Why Sell Your Art Pottery With Just Art Pottery

It may seem like a foreign concept to some collectors, but buying and selling pottery is part of the passion and experience of those who appreciate the beautiful artistic efforts. The artists who really defined the American art pottery movement are many and it makes sense that some of us like to own a bit of each of these artistic efforts. And if you’ve decided to part ways with a few or all of your pieces, whether it’s because you want to focus on a new pattern or wish to experience the excitement that comes with starting a new collection, we would like to invite you to consider selling your collection to Just Art Pottery.

Just Art Pottery has a national base that includes some of the most well known and respected experts in Roseville, Newcomb, Van Briggle and other pottery lines. Our growing clientele has come to rely on Just Art Pottery for ethical business practices and professional relationships with the entire art pottery community.

It’s for these reasons, and more, that Just Art Pottery is a sound choice for turning your collection – regardless of how small or big it is – into a fair profit. We pride ourselves on our relationships with both collectors and buyers and our commitment ensures we are always combing the most unlikely places to bring to our customers those rare pieces. We’re often searching for a specific pottery line or piece for a customer and other times, we are simply searching out those collections that are nothing short of awe-inspiring.

We invite you to contact us if you have any questions or would like to discuss the options available. We are also able to offer nationwide pickup in most instances and we hire only the best shippers to ensure the safety of your investment during transit. We welcome the opportunity to discuss the potential for relationship that will benefit all of us and in some consignment instances, we’re able to provide a cash advance in anticipation of a sale.

Whether it’s one of Just Art Pottery’s auctions or if you’re interested in a more traditional consignment arrangement, we look forward to hearing from you. Give us a call at  (309) 690-7966 or drop us a line for a confidential conversation to discuss your options.


Cowan Pottery

Cowan Pottery was in business for a brief period of time; specifically, between 1912 and 1931. That’s not to say, however, that this Ohio art pottery company didn’t leave a lasting impression – it most certainly did.

Founded by R. Guy Cowan, an Ohio native, Cowan Pottery began as a tiny studio with only a few kilns and with Cowan serving as the owner, artist, designer, bookkeeper and so on. Despite what was surely an exhausting effort, Cowan produced many art pottery pieces and tile designs. By 1917, Cowan was enjoying the fruits of his hard work with many awards for his art pottery collections.

As was the case with many art pottery companies during this time period, World War I meant a closing of his business so that he could serve in the Chemical Warfare Service. The war ended and Cowan found himself following his passions once again, this time in a new location in Ohio. He upped the equipment, created a studio and before long, he was filling orders for department stores, individuals and other national chains. That was soon followed with commercial pottery efforts. He was able to hire a staff of artists and his output neared 175,000 pieces each year. Some of those Cowan Pottery pieces included bowls, vases, lamps and candlesticks.

Despite his impressive successes, in the late 1920s, Cowan found his business struggling financially. The demand was slowly dropping for pottery, as would-be customers found themselves struggling from a financial aspect, too. Indeed, times were incredibly difficult and by 1930, the writing was on the proverbial wall. The Depression hit fast and hard and Cowan Pottery closed its doors in December, 1931.

The legacy left behind is priceless. The glazes and artistic abilities are nothing short of genius; partly due to Cowan’s familiarity with the chemicals used in the American art pottery sector.

Cowan knew he could never walk away from art pottery and became a well respected judge and trustee for the National Ceramic Exhibitions until his death in 1957.

Maintaining the Quality & Appearance of Your Art Pottery

Baneda Vase At Auction

If you’ve ever happened across a beautiful and rare piece of art pottery and seen damage due to neglect or carelessness, you likely felt a sense of frustration and loss. Unlike some other art forms, each and every piece of American art pottery has its own unique place in history and is symbolic of its respective era – and it simply cannot be replaced.

It’s for this reason that collectors are extremely cautious and it’s also why any collector worth his salt will encourage others to incorporate as many safety precautions as possible – especially when they’re handling or cleaning their collection. Here are a few other tips that will help you protect your investment while keeping it dust free and clean.

First things first – if you’re considering cleaning damaged pieces, you should first allow a dealer to examine it to ensure your efforts won’t result in further damage. In fact, it’s always a good idea to get a second opinion from someone in the industry before cleaning any pottery. There are few things worse than knowing your careful packing and other protective measures over the years are now irrelevant because you chose the wrong cleaning method.

There exists credible literature that says the brand Spic and Span is the best choice for cleaning most art pottery. That said, there are those who strongly discourage immersing any of your pieces in water. These divided mindsets are nothing new, but they’ll definitely take on new significance if you find yourself wrestling with the options. Often, a soft cloth that’s slightly dampened will remove the dust and other particles that’s accumulated on your collection. This is generally a safe option. A small amount of dish soap should also achieve the results you’re looking for if you wish to add it. Be sure to dry it with a soft towel. Naturally, you don’t want to add any harsh chemicals such as bleach into your pottery bath as it could damage the glaze.

Finally, before you get down to the business of cleaning your collection, it’s always a good idea to have everything you need within reach. Towels, damp cloths and a small bowl of water should be all you need. Some collectors will use heavy padding on their counters or work benches as an added security measure.

Regardless of how you choose to keep your pieces looking great, don’t underestimate the importance of treading lightly. And again, you can’t go wrong by seeking out the advice of experienced collectors and dealers before you risk losing value.

Great Things Going on at Just Art Pottery

2011 has been a busy year for us here at Just Art Pottery. We continue to build the Just Art Pottery Auctions site. Since 1997, we have built Just Art Pottery and believe we have established ourselves well within the art pottery community. It was just a natural choice to offer a live online auction site. We’re having fun with it and we believe our bidders are too. If you haven’t visited the site, be sure to do so. You can click here.

We also have some incredible finds on the Just Art Pottery New Products page. Some of these pieces aren’t easily found, so we’re especially excited to include them in the inventory. Take a look:

There is an Aetco Faience Pottery tile we’ve just listed. This pretty tile depicts a woman as she holds ducks in her apron and is releasing them one by one into the duck pond at her feet. Shades of purple color her dress and hat while her ducks are yellow and white. A man is in the background watching on and a sign reveals they’re at the Take Inn. You’ll notice the back is marked and the ‘AETCO FAIENCE’ stamped in the center. The wood frame adds a nice earthy look.

Also, there’s a Cambridge Pottery Squat Vase that’s a new addition. The shape and dark glaze gives an elegant look to the design and it’s decorated with leaves and vines. There has been a repair to the chip of the rim, but there is no other damage or repair efforts of any kind. The vase measures 2 3/4” in height and is 5” wide. The bottom is marked with “CAMBRIDGE”, “C” and “23I”. The artist used the letters “CL” to sign the work.

As always, these are just a couple of the most recent additions. Be sure to browse the entire inventory of new arrivals. Don’t forget to check out the auction site, too.

Pennsbury Pottery

Pennsbury Pottery is one of those names we don’t always hear about. Founded in 1950 by Henry Below, his wife and son, it remained in business for just two decades before a fire destroyed it. Every time I see a piece of this unique art pottery, the first word that comes to mind is “Americana”. This line of folk art pottery depicts eagle designs, roosters and a traditional barber shop quartet, among others – all symbols of Americana. Mrs. Below is the one who most often created the artistic inclusions on the pottery. Perhaps it’s the depictions of Amish people that plays a role in this line of art pottery; it really allows it to stand apart from other pottery efforts during this twenty year time frame between 1950 and 1970. Because it was made in Pennsylvania, which is the heart of Amish country, it stands to reason inspiration would be pulled from such a gentle and noble people.

During its short run, plates, pitchers, tiles and vinegar and oil bottles were made available. Its first design in 1950 was a series of birds that many compare to the designs found on pottery by Stangl Company. Not only that, but Stangl Pottery also incorporated eagles as well as hen and rooster sets, which, of course is also found in Pennsbury Pottery.

There is another little known fact that sets Pennsbury apart. It created a rare Walt Disney plate. When we say “plate” – we mean only one single plate was ever made. It’s dated 1970 on the bottom and was made to memorialize and present to Walt Disney himself during the opening of the Walt Disney School in Pennsylvania. Research efforts yielded no further information on this piece, though it’s likely there are collectors who have been on the lookout for it many years.

A few of the official Pennsbury Pottery design names include “Black Rooster” “Hex Ware” “American Eagle” and the barber shop quartet is officially named “Sweet Adeline”.

Have you ever heard of the Pennsbury Pottery Walt Disney plate? We’d love to hear what you have to say about it. Drop us a line and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter and friend us on Facebook.

Just Art Pottery New Arrivals

It’s that time of the year again where it seems all any of us do is scramble to make every moment count during the holidays.  One of the best things about this time of year is decorating.  Christmas trees, the festive dinnerware and of course, the ribbons, bells and mistletoe – it’s all part of the presentation.  That said, part of my efforts include bringing some of my most prized art pottery pieces down from the top shelves and putting them front and center.  I incorporate some of my cherished George Ohr pottery pieces into my mantelpiece that’s draped with pine and tiny white lights.   Of course, McCoy Pottery is where it all began for me; my kitchen is home to those whimsical pieces I’m so drawn to. [Read more…]

What Merits a “Mint Condition” Classification for Just Art Pottery?

Apple Blossom

Often, we see or hear the words “mint condition” used in describing art pottery pieces. Most of us equate that term to “perfect”, and it is, but there’s more to it. Perhaps the biggest confusion is that this term is only used to describe the condition of any given piece, but not necessarily the grade of quality of the piece. For instance, a Roseville Pottery knock off might not be authentic, but it can certainly be in mint condition. Its value, of course, is nowhere near the true Roseville piece.

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Selling Your Art Pottery Collection?

Interested in downsizing or upgrading your pottery collection? Recently inherited a collection of American Art Pottery?Roseville Ferella Vase

Just Art Pottery is actively buying American art pottery. We are interested in single pieces or entire collections. We are able to offer nationwide pickup for many large collections and can coordinate safe shipping of your art pottery collection if required. Recently, Just Art Pottery has arranged safe pickup and shipment of large estate art pottery collections on both coasts as well as Michigan, Connecticut, and South West Florida.

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Displaying Your Art Pottery Collection

Cherry Blossom 2

We’ve written about the different ways art pottery can be displayed. Many of us like to keep our specific lines together, opting to create a space for our Roseville Pottery and another area in our homes we reserve for perhaps a lovely collection of Rookwood Pottery. Still, there are those of us who love nothing more than to find a common denominator between several collections; perhaps it’s a floral theme or maybe shades of greens and blues, and then create an eclectic array that brings out the beauty in each unique piece. Regardless of your preferences, there are a few things to keep in mind as you set about creating that display space. Here are a few tips we’ve learned over the years that may help in your efforts.

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New Trends, Timeless Inspiration

Frogs Have you ever been to a home décor store and thought, “Those lines are really similar to that Roseville vase I have at home”?  Maybe you’ve seen a decorative garden ceramic and wondered if it was inspired by the Weller Pottery Coppertone Fountain Frog?  We thought we’d take a look at some of the big selling home décor pieces this season and see how they compared with some of our favorite American art pottery pieces.  Take a look –

We found this green ceramic frog planter at a local Pier1.  Right next to him is the Weller Pottery Coppertone Frog Planter.  The high gloss looks great on the mass produced frog, but we’re drawn to the detail and decorative elements that can only be found on authentic Weller pottery.  Plus, we’re quite sure we won’t see the Weller guy on our next door neighbor’s patio, although there’s a good chance our open mouth frog is adorning several patios in the neighborhood.

Beautiful tile is in big demand these days.  They’re being used for anything you can imagine.  We found Tile this pretty tile, complete with a nature scene at Pier1, too.  We’re sure it will look great in any home,
but there’s no denying the blues and greens, along with the detailing and beveled features, that really set this Rookwood Pottery 1924 Tile Trivet poles apart from today’s mass produced tiles.  Note the blues used to depict the water scenes – big difference, right?  Besides, there’s a certain charm that’s missing from the more recent tile.

Ah – now take a look at the vases we’ve put side by side.  It’s remarkable how this Fulper vase has maintained it’s pristine gloss and lovely attributes.  The pink vase was found in Wal Mart and while it’s pretty as a picture (no pun intended), when placed next to this classic, you can see how the details truly make a difference.  You can be sure today’s Vases decorative pieces have no original detailing at all, this of course, in an effort to keep every piece “perfect” as it travels down the assembly line.  That’s the magic in American art pottery; the perfection is found in those slight nuances and tiny differences.  It reminds us that originality counts and that imperfections are not a bad thing; they never have been.  (If we could only convince our teenage girls of this mindset, right?)

So next time you’re browsing your favorite store, keep in mind, today’s trends are always inspired by yesterday’s art.