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Vintage Bishop Ceramics California Pottery Mid Century Vase Planter
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2009.07.20 Bishop Ceramics Vase
This is a curious company that is interesting to me because of the town that I’ve been wondering if it’s associated with. I’m going to call the company Bishop Ceramics for now, although I haven’t been able to find any other information about the company yet. It’s not listed in either Chipman’s or Lehner’s books as far as I know, and yet I’ve come across several examples both online and in real life.
The picture shown above is a photo I snapped at an antique mall. Most Bishop Ceramics items seem to be follow a similar pattern: square vases and gardenware with “comb brushed” areas similar to the Barbara Willis inspired companies from the 1950s and 60s. The style reminds me a bit of Aborn, Stahl and that Elsinore planter that I have. So far I haven’t seen anything other than solid color glazes (i.e. no patterns) and the colors that most commonly turn up are maroon, chartreuse and gray.
Some of the items have unglazed bottom rails like the one I saw. Most of the time, they have an inmold script stamp that reads “Bishop California Ceramics”. But I’ve also seen them with ink stamps occasionally.
As to the reason I’m interested in the name, we used to make a yearly pilgrimage from Southern California up to the Mammoth Lakes / Yosemite area. Driving up the 395 Highway is a unique experience - lots of desolate road connected by a few tiny towns. One of the larger ones we always pass through and stop to fill up gas (and pick up baked goods at the famous Schat’s bakery) is Bishop.
So when I first saw the stamp, I immediately thought of the town. It’s entirely possible it has nothing to do with the town - but I certainly hope it does. The town and area does have an art community - most notably the late wilderness photographer Galen Rowell has a gallery there. If it turns out that this company isn’t related to the town, I’ll be a bit disappointed. But I’d definitely like to find out one way or the other.
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|Vintage Bishop Ceramics California Pottery Mid Century Vase Planter|
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