In 1814, Samuel Hill founded Hill Pottery in Flemington, NJ, making water pipes, crocks, jars, and other “utilitarian ware.” When Mr. Hill died in 1858, one of Hill’s workers, Abram Fulper, managed to take over the company. For the next fifty years, headed by a succession of Fulper family members, the company continued producing practical items adding water coolers, cookware, ceramic water filters and tile. Finally, in 1899, the company was legally incorporated as Fulper Pottery Company.
At about this time, the company casually began making a small number of hand-thrown, decorative art pottery pieces to be sold on the sidewalk outside the factory. But they proved labor-intensive and difficult to reproduce with consistency. In 1910, William Fulper, now in-charge of the company, hired an outsider, Johann Martin Stangl, to serve as ceramics engineer. Fulper charged Stangl with building an art pottery division, using the classic shapes and complex glazes of Oriental pottery as his inspiration. Stangl did just that, turning Fulper Pottery into one of the better purveyors of Arts & Crafts ceramics in the early Twentieth Century. Fulper became best-known for its wonderful glazes—earthy, organic-looking—which “make a statement even on the most common forms.”
The piece, shown above, is just such an example. Click on the photo to learn more about it.
More about Fulper pottery in days to come.
LEO Design's Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed. While we contemplate our next shop location, please visit our on-line store which continues to operate (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
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