despite a seller’s best efforts, sometimes damage isn’t pointed out until after the piece has been bought and shipped to its new owner. A reputable company will make it right. More importantly, a company must provide definitive policies so that its customers will make their selections with fewer worries about what his options are should the product not live up to his expectations.
The dynamics associated with art pottery dealers are poles apart from those who sell new merchandise or other retailers. We’re buying and selling pieces that have been owned by others and that have been around for decades – that’s the whole purpose, right? That doesn’t mean quality isn’t an important element.
For the vast majority of sellers, these rules are no-brainers and for Just Art Pottery, we take great pride in putting these practices in place every day. If you haven’t browsed our inventory lately, now’s a great time – we have many outstanding new arrivals that we’re excited about. Have comments or feedback? Drop us a line or join the conversation on Facebook.
While it’s not one of the most well known lines of American art pottery, Brouwer Pottery has an important place in history. If you’re familiar with George Ohr pottery, you know his pieces are often quite intense, which, according to everything known about the Mississippi artist, isn’t surprising considering it mirrored his personality.
Brouwer Pottery is most often compared to that same intensity. In fact, some art pottery experts say Brouwer Pottery is an “acquired taste”. Maybe so, but for those who can appreciate the eclectic presentation, it truly is magnificent.
Theophilus Brouwer invented the open kiln glazing method. If you’re not familiar with this particular process, it includes metal tongs that were placed in the pieces as they were being fired. It became known as “fire painting” and the results are stunning. There are so many hues and color variations that come to life during this process that these artistic efforts are easy to recognize even today. Not only that but Brouwer made his own molds and did all of the casting.
Unlike other lines of American art pottery, damage isn’t necessarily a deal breaker for collectors and often isn’t a factor when it comes to the value. The stunning glaze more than makes up for small nicks, which is a good thing since the firing process didn’t bode well for hardening the pieces. That said, some believe the lighter colors consistently lacked vibrancy and as a result, were under appreciated – both then and now.
This is interesting considering some of those pieces are valued upwards of $10,000. Of course, pieces can still be found for less than $1000. The ease in which damage can be done to these pieces means those with no nicks or damage at all will likely continue to increase in the coming years.
There are plenty of stories about the eccentricities of the talent behind the pottery line and, like Ohr’s pottery, those who do know the backstory are that much more drawn to this pottery collection.
Fulper Pottery is arguably one of the most varied lines of American art pottery. It’s also consistently increased in value over the years and because there are so many influences, it remains now and likely always be highly sought after. Here are ten things you might not have known about this exceptional line.
Fulper Pottery underwent several name changes during its existence and wasn’t always a true art pottery manufacturer. Samuel Hill was the first owner and in 1815, his Flemington New Jersey company sold drain tile. By the mid 1850s, one of his employees, Abraham Fulper, became a partner and after Hill’s death, Fulper bought the company.
Initially, the new company began as a stoneware producer and offered more functional pieces such as pitchers and bowls.
Fulper was produced for just twenty five years and in that time, there were more than 1,000 shapes and sizes.
The most recognized line is Vasekraft. It was introduced in late 1909 by the original founder’s grandson, William Hill Fulper II. He was also one of the earliest artists who took risks with different color variations.
Another reason it’s so varied is because of cultural influences. The earliest pieces had a German flair, most likely because of German potter John Martin Stagl. Oriental is considered the dominating influence in those middle years and eventually, there was a definitive art deco style that was more of an influence.
The glazing during those earliest years, again, influenced by Stangl, are often described as “curious” and present as a “vertical rectangle” stamp. This marking can be found on the pottery pieces up until around 1920.
If you come across a lighter clay body, odds are, it’s one of the later pieces.
Fulper Pottery is the first company to offer a single color glazed dinnerware in the United States. The year was 1920.
The Flemington plant was destroyed in 1929 by a fire. The company relocated to Trenton, New Jersey.
By 1955, the name had changed again to Stangl Pottery and once again began offering the more functional pieces.
Polia Pillin began her studies of ceramics in Chicago, at the Hull House, after she’d established herself as a talented painter years earlier. By the late 1940s, the artist and her husband, also an artist in his own right, set up shop in Los Angeles. It began, as many great things often do, in their garage. Make no mistake – these two were a pair and one simply could not create without the presence and efforts of the other. William was the one who appreciated unexpected finds in glazes while Polia saw what every piece should look like in her mind’s eye. Unlike other potters, whose markings vary over the years, Pillin art pottery pieces are marked with a stylized Pillin signature.
Pillin Pottery may not be as mainstream as its other artistic counterparts, but there is an elegance and sophistication found in this Polish artist’s works. Polia and William Pillin worked as a team from the moment they founded their pottery studio in 1948. While William shaped the various pots, vases and other designs, Polia hand painted each one. It doesn’t take long to realize her favorite subjects included living things – dancers, birds, fish, horses and other “women of interesting allure”.
She was inspired by Picasso. And, much like Picasso, whatever vessel was presented to her by her husband, she allowed that to define what the project would ultimately become. An odd-shaped plate or tile worked nicely as a canvas to paint an upright woman with long flowing hair with a blackbird perched on her knee. A full vase was ideal for a plump fish and the more contemporary vases that were tall and narrow were just right for her to explore shapes, lines and color combinations.
It comes as little surprise then that many experts cite the artistry, more so than the shapes, as most interesting. There’s a subdued mystery that seems to be crafted into these works of art. Part of that could be because these art potters aren’t mainstream and frankly, we don’t know as much about these artists as we do those associated with the Roseville Pottery or Weller Pottery names. Either way, though, there’s no denying the markings and when you come across one, you know you have discovered a jewel. It’s believed much of these Pillin Pottery works remain undiscovered.