The Blues and Greens of Rookwood Pottery

For Rookwood Potterylovers, there are as many reasons to cherish this line of American art pottery as there are fans. Many cite the exquisite glazes the artists incorporated while others appreciate the versatility. For many of us though, it’s the extraordinary color combinations. The blues and greens provide the perfect example of the creativity and in some cases, the risks taken that paid off in spades.

While many of us can cite the lovely hues and combinations, it’s difficult to explain past that. It’s just the total package that makes this such a wonderful line to collect and display in our homes.

Take the Rookwood Pottery 1920 Cherub Pedestal Bowl. This bowl, though not a deep one, rests easily atop a pedestal of cherubs. The base has the typical beveling and straight line/curving combination we often see in this line and the two blue glazes are simply perfect together. The lighter blue/green defines the bowl and is complemented with the darker blue base and bowl bottom. It’s detailed and timeless. It stands at 10 1/2 inches in height and nearly as wide at 9 1/2 inches.

And the greens! Those lovely, mellow greens. What’s really nice about Rookwood is it’s easily found in a high gloss finish as well as a more matted appearance. Two perfect examples are found in the Rookwood Colonial Figurine and the 1925 McDonald Vase. The former has a glossy finish, which is a nice touch considering the way it appears in the creases of the gown as slightly darker. Note that darker “hemline” along the bottom of her gown as well. The artist provided a really unique portrayal as the woman is slightly bent, arms arced back and her head drawn down – it surely adds to the dramatic presentation.

In contrast, we get a look at the matte finish via the Rookwood 1925 vase. Not as high as you might usually find in a vase, the wider vase opening flares down to the base and the inside of the vase is varied slightly, likely for contrasting purposes. Pretty artwork draws the eye down and the absence of gloss allows the eye to hone in on the artistic detailing. Both are beautiful pieces though neither have anything in common other than the Rookwood Pottery name.

And therein lies the true fascination of this company – it maintained its ability to provide beautiful American art pottery to a wide range of folks who might have been drawn to it for any number of reasons.

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