Archives for July 2014

What Sets Roseville Earlam Apart

For avid Roseville Pottery collectors, it’s near impossible to discuss the logistics behind the beauty in the Earlam line without mentioning Frank Ferrell. He was, after all, the creative force behind many Roseville lines – including Earlam. Part of our ongoing appreciation for this particular line isn’t so much what it offers, but rather, what it doesn’t offer.

Unlike many – if not most – of Roseville’s patterns, Ferrell opted to not include florals or the geometric shapes that were trendy at the time. Instead, you’ll find softer lines, plenty of curves and bulbous centers. Many of the pots and vases also had tell-tale handles on either side that collectors are always searching for, even today.  The Earlam shapes are limited, especially when compared to some of the other Roseville pottery lines. It has just 22 shapes and most are vases, bowls and pots. While there are none with floral decorative elements, there are a few strawberry and crocus pots, which add further distinction.

For those who appreciate the more muted glazes, Earlam is for you. The efforts made to ensure each piece was unlike any other, in sort of an “imperfectly perfect” way, were subtle. The rims also offer an interesting dimension as most are ridged with a slightly darker tan or brown. There’s something really special about this important Roseville pattern.

The green shading, with its matte finish, coupled with the soft yellow that transitions to deeper yellow-gold colors play off of the other for a truly visual appeal that brings artistry to new levels. Keep in mind -though these were the two primary hues, you can find Roseville Earlam with shades of blue and brown.  Ferrell knew he was on to something and fortunately for us, there remains a decent amount of Earlam pieces that can be found today – though it’s unlikely anyone who has any part of this collection would ever dream of parting ways with it.

Aside from occasional bevel, or “ridging” efforts, this collection is beautiful because of the simplicity. It’s allowed to be appreciated for those two primary colors – green and yellow – and, of course, the abundance of space in the bowls and vases. Why Ferrell opted to forego the “tried and true” decorative path is not known, but the Roseville Earlam line stands on its own and remains in big demand.

The Fascination of Roseville Pottery Cosmos Pattern

In 1940, the film Rebecca, which starred Laurence Olivier and Joan Fontaine, became an unexpected success. It’s likely because it revealed the darker side of the human condition. There’s one scene in particular where Fontaine’s character, the very young and new wife of Olivier’s Maxim de Winter, has come to live in Manderley, the massive mansion where the first Mrs. De Winter dies. Intimidated by the housekeeper, the bride accidently knocks off the table and breaks a beautiful pottery sculpture. For years, in my mind, the housekeeper became enraged because it’s a Roseville Pottery Cosmos pattern that was destroyed. Of course, there’s no reason to really believe that, it’s just that 1940 was also the year this exceptional Roseville

Roseville Pottery Cosmos

Roseville Pottery Cosmos

pattern was released. No doubt, 1940 was the year for spectacular artistic efforts, whether in film or American art pottery.

Roseville Cosmos offers three base colors, blue, brown and green. While many are drawn to those green hues, blue seems to be the color of choice and has been for many years. It could be the matte appearance or the way the pale flowers look against the blue. For those lucky enough to have a collection that includes all three standard colors, you know well the commanding presence of this particular Roseville pottery line. There’s also a slight bit of mystery associated with Cosmos: nailing down the actual number of shapes can be a challenge. There are some vintage advertisements that make mention of 48 shapes; however, if you plunder the Roseville factory pages, you’ll find 45.

What makes Cosmos so special are the notched elements often found around the rims. They provide an unexpected dimension which shows beautifully when on display. In fact, if you’re just now discovering Cosmos, don’t underestimate the importance of a neutral background. It highlights those notches, as evidenced in this image of a tan pitcher. As a fan of raised decorative elements, there are plenty in this collection. You can see the efforts made by the artists and as far as many are concerned, these are the details that really separate the masterful artists from the novice.

This really is a great line, especially if it’s a versatile collection of shapes you’re looking for. The wall pockets and window boxes seem to always be in demand, but it really comes as no surprise to anyone who adores the Roseville Pottery Cosmos pattern. Don’t forget to check out the Just Art Pottery Pinterest page, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter, too.