Frankoma Pottery was founded in 1933 by John Frank. The name Frankoma was developed from Frank’s last name and the last three letters of Oklahoma. The company is best known for its sculptures and dinnerware although the company made many other products including bookends, figurines, vases.
Identifying the date of production of Frankoma pottery can sometimes prove difficult. A recent article in Antique Week provided some valuable insight into dating Frankoma pottery. Between 1933 and 1954 Frankoma used tan clay from the Ada, Oklahoma area. Many collectors now refer to the pottery from this era as Ada clay pieces.The Ada clay pieces are typically the most sought-after by pottery collectors.
Between 1954 and 1980, Frankoma used a brick red clay. Frankoma collectors commonly refer to this clay as Sapulpa clay pre-1980. In the 1980s the clay color became a light pink or orange.
The earliest Frankoma pieces (1933-1934) were marked either Frank Potteries Norman Okahoma, or with the OKLA abbreviation rather than the full state name, or simply Frank Potteries. Some examples of Frankoma from this time period can be found with a rubber stamp Frankoma mark. Frankoma also used the cat mark between 1934 and 1938.
Between 1934 and 1954, Frankoma used an impressed mark. Prior to a large fire at the plant in 1938 the Frankoma mark had a round ‘O’ after the fire the ‘O’ became more oblong. The Antique Week article also indicated John Frank personnally signed pieces that were given as gifts.
John Frank past away in 1973. Frankoma continued in operation until the end of 2004. In 2005, the pottery was reopened for business. To find out more information on Frankoma Pottery check out these resources:
Greg Myroth – JustArtPottery.com