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Large Vintage Pottery Vase with Unknown Signature

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    Posted 9 years ago

    (17 items)

    Found this large, unusual vase today while treasure hunting in the local thrift shops, and decided to buy it because it was also "signed" on the side of the piece with a "name". Unfortunately, I cannot make out the name enough to find anything while trying variations while searching the internet. The piece is clearly hand crafted, and stands just over 12 inches tall. The bottom half is beautifully textured, and is where the piece has the signature along with "1987..." marked along the bottom outside rim. Can anyone recognize the signature? Every interpretation on my side yields nothing when searching the internet, so I'm hoping someone out there can lend a hand here. Thanks in advance!

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    1. finderskeypurs finderskeypurs, 9 years ago
      It's "Terra" something, I've seen and ID'd that mark before but can't remember the rest of the word. Can I see a better photo to try to decipher the end of the word?
      I'll be able to ID it.
    2. billretirecoll billretirecoll, 5 years ago
      Here's a Google image search for Tewahima Pottery:

      I hope this helps! :^)
    3. TheIbbit TheIbbit, 5 years ago
      billretirecoll, thanks for the link, but 2 weeks ago I found a pottery plate that had VERY similar design features as the ones in your link (and my vase), but signatures was slightly different. The plate is signed Terrafirma USA, and it turns out there is Terrafirma Ceramic Pottery made by Ellen Evans? So, now I have to figure out if these are actually TerraFIRMA or TerraHIMA. Honestly, since I cannot find any sites that connect with Terrahima (other than internet shops that just list pieces and link them to Hawaii?), I'm leaning more towards Terrafirma. I think I saw something on Ellen's earlier work, and it's the same technique/design. But, still looking for enough evidence to mark this as solved.
    4. artfoot artfoot, 5 years ago
      Bill is correct - this is contemporary Hawaiian pottery.
    5. billretirecoll billretirecoll, 5 years ago
      artfoot, thank you! :^D
      I was wondering if there was a connection between Tewahima Pottery, the Hawaiian pottery, and Terrafirma Ceramics, the New York pottery. Terraferma being "hard earth", no longer in Hawaii? Do you think that's possible? The designs of both seem so close, and the signature/marks on them, are sometimes hard to tell apart. They may have moved to New York, or are related, in some way. Just my thoughts on it! :^)
    6. TheIbbit TheIbbit, 5 years ago
      Had to step away from this one for a couple days, since it was making my head spin. Especially since only some Tewahima pieces for sale even mention a Hawaiian link. I can find nothing on a Hawaiian potter named Tewahima, but that doesn't surprise me too much. I see Terrafirma Ceramics (Ellen Evans) has a Facebook page, so I've posted a comment there with picture of both pieces asking if they can identify them. Fingers crossed.
    7. TheIbbit TheIbbit, 5 years ago
      Just to close on this mystery... while I never did receive any feedback from Ellen Evan's FB page, I was contacted by someone who happens to collect her vintage Terrafirma Ceramics. And, after viewing a cabinet full of similar pieces I'm now convinced this piece was definitely made by Ellen Evans from the 1970's through to early 2000's. Her work today is rather plain, and commercial, compared to the detailed pieces when she first started. A shame...

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