Studio Art Pottery
The art pottery movement began in the 1870s
in America and Europe, 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 more aesthetically focused than decorative figurines
. Early art-pottery pieces were usually hand-decorated, signed by the artist, and produced in limited numbers.
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
, Charles Volkmar, Chelsea Keramic, Lonhuda, George Ohr, Newcomb College, Grueby Faience, Adelaide Alsop Robineau, Artus Van Briggle, and the Saturday Evening Girls.
This is not to say that the art pottery movement has ended, far from it.
There are thousands of individual crafters and small and large studios still in operation creating beautiful pieces. There are also many collector associations and conventions throughout the country.
If you are looking for a new hobby you may find it in art pottery. Many of the artists are happy to train interested newcomers and offer classes and studio time.
There are many reasons to collect art pottery. From the simple need of an attractive vase to hold flowers to a monumental showpiece for a home or office. Whatever you are looking for can be found with a simple internet search or visit to your local artists co-op.
The last three images are examples of Teplitz Pottery.
Teplitz refers to art pottery manufactured by a number of companies in the Teplitz-Turn area of Bohemia during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Two of these companies were the Alexandra Works, founded by Ernst Wahliss, and The Amphora Porcelain Works, run by Reissner, Stellmacher, and Kessel. Amphora Porcelain Works used a variety of marks with the word Amphora or the initials RS&K. The style is known to have beautiful naturalistic shapes.
Below are some links that may be of interest.
Some Samples of Art Pottery