Archives for July 2011

Roseville Olympic Pottery Line

The Roseville Olympic art pottery line was introduced in 1906 as one of the final additions to the Roseville Rozane line. Many have said the line in its entirety was inspired by Wedgwood designer John Flaxman. Others point out that the line is reminiscent of Homer’s Iliad and another Greek text, Works and Days. Regardless of where the inspiration came from, there is no denying the deep color combinations, with a rich brownish red serving as the foundation and ivory, black and subtle gold coming together to define the contrasting and adding depth to this well-loved Roseville Pottery favorite.

While this collection is certainly not whimsical or casual as say, Roseville Sunflower or Roseville Vista, it most certainly is dramatic and very detailed. In fact, the Roseville Olympic 11″ vase offers very precise detailing with painstaking perfection. The black handles add a rich contrast while the beveled rim and base are completed with those small details that define remarkable art pottery. The high gloss adds yet one more level of elegance.

The designs were explained by one historian, D.F. Haynes, in the late 1800s and read, in part:

The design is engraved on a copper plate, mineral colors…stand firing are mixed with a specially prepared oil and a print is taken from the plate on a sheet of tissue paper…laid in proper position and rubbed with a flannel until it adheres. Tints are sometimes used by covering the piece with a thin coat of oil, which the color is applied thereafter followed by a fine powder dusting.

There are definitive Greek tell-tale signs, but honestly, at first glance, one who is not familiar with this art pottery line might initially believe it’s more Asian inspired. Only until you notice the detailing do you realize it’s very much Greek oriented. It’s little wonder this remains one of the more popular Roseville Art Pottery lines.

“I Can Smell What Color It Is” – Weller Art Pottery

Most of us know our jobs quite well. With so much time spent on career choices, it’s likely you believe you can do some part of your job with your eyes closed; you’re just that familiar with it. That was often the case with some of the most respected potters responsible for creating those incredible American art pottery lines over the years. One Weller Pottery artist, Art Wagner, knew the Weller Lamar pottery line so well that he once said, “I’ve been using these lusters for such a long time that I can tell by smell what color it is without looking at the label on the bottle.” That’s a true testament to the level of commitment that not only Art Wagner felt, but artists and potters throughout the industry as a whole. This week, we take a look at two of the Weller Art Pottery lines and showcase their distinct nuances and attention to detail.

Weller Pottery Burnt Wood Line

This line of Weller pottery presents just the way the name implies: burnt wood. This middle period line is still one of the most sought after collections in the art pottery world. The tan coloring and dark brown banding, usually found along the top and bottom of each, uses smart shadowing efforts that adds dimension to the finished product. The etching efforts are subtle, though consistent, and the result is a very intricate and eye catching effort. The fact that there exists varying hues of browns and tans makes this entire line quite versatile. Several pieces grouped together makes an interesting and rich showcase and incorporating just a bit of color, maybe from the Weller Floretta line, or any other Weller pottery, links the rich design elements seamlessly.

Weller Pottery Chase Line

If the Burnt Wood is all about detailing efforts and confident etching, the Weller Chase line is focused on those subtle matte finishes and slightly raised designs versus those carvings found in Burnt Wood. Also, where you’re likely to discover several shades in not only Burnt Wood, but other Weller Pottery lines, Chase is more about simple though distinctive color combinations that come together to define truly elegant and eye-pleasing results. This middle period collection embodies fox hunters and dogs and while the navy blue is the dominating background color, there were others used in tandem with the ivory detailing.

These are just two of the Weller Pottery lines. Many collectors have long since appreciated the eclectic combination that defines this American art pottery, which might explain its increasing rarity. Still, if you can locate it, odds are, it’s going to be a wonderful investment and a beautiful addition to any collection. Take a look at the Just Art Pottery Weller Pottery page and see for yourself just how incredible the entire collection is.

Just Art Pottery New Arrivals

Have you checked out our New Products page lately? If not, you’re missing out on more than a few unique pieces from several well known and respected pottery makers. Here are just a few of the newer additions ready for you to select and call your very own.

Jesse Wolf is a more contemporary artist and one who spent time as an Ephraim Faience potter. He really is considered one of the most talented artists in the sector. The Jesse Wolf Pottery No Fishing Vase offers a deep blue base with a a whimsical black cat peeking into the vase. The blue, along with being contrasted with the black cat, also has a burst of gold via the “No Fishing” sign that’s slightly askew and adds a bit of dimension. The vase is marked “Jesse Wolf” and “2009”. It measures 4” in height and is 7 1/4” tall. It’s a modern piece that would make an impressive addition to any collection.

This next new arrival is definitely a must-have for those who appreciate all that McCoy Pottery symbolizes. The 1940s McCoy Butterfly Lavender Vase is in excellent condition with factory roughing on the base ring. There’s also a slight firing flaw, though it’s absent any chips, repairs, cracks or other damage. This feminine vase’s decorative efforts are slightly raised, presenting a nice texture. It measures 6 1/4” in height and is 3” wide.

The Muncie Pottery High Glaze Vase has that glossy appearance that is always a sure thing on more contemporary art pottery pieces. You’ll appreciate the smaller neck that graduates down and eventually narrows again before the base widens once again. With hues of golds and browns, this is a lovely piece that will coordinate easily with your other art pottery. It’s in excellent condition with no chips, damage, cracks or repairs. It’s 8 1/2” tall and as mentioned, is varied in its widths.

As always, these are just a few of the new additions Just Art Pottery has available right now; and too, you never know when those new items will arrive, so be sure to check back often.

The Versatile Teco Pottery Collection

Most of us, when we hear “McCoy Pottery” or “Roseville Pottery”, we instantly equate it with those familiar adjectives that suggests McCoy is more “kitschy” or maybe that Roseville Pottery is more “elegant” or even “varied” since there are so many Roseville lines. It’s Teco Pottery, however, that’s best described as versatile, though wonderfully predictable, while “matte” and “green” come to mind, as well. Those matte finishes, the simple though remarkable colors and glazes come together to present those eclectic designs in a masterful way.

Founded in 1881 by William Gates and originally named Terra Cotta Tile Works, the primary focus then was on functionality versus artistry. Two decades later, the more artistic side of the company was allowed to emerge. In fact, Teco Pottery included more than 500 art pottery designs by the time the company ceased operations, which interestingly, is not memorialized anywhere. It’s not at all clear as to the official closing date, which adds a mysterious element to the mix.

The more architectural feel of the various pieces exist for a reason: many architects are credited with the inspiration and design of the art pottery lines. Better know as the “Prairie School” style, which incorporated more natural elements, or what we might call “eco-friendly” in today’s culture, it’s what best defines the art pottery as a whole.

Like many companies in business during this timeframe, Teco Pottery took several hits courtesy of the stock market crash and ultimate Great Depression. It’s believed an attorney took over the company at some point during this time. Again, like other companies often do, Teco Pottery was eventually absorbed by other larger companies to the degree that art pottery was no longer even a smaller production effort. It’s a shame too, simply because of the unique forms that define the Teco Pottery brand. Fortunately, there are many pieces in circulation and collecting them isn’t as difficult as other American art pottery lines. Of course, we have an inventory of Teco Pottery and we invite you to take a look at some of these amazing design efforts. If you’re not already a Teco fan, odds are, you will be.