Posted 1 month ago
This porcelain vase by Illinois potter Michael Schwegmann is 16" high, signed (Schwegmann) and dated (05) in cursive on the bottom. It is in mint condition a $4.99 thrift shop find.
I am not collecting at this time, but am haunting thrift shops in search of a few pieces of furniture, cooking implements, eating implements, etc., for my new house about 40 miles from my old house. I need to spend time there to get it cleaned up so that I can start moving into it so occasionally sleep and eat there. One thrift shop, the one where I found this vase, is about three blocks from the new house and I stop there fairly regularly, so it is kind of like an alcoholic sitting in front of a glass of whiskey on the bar in a pub and just looking at the glass and not drinking, except I occasionally drink the whiskey and then lick the design off of the glass.
Mostly, though, I win the will power battle and just pass the cool stuff by unless it is truly remarkable like this vase. I AM looking for just a few pieces of art to provide a bit of interest in the new house so I don't feel like a complete barbarian before I start moving some of the art from my old house. Ahem. I am on the verge of moving my Japanese metalwork to the new house....
Anyway, I was amazed to see this vase sitting on the top of a row of shelves and recognized it as a pretty good piece and then was even more amazed to see the signature on the bottom. MS is a regional artist who has attracted international attention over the past couple of decades. He seldom does work like this, nowadays, and has transitioned into making industrial themed pottery, paint cans, single action revolvers, nuts and bolts, etc. He does some really interesting work. His old work is very complex, though, and he used several techniques and glazes on each piece. This is a good example of that period of his work. He has a web site which is well worth spending a few minutes on:
I have never seen any of his later work in the wild and will probably not relax my grip on my cash long enough to part with any to buy some, so this vase was a great find for me.
Even more fun was when an older woman with what I thought was a German accent walked ahead of her place in line to the counter where I had set the vase down while waiting to pay for it, and asked me if I minded if she took a look at it. She was very interested and as she turned it over to look at the signature, I told her what it was and she obviously knew who the artist was. I think she was a bit disappointed that I knew who it was. Anyway, she said, "Don't you just love it when you find a piece like this?" and got back in line. I agreed with her comment and noted that a lot of work went into this vase which she agreed to, as well.. later I realized that she was Antoinette Badenhorst a well known potter/instructor/blogger, etc., when I found a video interview she had done with MS! Small world.
Sorry for the poor quality of the images, composition of them, etc. I am limited in what I can do in my new house.
I am not the first to post Schwegmann's work to CW: