Archives for April 2012

Roseville Pottery Orian

The middle period line that’s all about vivid colors and a rich gloss glaze is Roseville’s Orian; curiously, it’s also one that’s often overlooked. Considered art deco, this contemporary collection offers those vibrant colors this time period is known for and certainly presents the willingness to take a risk that Roseville Pottery was known to do.

In the mid-1930s, during the height of its popularity, it was referred to as a “solid color line that is a real achievement in ceramic art…inspired directly or indirectly by the Chinese vases of the Ming period”. It was also noted for the unique contours and glaze combinations. It’s interesting, too, that while trying to grasp the right adjectives for this post, I ran across an apt description related to the designs: “shapes are lovely but in no way extreme”. That’s true, too – they’re unique and and certainly creative, but we’re not talking on the level, of say, the aggressive designs George Ohr was known for. The result is a fun presentation of narrow handles, wider vases and pedestal bases – lots of pedestal bases.

It’s believed there were sixteen shapes with this Roseville pattern – and they’re all beautiful choices. If you run across them, and if you’re an art deco fan, odds are, it’s going to be difficult to pass up. There are several vases in a wide range of heights, widths and glaze colors, along with bowls, candlesticks, wall pockets and even a lovely rose bowl.

You’ll recognize the Roseville Orian. Look for the glossy finish, smart color combinations (one favorite is the yellow and green that really makes the vases stand out). Also, those narrow and usually low resting dual handles are generally a giveaway along with the classic “pedestal base”. While there are several tan pieces, they’re not likely to sell for as much as their more colorful counterparts. Also, note that in the bowls, the interior of the actual bowl is usually white, which is a nice contrast with the reds, greens and yellows on the outside of the pieces.

Roseville Pottery Florals: Roseville Sunflower, Water Lily

There are countless patterns, glazes, shapes and color combinations that define the Roseville Pottery as a whole. One of those themes is the creativity and elegance found in those lines of florals. Some are definitive, such as the Roseville Sunflower or Apple Blossom collections and others are a little less obvious, such as those sometimes found in Roseville Crystal Green, which, incidentally, remains difficult to find.

We thought we’d explore two of the more recognized Roseville Pottery lines: the Roseville Water Lily and Roseville Sunflower. There are a few similar features, but for the most part, each is quite distinctive in its own way. For instance, the Roseville Sunflower patter is considered middle period collection, as it was introduced 1930. The Water Lily pattern was unveiled in 1943.

Roseville Sunflower

Easily distinguished by the golds in the sunflowers and often with a green foundation, the Roseville Sunflower pattern is really quite sought after – from the time it was introduced until modern day, it’s often which serves as a striking complement to those vivid oranges and gold in the raised sunflowers.

It enjoyed a surge of popularity in the 1990s, and as a result, its value increased, too. If you’re looking for markings, because paper labels were sometimes used, it might be you come across a Roseville bowl or vase with no marking. There were some that had hand written shape numbers, which can help with identification. Many of the pieces had dual handles, which certainly adds to the overall presentation. A few of the examples of Sunflower pottery include umbrella stands, wall pockets, and of course, bowls and vases.

Roseville Water Lily

As mentioned, Water Lily is one of the newer lines and was introduced in 1943. Its standard colors are brown, blue, and pink, which blend in a beautiful manner. Like Roseville Sunflower, the Water Lilly also has several vases with two handles. Part of the draw to this particular pattern are the unique textures. The florals are raised and the smooth matte finish works to really accentuate the design elements. This Roseville Pottery pattern includes vases, bowls, bookends, ewers, jardinières and others.

Cabat Ceramics

Born in 1914 in New York City, Rose Cabat knew early on where her place was, at least in terms of who she was destined to be with. Shortly after marrying the “boy next door”, whom she dated all through high school, Cabat made the decision to to see what kind of, if any, magic she could bring to the American art pottery scene. The avenue she chose was ceramics, mostly because her husband Erni brought home clay one day with the goal of making a few dinner plates. Sensing her interest, he soon bought his wife a membership to Greenwich House. It was here that both her talent and passion soared.

Times were difficult, but Erni found an interesting way to create a potter’s wheel for his wife: he repurposed a washing machine. When they weren’t working in a munitions plant during World War II, the couple were busy with developing Rose’s talent.

She soon found her “niche” and what emerged was her trademark “feelie” vases. It truly set the pace for mid-century ceramic offerings. The one common denominator amongst those who know work and attempt to explain it is that it was incredibly personal for her. It was more than a talent or passion, it was, in many ways an extension of who she is as an artist.

The gorgeous oversized vases are the epitome of the emerging styles from the forties, fifties and sixties. It’s the bold, though matted color combinations such as green and blue or orange and brown. The dramatic center expansions and the way they contrast with the very narrow vase necks – so narrow, you might be able to easy a single flower into it; and her trademark trimmed foot rings all come together to define these gorgeous and dramatic vases. She also created bowls, though it was those “onion” vases she is best known for.

Her husband was then, and always remained, her biggest fan until his death. Rose, now older than 95, is the oldest practicing pottery artist in the United States.

Fulper Pottery: Backstory

Even though Fulper Pottery was incorporated in 1899, it had roots that went as far back as 1814, albeit under a different name. The Flemington, New Jersey company was first the brainchild of Samuel Hill. He too called New Jersey home and was a well respected producer of crocks, jars and drain pipes. Hill passed away in 1858 and before long, Abram Fulper decided to begin purchasing as many of Hill Pottery pieces that he could get his hands on.

Fast forward to 1899 when the company was incorporated. William Hill Fulper II, Abram’s grandson, transitioned into the role of secretary and treasurer of the company. His Princeton University education served him well, especially as the company continued to grow. It wasn’t until 1909 that the now-Fulper Pottery Company released its first line, known as Vasecraft. It was more of a minimalist line; quite casual, yet lovely.

Within a year of Vasecraft’s release, another prominent employee, Martin Stangl, found himself in the role of ceramics engineer and soon was developing many of the glazes Fulper Pottery is so well known for. Another prominent name associated with this art pottery company is John Kunsman. He too preferred the simple glaze colors. His work found its way to the Louisiana Purchase Exposition where it earned an honorable mention. There were approximately 100 glazes used during the course of the company’s production. It wasn’t until 1929 that Stangl bought out the Fulper family, and unfortunately, he opted to compromise both quantity and quality. Within five years, the company was producing most dinnerware.

What we’re left with is some of the most striking art pottery to be found anywhere. If you’re already a collector, you know the glazes are often what sets this line apart from all others and if you’re new to the Fulper Pottery collections, you’re in for a treat as you explore those many glaze lines.

Be sure to explore the Just Art Pottery Fulper Pottery page. We have several pieces available, including the Fishing Man Statue, which is a favorite among collectors.

The 2012 American Art Pottery Convention

This is the time of the year that art pottery lovers come together. The 2012 American Art Pottery Convention is gearing up and will be in Cleveland Ohio later this month. We have the schedule of events for what’s sure to be a great time.

The dates for this year’s convention are April 19 through April 22.

A Note About the Hotel

The host hotel this year is Holiday Inn Cleveland South – Independence. It’s recently underwent a major renovation and now offers 364 stunning guestrooms and is one of the largest in the area. It’s located just 15 minutes from the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. It’s not too late to make your reservations, either. You can do so by visiting the website at or by calling 216-524-8050

Schedule of Events

On Thursday, April 19th, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., there’s a tour of the Museum of Ceramics and Homer Laughlin Fiesta and China. If you’ve never visited the museum, it’s an absolute must. Even those who have spent a considerable amount of time in the art pottery family know the value of this tour. It’s sure to inspire.

The registration tables will also be open at 9 a.m.

At 6:30 p.m., a welcome reception and cocktail party is being hosted. (Note there will be a cash bar available). There’ll be prize drawings and giveaways and of course, plenty of networking opportunities.

On Friday, there’s plenty to do. There will be two seminars, with the first one beginning at 9 a.m. Understanding and Collecting Pillin Pottery by Jerry Kline runs until 10:15 and then, at 10:30, you can attend The Many Phases of Van Briggle. This seminar is hosted by Kathy Honea. It runs from 10:30 am. until 11:45 a.m.

The preview for the art pottery auction runs for two hours beginning at 2:30. There will also be a book signing and a “Meet the Authors” event between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.

The art pottery auction begins at 4:30 and your auctioneer is Peter Gehres.

Saturday provides one more seminar, Richard D. Mohr’s “Tiles I’ve Known and Loved”, which is slated for 9:15 a.m. and expected to run until 10:45 a.m.

For registered members of the convention, you’re afforded the opportunity to preview the AAPA Show and Sale beginning at 11 a.m. This runs until noon, at which time, the public is allowed to preview the sale.

On Sunday, the annual business meeting begins at 9:30 and runs until approximately 10:45. At 11 a.m., the AAPA Art Pottery Show and Sale runs until approximately 4 p.m.

If you have any questions regarding the convention, you can visit the American Art Pottery Association’s convention page at