Teco Pottery

Teco Pottery originally began as Spring Valley Tile Works in Terra Cotta, Illinois in the late 1800s; 1881 to be exact, and was a major player in the Prairie School arts and crafts movement that was later made popular by Frank Lloyd Wright. William Day Gates could often be found experimenting with different clay and glazing combinations, though the company profits came from drain tiles, finials, urns and other materials used to as fireproofing materials. Soon, though, his appreciation of the clay and glaze variations became more prominent and he cleverly named this new branch Teco Pottery – It’s a play on the words “TErra COtta”.

By 1902, Teco Pottery was introduced to the nation and that began a successful effort that resulted in more than 500 designs being released in less than two decades. While we don’t know for sure when the last pieces of Teco Pottery were actually produced, there exists documentation that suggests it continued until at least 1923.

If you’re familiar with Teco Pottery, you know that tell-tale matte green finish. What many aren’t aware of, though, is that it’s part of more than 90% of the entire pottery collection. Some of the pieces have interesting charcoaling, a darker gray, that overlays the green. The combination of these two glazing efforts is truly remarkable. Other colors you’ll find in Teco Pottery are brown, a deep red, pink and blue. Yellow is sometimes found as well. Teco Pottery is one of those collections that the more you display, the more dramatic that presentation is, and a lot of that has to do with the green glazing efforts.

Another unique look that’s part of this American art pottery collection is the abstract designs. There are a lot of clean and defined lines that are both dramatic and effective. To a lesser degree, there are pieces that aren’t as sharp-lined, but it’s most certainly those pieces that have angles that are most sought after. Many people use “architectural” in their descriptions – and that’s accurate too.

For those who love Teco Pottery as much as we do, you owe it to yourself to explore the records that are maintained at the University of Minnesota. Among those records are the original architectural drawings.

Have your own Teco Pottery collection? We’d love to see it! Drop us a line or share them on the Just Art Pottery Facebook page.

Roseville Pottery: Center Pieces

One of the most enjoyable aspects of owning American art pottery is the ability to define an entire room around a single collection. This week, we take a look at a few of the Roseville Pottery center pieces.

Roseville Pottery is one of the most collected art pottery names in the world. The many patterns and shapes make it a wonderful choice for so many. While some folks like the idea of treating their pottery collections as investments only, there are many of us who can’t imagine not having our collections front and center. One way of doing that is by creating showcases.

Roseville Pottery Pine Cone

There were several Roseville Pottery center pieces made, including a beautiful and vibrant blue centerpiece that commands attention from the Roseville Pottery Pine Cone collection. It’s a grand presentation without being overwhelmed and part of what defines it is the way the colors play off one another. The pine cone in the center of the design pulls together the blue base with the auburn hued interior glaze. You can be sure those who are fortunate enough to own these centerpieces use them at the most special family gatherings. In fact, some hostesses coordinate their entire table around this blue beauty. With blue dinnerware and brown linens, it really is a great way to present an elegant meal.

Roseville Pottery Dawn

Another favorite in the Roseville family is found in the Roseville Pottery Dawn collection. There is a soft pink centerpiece that’s round in shape with a square base and two candleholders on either side. It’s accented with lighter blues and a splash of pale yellow serving as the flower’s center. Think afternoon tea with the ladies and you’ll have an idea of just how lovely and stated this centerpiece is. It was also made with a yellow glaze, too.

Roseville Pottery Crystalis

Feeling especially creative? Why not take a few of your favorite Roseville Pottery pieces and combine them to define your own eclectic look? For a more contemporary look, take a few of your Roseville Pottery Crystalis vases and group them together. What makes this so interesting is the different muted shades, textures and varying heights of the vases in this particular collection. Even the glazes can add a certain contrast that will play a pivotal role in the final outcome. The point is to make it your own. From there, the rest of your table’s presentation should fall into place, whether you choose matching linens and plates or you choose to let your imagination rule the direction. The holidays are coming up – you just might be surprised to learn you already have this year’s center piece for Thanksgiving and Christmas.