Locations: Catalina Island
Dates of Operation: 1927 - 1937
Seller Values: Check average price on Ebay

  Featured Catalina Island Pottery items (view more)

Relevant Posts:
2009.08.04 Thrifted Catalina Island Pottery Plate
2008.09.25 Catalina Pottery Tile Extravaganza 2008
2008.04.25 SFA Catalina Pottery Exhibit

Catalina Island Pottery Plate - Potteries of California

Catalina Island Pottery has truly come into its own as a collectible. I’d say it’s at least in the top 5 of the most collectible of California potteries, and certainly one of the most valuable. As one of the most storied and influential potteries in California, it produced a huge number of items including artware, gardenware and dinnerware in a short 10 year period.

I’m just going to say right now that my knowledge of the company is very limited, mostly because we don’t actively collect Catalina, but also because it is nearly impossible to come across it in the thrift stores and flea markets (Update: 8/2009 I spoke a little too soon, see the find below). If you have interest in this pottery, I’d suggest picking up noted expert Carol Coates’ book on Catalina Island Pottery. In addition, Carol runs a website and blog dedicated to Catalina collectors.

I’ll give a really basic rundown here. The full name of the company was the Catalina Clay Products Company and it was located in Avalon on Santa Catalina Island. I’ve never been on the island, although I did go fishing for yellowtail on my dad’s boat in the early 1980s. The island was actually owned by William Wrigley, Jr. of Wrigley’s Chewing gum fame. It was he and a business partner (David Renton) who initially came up with the idea to form a pottery on the island. One interesting thing is that they Wrigley was very strict about using native clay and oxides for the glazes. Brown clay from the island itself was used until 1932 when they began using white body clay from the mainland.

Catalina produced a large amount of artware such as vases, but later they also began producing souvenirs. They also made several different lines of dinnerware, gardenware and other accessories. Many of the island’s facilities sported colorful tiles made by the company. Several large names in the world of Calif. pottery are associated with Catalina. Notably, Harold Johnson, who initially worked at Pacific, was instrumental in the development of Catalina shapes and glazes. Also, Virgil Haldeman got his start at Catalina, replacing Johnson in 1930 after the latter left to form his own company. Haldeman, of course, followed suit in 1933 and started up the Haldeman Pottery which produced the popular Caliente line.

One of the biggest sticking points and sources of confusion for Catalina regards its sale to the Gladding McBean company in 1937. Gladding continued use of some of the Catalina lines, and introduced others under the using the Catalina name. However, none of the “Catalina” items from Gladding were made on the island. I’ve heard that for earlier Catalina items (pre-1932), you can easily identify it because it had the native “brown-clay” body.

However, for later 1932-1937 Catalina ware, you have to go by the backstamp. In all cases, the stamp “Catalina Pottery” is NOT from the island, but was used by Gladding. The addition of “Made in USA” also indicates a Gladding product. Usually, the stamp “Catalina Island” or “Catalina” is associated with the actual island pottery. However, I believe that there are a few stamps with those words which are actually from Gladding - I don’t know if it was a transitional period or not. Apparently, there are also some true Catalina items that were unmarked. Unfortunately, I don’t have enough knowledge to give more insight into the stamps right now. I would suggest looking at Carol’s books or website.

Recently, I finally came across a piece of Catalina at the thrift store. Living in SoCal, I’d seen Catalina so many times in antique malls or shows, but it was always out of my price range. The large charger plate isn’t the most glamorous, and it’s not in perfect condition with a slight crack, but I was happy to finally have an example to show here.

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Note: We've tried to provide as much info as possible on this pottery maker or artist. For further info, you may want to research the items they have on Ebay listed under this name. We've tried to hand tailor the searches below so they will bring up the most accurate results. If there are no results, it will list general California pottery.

   Catalina Island Pottery items



VINTAGE PAIR OF SAN JOSE POTTERY ARTS & CRAFTS CALLA LILY 8" PLATES..CATALINA
Current Price: $99.00
Current Bids: 0
Ends in: 5h 21m



Vintage Planter Vase 1930's Catalina Pottery C 334 Made In U.S.A. blue speckled
Current Price: $16.00
Current Bids: 0
Ends in: 8h 28m



Catalina Pottery Coral Pink Dishes Plates Bowls
Current Price: $4.99
Current Bids: 0
Ends in: 14h 3m



Franciscan Pottery Catalina Rancho Green Vinegar Cruet!
Current Price: $49.97
Current Bids: 0
Ends in: 16h 10m



Catalina Pottery Star Vase Matt Pink & Green - Adorable
Current Price: $19.99
Current Bids: 0
Ends in: 17h 22m



1977 PRICE GUIDE CATALINA POTTERY THE EARLY YEARS 1927-1937 BY A.W. FRIDLEY
Current Price: $9.99
Current Bids: 0
Ends in: 21h 51m



AUTHOR SIGNED, YOUR COMPLETE GUIDE TO THE POTTERY OF CATALINA ISLAND
Current Price: $34.95
Current Bids: 0
Ends in: 22h 5m



Vintage Catalina Pottery White Lina Cat Cactus Planter
Current Price: $250.00
Current Bids: 1
Ends in: 22h 46m



CATALINA POTTERY RESEDA WARE AGATE ART BOWL!
Current Price: $24.97
Current Bids: 0
Ends in: 23h 11m



Catalina Art Pottery GMB Gladding McBean Franciscan Ivory Pheasant Vase
Current Price: $395.00
Current Bids: 0
Ends in: 23h 20m



Mid Century Catalina Rancho blue high glaze scallop edge 8-1/8" pottery dish EC
Current Price: $12.00
Current Bids: 0
Ends in: 23h 27m



catalina pottery plates & platter, vintage good condition, peach, robin egg-blue
Current Price: $50.00
Current Bids: 0
Ends in: 23h 55m



Catalina Island Pottery 9'' Hanging Undecorated Chargers set of 4.
Current Price: $950.00
Current Bids: 0
Ends in: 1d 5m



Gladding McBean CATALINA POTTERY Planter/Bowl YELLOW w/RED COLOR
Current Price: $69.99
Current Bids: 0
Ends in: 1d 8m


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