I have always liked matte white pottery and keep a personal collection myself—on the wide windowsill over my kitchen sink. The simplicity of color contributes a fresh and clean look without appearing industrial or sterile. And the form of each piece can be appreciated clearly, without the optical effects (or distraction) which darker colors sometimes contribute.
When assembling a white ceramics grouping, some people are sticklers for maintaining the purity of one particular shade of white—be it cool, warm, bluish, pinkish, or yellowish. I appreciate this discipline, but am a little more relaxed about my personal grouping. I find that, once you have enough pieces, a "palette" of whites can look wonderful together (within a controlled range). For example, if you have only three pieces, and one doesn't match, the grouping won't look right. But if you have a dozen pieces, with four or five differing (but complimentary) shades of white, the grouping will display interesting complexity. A quick glance at your collection will tell you whether there is one offending piece which needs to be "re-purposed" (perhaps as part of a lovely gift-bouquet). It's important to keep in mind that every manufacturer had its own, different matte white colors, which varied in shade and level of sheen. Even a single pottery maker may have altered its glaze formula over time, perhaps to respond to consumer trends (or an executive's opinion).
Of all the matte white glazes, my favorite has always been Roseville's, produced on numerous forms in the Art Deco 1930's. It has a gentle, satin sheen and is bright without being sterile. This Roseville bowl has this wonderful satin white glazing—over a bold, Art Deco "scaffolded" relief. I especially love the "tension" exhibited by its compressed form, as if a hand were pushing-down upon an otherwise spherical ball. And, at this time of year, it reminds me of a snowball. Click upon the photo above to learn more about this handsome piece.
Though our Greenwich Village store is now permanently closed, LEO Design is still alive and well! Please visit our on-line store where we continue to sell Handsome Gifts (www.LEOdesignNYC.com).
We also can be found in Pittsburgh's historic "Strip District" at Mahla & Co. Antiques (www.mahlaantiques.com) or in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania at The Antique Center of Strabane (www.antiquecenterofstrabane.com).
Or call to arrange to visit our Pittsburgh showroom (by private appointment only). 917-446-4248