Passing on the Roseville Pottery Appreciation

I never thought I’d look at people younger than me and think of them in terms of the “younger generation”. That’s what

Roseville Azurean

grandparents do! But, after hanging out with my best friend’s sixteen year-old daughter this weekend, I’m beginning to differentiate the generations.

After getting completely flustered with only half of her attention for the most part of the afternoon (those pesky cells and their texting features!), I finally said, “OK, sunshine…here’s what we’re going to do. Put that phone away and let me show you a few things that you just might appreciate one day.” Of course, that was met with a roll of the eyes and a reluctant and rather drawn out “OK”.

I pointed to a few pieces of my favorite Roseville Pottery patterns. “What do you see, Sam?” After a pause, she said, “I don’t know. A bowl with a bunch of holes in the top of it.” Taking a deep breath and resisting the urge to roll my own eyes, I began explaining to her what a flower frog is. I explained how they’ve traditionally been used to hold flower arrangements in place. Before long, I had her attention and began telling her different “Roseville stories”.

I showed her a few wall pockets I have arranged on my living room wall. She asked what purpose they served. I think her exact words were, “Yeah, it’s pretty. But what does it do?” She’s a lovely girl who appreciates lovely jewelry, so I used that to my benefit. I said, “Wouldn’t this be pretty hanging on the wall just above your jewelry box to hold the rings you wear every day?” She particularly liked the Roseville Freesia.

From there, we moved on the different glazes and beveling efforts that really set Roseville apart. I explained to her what a jardiniere and pedestal were and before long we were on the Just Art Pottery website going over window boxes, vases and candle holders.

Two hours later, she had sweet talked me out of one of my favorite wall pockets and had an understanding of the importance of American art pottery. I wasn’t the least bit surprised when she announced Roseville Azurean is her new favorite. That kid loves blue. Her bedroom is blue, blue is the primary color of the high school she attends and I have a strong sense that I’m going to be investing in pieces from this beautiful line for birthdays and Christmas – and I couldn’t be happier.

What was most important, though, is I started out with a typical teen who could care less about a flower frog and by the time it was over, texting was the last thing on her mind and she walked away with the seed planted and a new appreciation for art – specifically, Roseville pottery. Will this be an everyday thing with her? Of course not. What I hope, though, is that it will encourage her to broaden her horizons, develop her own passion for the real beauty in the world and hopefully, serve as something that she equates to time spent with me when she’s older.

Roseville Foxglove Pottery

Perhaps the most obvious indicator of Roseville Foxglove pottery are the handles found on the majority of the pieces. When it was introduced in the early 1940s, words such as “enchanting” and “delicate” were used to describe it. Those words were certainly accurate as Roseville Foxglove remains a collector’s favorite.

According to Mark Bassett’s Introducing Roseville Pottery, the pink and blue glazes will bring in handsome prices. In total, there were fifty-five shapes (although only fifty-three are shown in its factory stock pages), including several bowls, jardinières and a lovely Foxglove conch shell. There also exists at least one Foxglove vase that has double handles designed into it. It measures 6” and narrows in circumference the closer to the neck it gets. It’s really a very pretty design and shape. Also note, many of the Roseville Foxglove pieces have bases. In fact, several pieces appear to be resting on these raised bases.

Also, note the varying heights within each piece. These artistic efforts really added to the overall beauty, as they add dimension and depth. Depending on which colors you find, the flowers will be colored accordingly. For instance, on the red pieces (actually, the color appears more of a deep brownish/red), the flowers will be shaded in pink. On the blue or green Foxglove pieces, you’ll notice flowers in pink, yellow or even white. Regardless, they’re all beautiful. [Read more…]