Locations: Los Angeles
Dates of Operation: 1935 - 1955
Seller Values: Check average price on Ebay
As with so many California potteries, Cemar Clay Products was the result of former employees of a more well known company departing to form their own pottery company. Whether it was due to disagreements, artistic and other, many employees of pottery companies decided to strike out on their own - with varying degrees of success.
According to Chipman, Cliff J. Malone and Paul Cauldwell were originally employed by Bauer, when they decided to start their own company around 1935. This turned out to be Cemar and I believe it was based in Los Angeles as well, although I don’t know the address. It is unknown whether or not their departure was acrimonious or not. However, it’s interesting that while it’s usually the case that a new company copied the designs of the former, Bauer was known to have closely “imitated” several of the Cemar designs.
But it’s clear that Bauer may have gotten the last laugh - Cemar closed eventually in the 50s and sold many of their molds to the Bauer company. They produced a number of items using the old molds - mostly in a speckled sort of glaze that was common in the 50s.
Fred Kaye was responsible for many of the Cemar designs. They concentrated on animal and plant figurines and giftware, plus a smattering of gardenware. Many of their art deco looking animal figurines incorporated a two color glaze treatment, whereby the animal is one color while the base is a completely different and contrasting color. Many are marked as “Cemar” along with a model number, but it’s sometimes difficult to identify due to the fact that felt “flocking” was glued to the bottoms of the figures.
I’ve come across a number of different Cemar products but haven’t yet picked up any due to the price. The one shown above was a small leaf dish that I passed up at a thrift store because it was damaged. I believe they also made dinnerware, although I see much less of that. One interesting line they had were dishes shaped like strawberries and other fruits.
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