JOURNAL — Art Pottery RSS



And, Finally, a Little Italian

We conclude the parade of newly-acquired, Modernist ceramics with a little Italian diversion.  The trio of pieces, shown above, were made for the Italian company Raymor in the 1960’s.  They capture beautifully the Italian’s mastery of line, form, and style—and represent Italian Modernism perfectly. Please come into the shop to see the entire new collection.

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West German, Concluded

The little pitcher, pictured above, has a frothy yellow-orange glaze over a red underglaze and was made by Scheurich in the 1960’s or 1970’s.  It’s part of a large collection of Modernist art pottery just acquired and now in-store. Please stop by the shop to see the entire collection of new pottery. More art pottery […]

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And Even More West German

Our newly-acquired collection of West German art pottery includes the piece above, made by Fohr in the 1960’s or 1970’s.  It’s one of two dozen pieces of (mostly) red (mostly) West German Modernist ceramics recently purchased by LEO Design and now in-store. Please visit the shop to see the entire collection. More art pottery tomorrow. […]

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West German, Continued

The piece above, by Jasba, was made in West Germany in the 1960’s or 1970’s.  It is one of two dozen new pieces of Modernist art pottery recently acquired and now in-store. Come visit the shop to see the entire collection. More new acquisitions tomorrow.

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More West German

Our new collection of West German art pottery continues with the pieces above by Bay and Jasba.  They were made in the post-war 1960’s and 1970’s. Please come into the shop to see the entire new collection.  More new West German pottery in the next few days.

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Red Lava Flows-In

We’ve just acquired a new collection of (mostly) red, (mostly) West German art pottery from the 1960’s and 1970’s.  Two dozen pieces from various post-war ceramics workshops. Shown above are pieces by Scheurich, Jopeko and Gräflich Ortenburg. Please visit the shop to see the entire collection. More of the new collection in days to come. […]

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A Fresh New Collection

Perfect for Summer!  We’ve just acquired a collection of West German art pottery—glazed in a fresh, summery turquoise—by Gräflich Ortenburg.  The workshop was founded in the small village of Tambach, central Germany, just after the war in 1946 and closed in 1968.  The pieces above were made in the last years of the company’s existence. […]

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Il Palio di Siena

I’ve only ever been to Siena in the Autumn—well after the annual summer horse races which have helped make the Medieval city famous.   Nevertheless, I couldn’t help being taken with the magnificent, bowl-shaped Piazza del Campo and imagine it packed with spectators, the thunder of horses hooves creating a sense of excitement and danger. […]

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Metlach German Jugendstil

In 1748, German businessman François Boch founded a pottery workshop in the  duchy (or “dukedom”) of Lorraine, which straddled the French, German, Belgian and Luxembourg borders.  His business succeeded and soon Boch opened another factory in Luxembourg, then (in 1801) another one in the Western German village of Metlach—in a former 10th Century Benedictine abbey […]

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The Rite of Spring

The crowd rioted—on this day in 1913—at the premier performance of Igor Stravinsky’s “Le Sacre du Printemps” (The Rite of Spring) performed in Paris’s Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. Produced by Russian “Showman Extraordinaire” Sergei Diaghilev, the music proved to be a ground-breaking (and threatening) aural sensation of unconventional rhythm, nauseating dissonance, and traditional Russian folk music.  The story […]

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The “Unknown” Irving Richards

Today, Raymor is strongly identified with Italian Mid-Century Modern ceramics.  Few people realize, however, that Raymor was actually an American brand name which made products (especially ceramics) in the United States, Scandinavia, Mexico, Germany and Italy. New Yorker Irving Richards (born Rappaport), began his business life in 1926, selling used books in Manhattan.  After a […]

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Herman Kähler

In 1839, thirty-one year old Joachim Herman Kähler moved from Northern Germany to Nestved, Denmark where he opened a ceramics manufacturing workshop.  For the next thirty-or-so years, Kähler produced practical home and kitchen items, most notably an oil lamp called “the all night burner.”  In 1872, his sons, Herman August and Carl Frederick, took-over the […]

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L’oiseau

“The bird,” in French, is “l’oiseau”—and that is what this French Art Nouveau wine jug is sometimes called in its home country.  Made by Pierrefonds in the early Twentieth Century, it possesses the heavily-encrusted crystallization for which this ceramics workshop is well-known.  Many a French household would have served table wine in a jug like […]

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Gilbert Méténier

Gilbert Méténier was a man of artistry and principle.  He was born 30 September 1876 and worked in his father, Louis’s, stoneware workshop which had been founded in the 1880’s. These early works were rarely (if ever) marked and not much is known about their production.  In the 1920’s—probably around the time of Louis’s death—Gilbert […]

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A New Arrival of French Pottery

We’ve just received a new collection of French Art Nouveau art pottery, including the piece shown above. Made by Poterie Renault in Argent-sur-Sauldre, France, this piece perfectly captures the contradiction of the best Art Nouveau pottery—a controlled, fulsome form finished with random, dripping abandon.  Poterie Renault was founded in 1847 and continues to produce pottery […]

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Black Day

In Asia, Valentine’s Day prompts a woman to give a gift to a man.  On White Day (one month later) men return the courtesy.  In Korea, today is Black Day—and all those who were “uninvolved” or “unlucky” on the previous two holidays commiserate by eating noodles dressed with black bean sauce.  Sorry singles, both males […]

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William S. Mycock

William S. Mycock had a very long and productive career with Pilkington’s.  He began in 1894 hand-decorating tiles.  He transferred to the art pottery division in 1906 and remained there—designing and hand-decorating ceramics—until his retirement in 1938, the same year the art pottery division was shuttered. Prior to working at Pilkington’s, Mycock had studied painting […]

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More about Pilkington’s

Pilkington began an art pottery division in 1898, just in-time to enjoy the peak of the English Arts & Crafts Movement.  They contracted the talents of England’s prominent designers and had a stable of in-house artists, as well. As the new century progressed, Pilkington found itself making a splash at international design exhibitions:  in Liege […]

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Pilkington’s

Pilkington’s ceramic art pottery had a rather accidental beginning.  The four Pilkington brothers were part of a group of businessmen who, in 1889, planned to dig a coal mine in Clifton, near Manchester, England.  It turned-out that the pits being dug were water-saturated, making the intended venture impossible.  But the wet earth was suitable for […]

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More New Pottery

Shown above, more English art pottery from the 1930’s, all a part of a newly-acquired collection—now in store.  Please come in to see it or check-out our on-line shop. More about this pottery tomorrow.

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A New Collection Arrives

New in store:  a collection of quality English art pottery, glazed in shades of blue and aqua from the 1920’s and 1930’s.   Please visit the store to see it in-person or peruse our on-line shop. More about these new acquisitions over the next several days.

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The Pony Express

On this day in 1860, the Pony Express began its first day of service, linking St. Joseph, Missouri to the new (and important) state of California.  A customer paid $5.00 per half-ounce to have his envelope whisked along the 1900 mile route in an astonishing 10 days.  A company of 120 riders (each weighing less […]

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Gouda Art Pottery

Gouda is a small city in Holland, settled in the marshy lands east of The Hague.  In the past, the area’s moist terrain was perfect for harvesting peat which was used as fuel for cooking, heating, and combustion.  The area’s wetlands were also a rich source of clay.  The ready supply of clay—plus fuel to […]

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More Matte Green

Amongst the new collection of matte green American Arts & Crafts pottery recently received is this ewer by Hampshire Pottery. Hampshire Pottery was founded by James Taft in Keene, New Hampshire, in 1871.  He introduced the popular Matte Green color (shown above) in 1883.  Hampshire was always a small producer, making quality art pottery for […]

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The Calaveras Skull

On this day in 1866, miners digging in Calaveras County, California, discovered a portion of a human skull, some 130 feet below the surface and beneath an ancient lava flow.  Josiah Whitney, State Geologist in California (and a professor at Harvard University) studied the remnant, announcing that the skull was real and that it dated […]

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Free Labor! Free Land! Free Men!

Free Labor!  Free Land!  Free Men! So went the mantra of the Republican Party in 1856.  On this day in 1856, the Republican National Party met in Pittsburgh to finalize plans for its first national convention, four months later.  Philadelphia was selected and California senator, John C. Freemont, was nominated as the first Republican presidential […]

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Seeing Red

On this day in 1848, political theorists Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels—Germans both—published their political proclamation, The Communist Manifesto.  Lionized and demonized, the book has been used both as a rallying call and as a denouncement. Within its pages, the authors contend that “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggle.” […]

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Happy Year of the Horse!

Wishing you a Happy Lunar New Year and Prosperous Year of the Horse! People born in the Year of the Horse tend to be clever, kind, and communicative—perhaps a little too much so, at times.  They enjoy the company of other people, the larger the crowd, the better.  This year may be a bit of […]

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The Age of Innocence

Born on this day in 1862, Edith Wharton was born into a respectable New York society family.  She was related to the Rensselaers and her father (George Frederic Jones) came from the family after which the phrase “keeping up with the Joneses” reputedly was based. Having entrance to New York society, Edith proved a keen […]

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Seventies Chic

Part of a large collection of American art pottery from the 1960’s and 1970’s.  In the days of shag carpeting, macramé, and Harvest Gold appliances, this pottery was the height of Nixon-era chic.  Come into the shop to see the full collection—plus art pottery from the 19th Century, Arts & Crafts, and Art Deco periods.

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A German Invasion

Before World War II, art pottery mass-production was common in the U.S., England, and Western Europe.  As these countries built their middle-classes, pretty consumer goods were needed to satisfy newly-found disposable incomes. When the war began, purchasing these “little luxuries” was put-off for better times down-the-road. After the war (in 1945), Americans (and their Anglo-European […]

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Limoges

Limoges was settled originally by the Romans just around the time of Christ and first called “Augustoritum.”  Some 250 years later, it was Christianized by the Bishop (later, Saint) Martial, the city’s patron saint, and after whom the local abbey is named. Limoges is known for three types of craft: enameled copper panels (especially for […]

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Viva Italia!

In Italy, La Bella Figura—the art and ideal of making a beautiful impression—is a way of life. And this Italian Modernist vase plays its part well.  Crafted after World War II, during Italy’s modern renaissance, this vase continues to turn heads as it still cuts a beautiful figure. Come into the shop to see it, […]

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Fleurs Sauvages

Like Impressionist painting of a century ago, this vase is decorated in the spontaneous, textured, and liberated manner of 1890’s France.  This Art Nouveau piece diverges wildly from its (same age) English Arts & Crafts cousin across the channel. This vase, purchased from a London collector, is part of a large shipment of pottery, boxes, […]

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Blue Christmas

Refreshingly aquatic, this vase would bring a bit of the Mediterranean to your Christmas tree.  Made in Italy, it is decidedly Modernist—and yet, thanks to its cuneiform-like hand-impressions, also has an ancient, timeless appeal. See this piece, and many more new acquisitions, in the shop or check-out our on-line store. Click on the picture above […]

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Modern Craft

West German Modernist ceramicist, Rudi Stahl, crafted this glazed stoneware piece—more sculpture than vessel.  Six little “stovepipes,” like a field of mushrooms, reach heavenward and provide a classic, Mid-Century Modern look.  Glazed in variegated  buff and carmel. Come into the shop and see more of our recently-collected pieces—pottery, cufflinks, boxes, and more—or click on the […]

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Reds

On my most recent European buying trip, I bought a very large collection of red West German art pottery—enough to fill a 48″ table! Come into the shop to see the new collection.  One piece makes a wonderful gift.  Several pieces make a bold decorating statement. Besides red pottery, I’ve also bought a lot of […]

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Cobalt Blue

Amongst the cache of ceramics—purchased on my most recent buying trip—is this collection of cobalt blue West German pottery.  Made by Hoy, Scheurich, and others, they make a lovely arrangement of bold, stately color. See these and a lot more pottery in-shop now, or in the on-line store in days to come.

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London Calling – part V

By ceramicist Rudi Stahl, a piece of West German Modernist ceramics.  More sculptural than functional, it would look good in any setting—Modern or  Woody.  Like a field of mushrooms, six little chimneys emerge from the heavy, stoneware base. See this piece and other new items in-shop from 13 December.  This piece should be posted to […]

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London Calling – part III

From Holland, circa 1920, this little Gouda bowl.  Perfect as a wine coaster or bedside “pin tray,” it is decorated with hand-painted flowers and a scrolling wave border.  A lovely combination of color and design. Come into the shop to see this, and other recent acquisitions, after 13 December. More new items tomorrow and in […]

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London Calling – part I

I’m in London at the moment, my last buying trip before Christmas.  Over the next several days, I’ll share some “quick shots” of pieces I’ve acquired. Shown above, a (small) portion of a large collection of Modernist ceramics—mostly West German and Italian.  Many reds, some matte cobalt blue, and a few green pieces round out […]

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Danish Art Nouveau

Though it’s not English, I bought the piece, shown above, from a British collector (a long-time source for goodies in my shop).  It is made by Ipsen, the Danish ceramics workshop, and is dated 1911.  It has the gentle, feminine curves of the Art Nouveau, but is energized with a dripping metallic over-glaze of silver […]

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Sculpture or Vessel?

Normally, it’s a straight-forward matter to decide whether an object is a vase or a piece of sculpture.  Occasionally, however, it’s not quite so simple.  Take the West German piece above, made in the 1960’s by ceramicist Rudi Stahl.  One could put a flower stem (or two) into each little spout.  Would that do the […]

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Art Finds a Way

While borders may change and territories expand and contract, art continue to press on. Art—a fundamental expression of human creativity—is challenged by conflict, sometimes changed by conflict, but rarely killed by conflict. The piece of art pottery, pictured above, was birthed in a time and region of tremendous conflict—and has survived beautifully. Having been made […]

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No White Elephants Here

Legend has it that the King of Siam would present courtiers—specifically annoying or obnoxious ones—with the royal gift of a White Elephant.  Despite the gift’s incredible rarity, the animal was such a burden to sustain that the unpleasant courtier would be ruined financially just trying to keep the animal fed and maintained. Today, the term […]

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George Stubbs: Equine Genius

On this day in 1724, British artist George Stubbs was born in Liverpool to a leather “currier” (finisher) and merchant.  He worked with his father until he was 16, at which point he was apprenticed to a local painter and engraver, a position which didn’t last long—Stubbs did not like the repetitive copying which was […]

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Smoke and Ash

It was just an ordinary day in Pompeii: 24 August 79 AD.  People were going-about their regular business, bustling-along the marble-clad streets and roadways of the ancient Roman city.  Then, without warning, Mons Vesuvius—five miles away—exploded, sending molten rock and poisonous gasses straight up, over 20 miles into the sky. When the dust settled, Pompeii […]

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The Louvre Turns 220

On 10 August 1792, the “Storming of the Tuileries Palace” effectively brought an end to the French monarchy (later restored in 1814).  Louis XVI and his wife, Marie Antoinette, were arrested and locked away—later to be killed. This bloody chapter in French history was followed, exactly one year later, with the official opening of the […]

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