Archives for October 2010

Selling Your Art Pottery Collection?

Interested in downsizing or upgrading your pottery collection? Recently inherited a collection of American Art Pottery?Roseville Ferella Vase

Just Art Pottery is actively buying American art pottery. We are interested in single pieces or entire collections. We are able to offer nationwide pickup for many large collections and can coordinate safe shipping of your art pottery collection if required. Recently, Just Art Pottery has arranged safe pickup and shipment of large estate art pottery collections on both coasts as well as Michigan, Connecticut, and South West Florida.

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The Ninth Annual George Ohr Gala


Fans of the eclectic – and sometimes mysterious – George Ohr are making plans to hit the beautiful Mississippi Gulf Coast for the Ninth Annual George Ohr Gala. The event is hosted this year by the breathtaking and recently rebuilt Beau Rivage Casino in Biloxi, Miss. As many of you know, when Hurricane Katrina made landfall in August, 2005, it annihilated both the Beau Rivage and the considerable work that had already been completed to the new George Ohr museum. Since then, almost superhuman efforts have been made to get both restored to their original beauty. It’s been a fascinating journey and an impressive and newly produced video will chronicle the years of the Ohr Museum and the Mad Potter himself, George Ohr.

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Displaying Your Art Pottery Collection

Cherry Blossom 2

We’ve written about the different ways art pottery can be displayed. Many of us like to keep our specific lines together, opting to create a space for our Roseville Pottery and another area in our homes we reserve for perhaps a lovely collection of Rookwood Pottery. Still, there are those of us who love nothing more than to find a common denominator between several collections; perhaps it’s a floral theme or maybe shades of greens and blues, and then create an eclectic array that brings out the beauty in each unique piece. Regardless of your preferences, there are a few things to keep in mind as you set about creating that display space. Here are a few tips we’ve learned over the years that may help in your efforts.

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Roseville Pottery with an Autumn Theme

B This is the time of year when just walking outdoors energizes us.  Those changing leaves, the crisp air and the anticipation of the upcoming holiday season are enough to draw us from the sofa for a bit of well spent time outside.  With that in mind, we thought we’d take a look at some of the many lines of Roseville Pottery for those fall or autumn inspired themes.  Take a look and see if any of these are among your Roseville favorites:

Roseville “Autumn” – This line of Roseville Pottery was introduced in 1910.  With more of a practical approach to its style, these pieces incorporate fall sunsets with exquisite colors of golds, oranges and browns.  Each piece from the Autumn collection incorporates tree decals and river scenes.  While most of these pieces are unmarked, there are examples that have die impressed numbers.  It’s a beautiful collection that offered approximately 15 shapes.

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Incredible Newcomb Pottery Find

As our readers know, we always love a great story that involves an unlikely find in an even more unlikely place.  This time, the find is a beautiful Newcomb Pottery vase found in at a Pennsylvania yard sale.  And the cost for this lovely Newcomb piece?  A single dollar.  That’s right – Joseph sent his story and the photos you see here and while we were more than a little impressed, once we read how much he paid for it, we knew he’d just made a very wise investment.

The Newcomb vase is marked with the “NC” mark and the initials “JM”, which we know was Joseph Meyer.  The pictures, as you can see, reveal a those traditional blues Newcomb Pottery is so well known for and the glossy glaze really allows the hues to shine through. 

Newcomb 001 As you may know, Newcomb Pottery began not so much as a business venture, but rather, an educational effort of introducing functional, yet visually pleasing, art pottery to a society that appreciated the beauty in all things art related, but that also needed a way to acquire it in an affordable manner.  Enter the Newcomb College Pottery experiment that began in an unused building on the New Orleans campus of Tulane University.

Another interesting fact about Newcomb Pottery is that in the beginning, all of the artists were women born in the south.  During this time at the turn of the century, it’s likely these women would have led “cookie cutter” lives; instead, they were afforded the opportunity to allow their artistic abilities to shine through.  The result was a self-supported academic program that financially carried itself as the pottery was sold to the public and the money then reinvested back into the program.

What we’re left with today are those incredible finds, such as the one Joseph found, that symbolize the loving care and artist’s patience that each Newcomb Pottery piece reveals.

**Note:  We received a correction from a loyal reader on those early Newcomb Pottery days:

The Newcomb College Pottery was launched c.1894 in the art department of the college–not in an unused building at Tulane U., which was several miles away. As the enterprise grew, the college built a handsome building to house the pottery studios and sales showroom. It was not until c.1920 that Newcomb College move to its uptown campus adjacent to Tulane.

Thanks for the correction and keep those comments coming!  


A Loss in the Van Briggle Pottery Family

STEVENSON09292010.tif_012650 Bertha Ellen Stevenson, who found herself at the helm of Van Briggle Pottery after her husband’s death in 1990, passed away on September 25, 2010 in Denver, Colorado.  She was a true visionary with an artistic ability few have ever possessed.  Passionate about the beauty that is synonymous with Van Briggle Pottery as well as classical music and a love for animals, Mrs. Stevenson will be remembered for her generosity, her kindness and her open heart.  She and her husband’s mission was to continue Artus Van Briggle’s dream; they succeeded ten-fold.  When Mrs. Stevenson’s husband, Kenneth, took the reins at Van Briggle, they were only beginning to embark on those new trends and more contemporary designs, including glossy glazes that are indicative of the 1950s and 1960s.  The company thrived under the couple’s direction.  The Stevenson’s son, Craig, remains with the pottery as its chief designer.

Mrs. Stevenson is survived by her three children, a sister and eight grandchildren.  If you wish to honor her, the family has requested donations be made to the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, where she volunteered regularly.  She was laid to rest October 2nd, 2010 and will be missed by all who knew and loved her.  Our condolences and prayers go to the Stevenson family.


The Van Briggle Story

It’s easy to sometimes forget that behind all of these glorious American art pottery pieces we love to Vanbriggle
collect are the people, with their own stories and who first aspired to bring their version of beauty into the lives of others. One of these stories is that of Artus Van Briggle, who, of course, founded Van Briggle Pottery

This incredibly talented man found himself stepping off a train at the foot of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado Springs, Colorado.  A gifted artist already, since he’d traveled throughout Europe and learned from some of the most respected teachers in the world, he laid aside his paint brushes and picked up a ball of clay.  For the next four years, until his death, he created what many believe is some of the most inspirational art pottery to be found anywhere. 

He became acquainted with a local chemistry professor from Colorado College, who helped Van Briggle familiarize himself with the various clays of the area.  He also taught him how to make the most of his long walks around the area by looking for small deposits of kaolin and feldspar, elements that were utilized in clay mixtures.  These deposits were the tell tale signs that clay was nearby.

Before long, he began sharing his artistic results with those in his community and soon, his works were winning awards both in the U.S. and abroad.  Unfortunately, he did not live long enough to enjoy the fruits of his labors of love as he lay on his deathbed even as he received news that he was winning one award after another.  His widow, Anna, opted to continue her husband’s efforts and she too began to incorporate her own talents into the business. 

Vanbrigglevase One story that’s part of the Van Briggle history is that of a local store owner who was so impressed with Van Briggle’s art pottery that she insisted he allow her to display a few of his selections in her store window.  They sold quickly and following a second request by the store owner, Van Briggle allowed 300 pieces to be displayed, in the Christmas season, no less, and the entire display was sold quickly (some reports say within a matter of a few days).  Seven months after that last Christmas, and just five years after his arrival to Colorado in late 1899, on July 4, 1904 Artus Van Briggle passed away. 

Following his death, an article appeared in the Colorado Springs Gazette and was written by Henry Russell Wray:

Van Briggle was a man with a message and he gave it to the world early in life – much earlier than is the privilege of most geniuses.  Few men have do so much for art as did this man and what he might have done had he lived can be judged by what he had already done when the death messenger called him.

We couldn’t agree more.


Top 10 Roseville Pottery Patterns Searched for in September 2010

The ten most searched Roseville Pottery Patterns at for September 2010 are Futura summarized below.  With the exception of the ever popular Roseville Pine Cone pattern, 1940s floral patterns dominated the searches this month.  It is interesting to note not a single middle period pattern made the top ten.    

1. Pine Cone

2. Apple Blossom 

3. Freesia

4. Magnolia

5. Bushberry

6. Zephyr Lily

7. Clematis

8.  Water Lily

9. Snowberry

10.  White Rose

Just outside the top 10 were Sunflower and Baneda.