Holiday Decor: Roseville Bushberry, Roseville Clemantis

It’s that time of year again – and for many of us, it’s what makes the rest of the year worth the wait. Maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but still, it really is an exciting time for American art pottery collectors. For me, it’s the perfect time to beautifully include my art pottery into my holiday decor. With my niece, who’s now shown an interest in what I love so dearly, it’s certainly that much more special. While I don’t have an entire collection of any Roseville pattern, I do adore each piece I do own – it all has a story.

This year, I’ve already decided on what I’ll be using as my centerpiece for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. If you’re into “holiday mode”, and wondering what you can do this year to add to the seasonal beauty, check out a few of my personal favorites – they may become yours too.

Roseville Bushberry

This glorious pattern is considered late period, as it made its debut in 1941. With the primary colors of blue, green and orange, they provide that rich color combination that’s perfect for the holidays. There remains some debate, friendly debate, mind you – but debate nonetheless on how many shapes were included. The advertisements of the day tout 64; however, the factory stock pages only show 61. With a growing movement that makes the Roseville Bushberry pattern more valuable, it’s finding a new popularity – which is quite impressive considering it’s already a favorite among many Roseville collectors.

While some people don’t believe in making their Roseville pottery into useful vessels on their dinner tables, it’s just too hard for me to resist. While I would never put food in any of my pottery, I do like using the Roseville Pottery Bushberry Blue Bowl, which you can see here, for little non-food uses. Think toothpicks or even individually wrapped mints. Tip: Try to keep them out of reach of little hands – but understand if you’re a lone pottery lover, your guests may not understand your efforts of keeping them out of little hands.

Roseville Clemantis

Roseville Clemantis is another beautiful choice for the holidays. It too is considered a late period pattern and was released just three years after Bushberry. It’s the rich brown, blue and green color combinations that make this one a great choice – plus the red flowers remind you of Chrysanthemums, which, of course, is the traditional flower for Christmas. These are beautiful choices for holding dried flowers and make a spectacular centerpiece. Tip: I wouldn’t encourage (in fact, I discourage) adding live flowers which will require water in the vessel. It’s just a safety precaution I take.

There are several vases in this pattern – which is why they make great centerpieces. Consider adding matching dinner napkins (I use gold because of the centers in the flowers on my vases).

Of course, these are just a few ideas. Are you considering incorporating your Roseville Pottery? We’d love to hear about it! Leave us a comment or visit our Facebook page and our Just Art Pottery Roseville Pottery Facebook page. Photos are always great, too!


The Historical Lessons in American Art Pottery

When you stop to think about how long many of our favorite American art pottery lines were in production, it becomes clear there were many historical events that these pottery companies witnessed and adapted to. In looking through a book on Roseville Pottery recently, I found some of the old advertisements and before long, I found myself lost in the time periods and various world changing events many of these ads referred to.

Understanding these dynamics allows us to bring our appreciation for beautiful collections to an entirely new level. Even the various fonts that were used are indicative of an ever-changing world. For instance, in a photocopy of the Roseville Pottery letterhead, the date looks like this:

May Fourth

1 9 4 0

Of course, in our “go, go, go” world, we’re lucky if we even remember to date a letter, much less carefully spell it out and center it.

Ad campaigns can cost millions in today’s world and they were just as important in the late 1930s and 1940s as they are today. One full size color ad reveals the three Roseville Bushberry colors. The attention paid to detail in arranging the art pottery, along with the carefully selected blue-green and rich ivory backgrounds is nothing short of stunning. The shorter of the two vases in the ad is perfectly placed on a block that will provide a bit of height while the larger vase has lovely small white flowers to frame it. A smaller Bushberry basket fills the mirroring page on its own.

Photo: Alfred University

Another fun advertisement states that Roseville Pottery offers “distinctive designs in modern art pottery”. Today, I think the word we would use is “timeless”.

In a more serious advertisement in 1943, the American economy was taking a hit due to World War II. Fuel, sugar and even pork rations were in place. A drawing of a man wearing a sombrero and sandals is shown with the words, “Pedro seldom worries about production problems”. It then goes on to say:

We know you’ll excuse us if we seem to envy imperturbable Pedro just a bit. For where he gives not a fig for such things as seller’s market and depleted inventories, we’ve worried ourselves gray figuring how to give our customers the Roseville pottery they want and need.

Indeed, one need only look at the advertisements of any given period to understand social problems and even global problems such as war.

As we know, Roseville Pottery has stood the test of time, even when “sure things” have come and gone over the years. It’s that distinctive look and feel (the textures of Roseville Pottery are incredible) of quality workmanship and dedication few companies will ever know.