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.

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