Dates of Operation: 1940s - ?
Seller Values: Check average price on Ebay
The Desert Sands Pottery of Barstow actually had an illustrious history starting back in 1850 or so in Dexter, Missouri. The Evans family of potters. Arthur Evans originally started Desert Sands in Boulder, NV, but when he passed away his son Ferrell continued to produce ware under the same name in the town of Barstow. Because of this dual state production, I guess it’s not exactly correct to call this “California pottery” - but we’ll be listing it anyhow.
I’ve actually been to Barstow many times. We stopped there like many travellers to visit the outlets and eat on the way from to Vegas. I know we actually stopped there when I was a kid in the 70s, when the company was still in existance. I’ve never checked, however, to see if there are any remnants of the building where they produced.
In any case, the vases, pots and dinnerware produced by Desert Sands have a distinctive look to it that is actually similar to Niloak’s Mission ware. Different colors (apparently mineral oxides were added) of clay were swirled together and then handthrown. Niloak is a pretty famous non-California pottery name, and the resemblance is pretty striking. However, this type of swirled pottery has a pretty long history. Funny, but I had just seen an episode of Antiques Roadshow where they appraised a English Mocha Ware jug from around 1800 that had a VERY similar look.
I believe that Bauer also made a swirled color type of ware in the 1920s, but there’s seems to be less “striped” and more “infused” with more of a random pattern occurring. I’ve heard (and this seems to be backed up by the examples I’ve seen) that one of the differences with Desert Sands was that it was given a final coat of see-through glaze at the end, whereas Niloak was not. I believe that some of the pottery produced at the Boulder City location will have different stamps than those produced at the Barstow, CA location. Ink stamps were usually used, and sometimes included the name of the city.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.