Archives for July 2010

The 15th Annual Wisconsin Pottery Association Show & Sale

Van Every year, pottery lovers in and around Wisconsin plan for and look forward to the Wisconsin Pottery Association’s show and sale.  This year, the date is set for Saturday, August 28th, 2010 from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.  It’s one of those events that folks plan their summers around so that they’re sure to be able to attend.  This summer’s event promises to be one of the largest yet.  With more than 50 dealers and what’s being called a “great selection of vintage and contemporary American and other art pottery”, this is going to be one of those shows where everyone finds that perfect art pottery piece to bring home.  Here are some of the pottery lines that will be represented, though this is in no way all-inclusive:

This year’s special event will be a showcase of Wisconsin Art Pottery between the years 1930 and 2010.  It promises to be an impressive view into the striking art pottery that’s come out of Wisconsin over the past eighty years.

Plan to attend if you can and for more information, visit the Wisconsin Pottery Association’s website and if you need a map, click here.


Rookwood Pottery Decorated Wares and Commercial Wares

Rook1 Rookwood Pottery is generally divided into two categories or divisions.  Anita J. Ellis does a superb job in Rookwood Pottery – The Glaze Lines.  It’s an authoritative take on all things Rookwood and anyone wishing to learn more about this incredible line of American art pottery would be well served investing in a copy.  Ellis also provides a clear distinction between the pottery maker’s decorated wares and commercial wares.

Decorated wares include those pieces that were decorated by an artist after the pottery piece was formed.  It doesn’t, however, include those pieces where the artist designed what’s referred to as a “relief”, or a three dimensional decoration created while still in its mold.  This ensured each decoration remained unique, even when it was a variation on one theme or another. 

Rookwood Pottery commercial wares, on the other hand, did not have an artist’s decorative effects following the object’s formation. This means they lacked unique characteristics and were mass produced instead.  These, of course, included those decorative elements created in the mold.

For those who collect and appreciate Rookwood Pottery, these distinctions rarely matter.  It’s the finished look that draws so many.  Since 1880, when Rookwood Pottery was officially founded in an old school house, the company had more than its share of financial struggles.  Still, it remained a formidable art pottery maker and as a result, has endured to become second only to Roseville Pottery in terms of its popularity. 

Collectors still search for that elusive ginger jar from 1881 as well as the spectacular vase with raised Rook2 doves that’s dated in 1900.  The Vellum glaze line that wowed everyone in attendance at the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, Missouri is still spoke of with great awe. The transparency is as appreciated  in contemporary day as it was then.  There’s no denying the vivid detail, the varying glaze lines and the attention to detail the artists were so well known for.

Rookwood Pottery has certainly stood the test of time and one need only examine a single Rookwood piece to appreciate the beauty of the line in its entirety.  Just Art Pottery is proud to offer an extensive line of Rookwood Pottery.

Weller Pottery Matt Green

Mattgreen1 Matt Green, when used in context with Weller Pottery company, is not a name, but rather, a production of a particular glaze dated around 1905.  Historians say it’s one of the more interesting glazes of Weller Pottery and that it came closer to matching in quality to Grueby Pottery than any other pottery company during that time.  For those who collect the Weller Pottery matt green pieces, they know they are rarely marked and have what’s referred to as “highly stylized” features.  Still, many have trouble identifying these pieces.  That’s a shame since it’s possible that beautiful pieces have been overlooked because a collector wasn’t sure if it was a true Weller piece.  Interestingly, the bottoms of most of the pottery pieces finished in this glaze have a blue-green  appearance.  This is indicative that you’re in the presence of a true Weller Pottery piece.  And the values are impressive, too.

An undated matt green jardinière, with applied leaf handles, floriform feet and embossed lilies can bring in an impressive amount, close to a thousand dollars at times and the jardinières with Greek key patterns are considered extremely collectible as well. Another attractive reason to consider collecting the Weller Pottery matt green line is its versatility. Vases of varying sizes and shapes, planters, lamp bases and umbrella stands are just a few of the offerings.  The originality in the designs is remarkable.  One vase, complete with banded handles, is unlike anything else you’re likely to find. It stands 12” high and the “bands” on the two handles resemble vents.  They’re horizontal and extend only to the expanse Mattgreenweller of the handles.  It’s a very unique look – and it definitely adds monetary value to the vase. 

The fact is, there are many beautiful pieces in this glaze line. Weller Pottery definitely has its place in the American art pottery sector and for those who’ve yet to discover it or recognize it for what it offers is in for a real treat once they’re able to really take a closer look.  Do yourself a favor – start with the mat green line.  See all of the Weller Pottery collections at Just Art Pottery.

Roseville Pottery Facts

Roseville I’m always amazed at how many incredible facts and stories are a part of the Roseville Pottery legacy.  These important bits of information come together to define one of the most revered American pottery companies.  I’m sure even the most knowledgeable experts still discover interesting and little known particulars of information from time to time.  After doing research this week, I was able to find several interesting details, most of these coming from a renowned Roseville Pottery expert, Mark Bassett.  Some you may already know, but hopefully, you’ll discover a few facts you weren’t already aware of.

Did You Know…

·         The factory’s failure in the mid-1950s was due to the Raymor collection?  This is interesting considering it’s a favorite among contemporary collectors.  The primary colors found in this collection are avocado (a primary color for anything in the 1950s…remember your Mom or Grandmother’s avocado kitchen appliances?), dark brown and white.  You’ll find desk accessories, vases and other shapes in this Roseville collection.

·         Some avid Roseville Pottery collectors have searched for thirty-plus years for a single piece to complete a collection?  This is testament to the passion many have for this American art pottery company.

·         At one point in the early 1900s, Roseville Pottery found itself in competition with Weller Pottery for the talents of two brothers, Frederick and Harry Rhead?

·         Before undertaking the inception of Roseville Art Pottery in 1892, George F. Young worked as a school teacher, a Singer sewing machine salesman and stoneware salesman?  Six years after opening, the company was relocated to what was once a stoneware plant in Zanesville, Ohio.

·         In 1947, the pottery maker introduced a new alpha-numeric system for its identification  method? The system was a failure and the company reversed to its previous methods.

It’s those little pieces of information that come together and define a company.  Whether you’re a long-time collector or have recently discovered Roseville Pottery, odds are, there will likely always be some little known fact you that pops up and catches you by surprise.