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.

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Recent News: Weller Art Pottery

Source: Google News

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WHIZ, July 8th

Zanesville pottery puts a different spin on the local craft. There, you will not find antiques, Weller or Roseville pottery . "Back in the day, there were several factories, 25-30 different factories in the area and that's what started," said Kim...Read more

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"We all come here every year for the week and just trade pots back and forth, and every room has pottery for sale on all three floors in the hotel." Most of her pieces are rich in Zanesville history. Some of her favorites are one-of-a-kind Weller and...Read more

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"There will be painting, photography, jewelry, pottery, sculpture, fiber art and paper arts, to name a few," Hunter said. Among these artists is renowned watercolorist and illustrator Don Weller. "Don never does shows, so we're really excited to have...Read more

Roof collapse causes gas leak
Alton Telegraph, July 3rd

Harvey said there were boxes, some pottery and assorted junk inside the building. Someone reported smelling natural gas in the ... find no sign of other gas leaking in the area. Linda N. Weller may be reached at 518-208-6450 or on Twitter @Linda_Weller...Read more

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Ceramics is just a passion I have. I love making functional pieces, and just enjoying myself on the wheel. I love photography too, which I picked up just last year because my grandfather gave me one of his old cameras and I've been loving it ever since...Read more