When Samuel Weller launched his one-man, one-room pottery in 1872, he did everything himself. He dug the clay from the Fultenham, Ohio, soil, threw and fired his pieces, and carted them into nearby Zanesville, where he sold them door to door.

At the time, Weller’s repertoire ranged from flower pots to cuspidors, with the occasional piece of stoneware thrown in for good measure. Little could anyone have guessed that within 30 years, Weller Pottery would employ 500 people and be one of the biggest names in hand-painted art pottery in the United States.

While Weller’s roots may have been solo, his success owed a lot to the artisans he hired. The first of these was William Long of Lonhouda Pottery. Long was only at Weller a year or so, but Weller produced his Louwelsa pieces for many years to come. These vases and other decorative objects featured generally dark backgrounds, upon which were florals or portraits, which appeared frozen beneath their shiny overglaze.

The next outsider to help Weller achieve his vision, and success, was Charles Babcock Upjohn, who was hired in 1895 as Weller’s art director—he remained with the firm for almost 10 years. Upjohn is credited with the popular Dickensware II line of 1900, whose surfaces featured figurative illustrations that were literally lifted from the pages of Charles Dickens novels.

Next Weller hired the English potter Frederick Hurton Rhead, who was also only at Weller a year (1902-1903) but left a major mark before moving on to Roseville and Arequipa (Rhead is probably best known as the designer of Fiesta). Among other things, Rhead is credited with Dickensware III, which was a kind of embossed version of Upjohn’s time-consuming-to-produce line. He also produced a number of hand-painted faience plates.

Jacques Sicard, a French ceramist, arrived shortly thereafter. He was brought to Weller to share the secrets of an iridescent majolica. Sicard eventually produced the Sicardo line for Weller, but unlike Long and Rhead, he refused to reveal his formula and methods, leaving the pottery in 1907 with the secrets still in his head.

Coincidental with Sicard’s tenure at Weller was that of Austrian Rudolph Lorber, who brought a menagerie of figurines to the firm. He also excelled at embossing techniques and wa...

The Hobart line aside, Weller did not throw off its Art Nouveau roots. One of the pottery’s biggest sellers during the 1920s was its Hudson line of vases, whose floral paintings were decidedly nostalgic for the turn of the century, and are today considered among the finest examples of hand-painted production pottery in the early 20th century. Simultaneously, Weller produced several lines that used relief on their surfaces to dramatic effect, from the birds and daisies of the Knifewood line to the floral decorations of Marvo.

By the 1930s, the days of hand painting at Weller were numbered. Indeed, the company’s painted lines during the decade, from Bonito to Stellar, were extremely simplistic compared to what had come before. By 1935, Weller was only making molded pottery and in 1948, after struggling to stay afloat during World War II, the company closed for good.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Gouda Design

Gouda Design

Stuart Lonsdale and Kim Lindley's excellent tribute to and reference on Gouda Dutch Art Pottery and Delftware. The … [read review or visit site]

Cowan Pottery Museum Associates

Cowan Pottery Museum Associates

Dedicated to raising awareness of the ceramic art work of R. Guy Cowan and his Cowan Pottery Studio in northeastern… [read review or visit site]

The Pottery Studio

The Pottery Studio

This 7,000-plus page site lives up to its self-billing as a 'knowledge base' with examples of work from all major a… [read review or visit site]

Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Vintage 1920s Weller Lasa Arts & Crafts Pottery Iridescent Vase Trees 11" TallVintage 8.5" Weller Kingfisher Flower Frog4x Arts & Crafts Pottery Vase Roseville Cremona Owens Matte Green Weller FiestaWeller Muskota Wall Hanging Magnificent And Very RareUnusual Rare Weller Antique Pottery Compote Shaped Like Apple Tree ..Weller Pottery Claywood Fish Bowl Weller Pottery Rare Louelsa Corn Pattern Vase Stamped & Numbered On BaseWeller Pottery Modeled Etched Matte Line Vase Circa 1910Weller "coppertone" Arts & Crafts 8" Square Handled Bowl Matt Frog Skin Glaze AfMiniature Weller Pottery Muskota Squirrels Weller Marvo Console Bowl - 10 1/2 Inches Wide - No ProblemsGorgeous C. 1900 Weller Louwelsa Vase With Pansies Artist Initials H1910 American Weller Art Nouveau Pottery Vase W/ Foliate Motif Artist SignedMatt Green Weller Pottery Bowls Weller Pottery Glendale Wall Pocket - Birds - Vintage - 9 InchVintage Weller Woodcraft Pottery - Squirrel Wall Pocket VaseEarly Weller Pottery Art Nouveau Squeeze Bag Arts & Crafts Pitcher Experimental?Louwelsa Weller Miniature Brown Glazed Pitcher 3 1/2 W X 3" HWeller Pottery "senic" Woodland Forest Scene Vase -trees -gate, Etc.....Weller Art Pottery 5 Arm Cream And Rose Candleabra Arts & CraftsVintage 1920's Weller Pottery Marvo Matte Green Jardiniere Pedestal Sharp MoldVintage 1930s Weller Pottery Mammy Syrup Pitcher Tea Aunt Jemima Black AmericanaWeller Claywood BowlWeller Louwelsa Pitcher Ewer Clover Design 7" TallWeller Clinton Ivory 9 1/2" Tall Vase - NrRare Weller American Art Pottery Paneled Floral Pattern Wall Pocket NrVintage Weller Clinton Ivory JardiniereWeller Pottery Woodcraft Log Footed Planter 8.5 X 4.5 ExcellentAntique Weller/roseville Large Vase Weller Art Pottery Arts & Crafts Matte Blue Roses Ruffled Curtain Vase WowWeller Coppertone Frog Fountain - Near Mint - 5 1/2" TallWeller Ceramic Pottery Jardiniere Forest Scene Arts & Crafts Art Nouveau MarkedWeller Pottery Arts & Craft Klyro Tall Rectangle Vase W/ Pink Flowers As IsWeller Art Deco Roma Pedestal VaseWeller Pottery Long VaseWeller Pottery Vase With Lavendar Flowers & ArborsVintage Weller Art Pottery Lily Of The Valley Bouquet Mint Green Vase B-51930's Weller Pottery Zona "strutting Duck" Green On White Pitcher Vintage Weller PotteryWeller Pottery Louwelsa Mug Berry & Leaves Brownware 5" TallEarly Weller Pottery Pot Planter Vase / Pattern Louella Flowers 1915 Rudolph Weller ?? - Peter's & Reed ?? Mug And Ewer -blended Brown Glaze -fruit & Flowers

Recent News: Weller Art Pottery

Source: Google News

Time Out Roundabout — What's Happening Feb. 26-March 4
Salisbury Post, February 26th

Dr. Nelson A. Weller on “Warts and All,” sensitive issues and dark secrets sometimes found in family histories. Forsyth County ..... You provide the libations and snacks, we will provide the fun • Pottery 101, 101 S. Main St., 704-209-1632, www.pottery...Read more

Harmonists were economic engine for the region
Timesonline.com, February 25th

“They laid out a lot of the town of Beaver Falls,” Knecht said of the Harmonists, where they even gave land to Geneva College and developed the town in the 1860s, development that included a bank, cutlery factory and pottery. Knecht said they helped...Read more

Glass and Antique Show returns to Rosenberg
Fort Bend Herald, February 19th

The show features American made glassware and antiques from 1880-1970, including pattern glass, carnival glass, American brilliant cut glass, depression glass, and American art pottery. Guests will find a variety of companies at the show, including...Read more

Public to preview train plans
Alton Telegraph, February 12th

By Linda N. Weller lweller@civitasmedia.com ... Last month, field technicians from Gateway Archaeology LLC of St. Charles, Mo., finished digging in a small area where pottery shards, glass pieces and other small artifacts were discovered a few years ago...Read more

The Houston Glass Show & Sale and The Best Little Antique Show in Texas set ...
Fortbendstar.com, February 11th

This includes Pattern Glass, Carnival Glass, American Brilliant Cut Glass, Depression Glass, and American Art Pottery. Our dealers come from 12 states and bring their best glass and pottery to sell at our show. Friday night we ... You will find Fenton...Read more

Unpaved Roadshow: The whys and wares of early-American pottery
Rappahannock News, February 5th

An enterprising brewer and businessman, Rogers's pottery works was one of Virginia's most prosperous businesses, producing 23 types of redware and stoneware, which were shipped up and down the East Coast. Since the quality of Rogers's vessels was...Read more

Dutch pottery production cleared many hurdles, including Second World War
Orillia Packet & Times, January 30th

Gouda pottery's place in the world of decorative art and in today's marketplace seems to be somewhat less desirable than the pottery of some contemporaries, such as the British Moorcroft and the American Rookwood or Weller, but its eye-catching design ...Read more

More than 350 pieces of Weller pottery and Royal Bayreuth figurals will be ...
ArtfixDaily (blog), April 15th

LONE JACK, Mo. – A little more than 350 lots of rare and unusual Weller Pottery and Royal Bayreuth figurals from the single-owner lifetime collection of Dale and Nancy Carter will come up for bid on Saturday, April 26th, at Dirk Soulis Auctions, in the...Read more