The art pottery movement began in the 1870s in America and Britain, coinciding roughly with the beginning of the Arts and Crafts movement, which gained momentum in the 1880s. Art pottery was more elaborate than utilitarian pottery, and early pieces were usually hand-decorated, signed by the artist, and produced in limited numbers.
Many companies known for their art pottery, like Rookwood, Roseville, Frankoma, and Weller, were founded in the American Midwest in the 1880s and 1890s. Drawing on local deposits of clay and minerals, most of these companies started by making simple, decorative pottery pieces or utilitarian pieces such as flowerpots and other garden ware.
What ultimately set these companies apart were their ornamental designs. Rookwood and other Midwestern companies took inspiration from Asian designs and Art Nouveau styles, creating pieces that were both functional and beautiful. They worked in a variety of popular forms, from vases to bowls to wall sconces and decorative tiles...
Some art pottery makers, like Rookwood, eventually grew into large operations, producing pieces in quantity and marketing them nationally via department stores and catalogs. But many smaller studios also thrived in the heyday of hand thrown and decorated art pottery.
Other noteworthy makers of art pottery include Hull, McCoy, Charles Volkmar, Chelsea Keramic, Lonhuda, George Ohr, Newcomb College, Grueby Faience, Adelaide Alsop Robineau, Artus Van Briggle, and the Saturday Evening Girls.
In the U.S., interest in art pottery waned in the 1940s and many once-famous companies disappeared.
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Recent News: Art Pottery
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Local galleries & museumsThe Daily Progress, June 18th
The gallery shop also features contemporary art, pottery, sculpture and other crafts by numerous Virginia artisans. Camps and classes are offered for all ages. 129 E. Main St., Orange. (540) 672-7311; www.artscenterorange.org. The Bridge Progressive...Read more
Solstice Arts Festival has eclectic appealThe Shippensburg News-Chronicle, June 18th
Visitors had plenty of fine art to peruse like paintings, photography, jewelry, airbrush art, pottery and more. The glass blowing demonstrations by Michael Peluso were a fan-favorite as well. “The focus of the festival has always been on the fine arts...Read more
CHELSEA: Silver Maples seeks artists for annual Harvest Art MarketHeritage Newspapers, June 18th
The 6th annual show will feature over 20 Michigan area artists and craftsmen showing watercolor, folk art, pottery, fiber arts, glass works, original photography, vintage art and more. "Our goal is provide a nice 'market-mix' of art. We're looking for...Read more
Downtown Dunedin welcomes annual craft festivalTampa Bay Newspapers, June 17th
The festival will feature a vast array of craft media such as folk art, pottery, personalized gifts, handmade clothing, basket weaving, beaded utensils, candles, cork assemblage, fabric design, fiber quilts, fused wax & glass, hair accessories...Read more
East Peoria art fair attracts artists from all over the MidwestPeoria Journal Star, June 16th
Watkins, who works for McKenzie River Potter in Washington, and Grant, who works at Wheel Art Pottery Studios in Peoria, made the pottery before the fair and left them as blank canvasses, allowing patrons to come in and paint their own designs on the ...Read more
So Cincinnati: City's Art LegacyWKRC TV Cincinnati, June 12th
By 1860 art pottery emerged: more artistic than useful. A Cincinnati woman found a way to decorate under the glaze. "Never had that for the first thousand years of pottery-colors would fire out. One Cincinnatian, Louise McLaughin, discovered the...Read more
Exhibition of Ohio pottery begins SaturdayZanesville Times Recorder, June 11th
Next came the studio pottery movement, which evolved out of art pottery through the work of individual artists, through changes in technology, and through changes in American and European culture, according to the release. The pottery made in...Read more
Fine art pottery exhibit full of happy surprisesTheChronicleHerald.ca, June 7th
Susan Charles, executive director of the Nova Scotia Centre for Craft and Design, doesn't want to ruin the surprise in Variations on Symmetry, so she won't send out press images of certain displays. That's because this exhibit, by ceramic artists Eliza...Read more