Hi everyone - sorry for the lack of updates and that we haven’t been answering our email/comments. We’ve just had very little time to spend on Potteries of California, because our main focus has been our online shop A La Modern. We also have an Etsy store that features California pottery from time to time.

We do have a lot of California Pottery on both stores, and more coming soon. Here are a few of the items we’ve put recently:

Roselane Pottery Dog - Potteries of California

Roselane Pottery Dog

Gladding Franciscan Capistrano Planter - Potteries of California

Franciscan Capistrano Planter

Haldeman Caliente Blue Vase - Potteries of California

Haldeman Caliente Blue Vase

Robert Simmons Raccoon - Potteries of California

Robert Simmons Raccoon Figurine

La Mirada Planter - Potteries of California

La Mirada Planter

Monterey Jade - Potteries of California

Monterey Jade Mug

Calif Pottery Hunting - Ep. 5

Thursday January 27, 2011 | 1 comment

Hello everyone - I’m only a month late getting the first post of the new year up. I figured we’d go with another episode of California Pottery Hunting. This is a mixture of stuff we’ve found earlier, mostly at thrifts - some of it we ended up purchasing, and others we left.

FmcF - Potteries of California

We see quite a bit of unrecognized Freeman McFarlin in our travels, like this white vase. There’s actually a nice set of similar vases/planters in our A La Modern shop, but in general we pass on these unless they have an interesting glaze. Pieces are often marked with “FMcF”, but also sometimes they’re unmarked.

Cleminsons Caltempo - Potteries of California

I didn’t realize these were Cleminsons items until I saw the backstamp. The word “Caltempo” was written in script on the bottom of the jar, and I remembered that being a Cleminsons line - not sure what this pattern is. The one we see mentioned the most is “Fishfin”. We ended up putting this covered jar and candleholders up in the main shop.

Brayton Laguna - Potteries of California

Ordinarily, I would’ve grabbed this small Brayton Laguna dish because it was so cheap, but it had a lot of damage so we left it for another person. Believe this line was known as “Webton” - we have a pitcher in the blue version of the pattern. This dish is stained a dark brown, similar to those done by Treasure Craft.

Jaru - Potteries of California

Too bad this weird looking blue cat by Jaru had his hand broken off, otherwise I probably would’ve picked it up. Some Jaru items are really valuable, though it seems like people have differing opinions on whether it’s worth that much - I usually pass on all the pastel colored stuff from the early 80s.

Brastoff - Potteries of California

I would’ve picked up this Sascha Brastoff plate but it was just a little bit out of my price range. In addition, we do NOT need to start collecting any more dinnerware lines!

Weil - Potteries of California

Lastly, this Weil vase was cracked which is unfortunate because it has a nice shape. The color scheme reminds me a little bit of La Mirada, which is yet another pottery we haven’t created a gallery yet for. Actually, I believe this shape might be from one of the Catalina molds that Weil purchased for use.

OK, sorry this one was short, but we’ll try continue with more California pottery hunting soon. I have tons of photos from thrift stores that haven’t been shown yet!

Happy New Year, Cats

Wednesday January 5, 2011 | 1 comment

Hagen Renaker Josef Originals - Potteries of California

Hi folks - haven’t posted in awhile. We’ve been so busy with the A La Modern store that we’ve sort of neglected our collecting blogs. We found these two little cats today which was a nice way to start off the new year. The smaller one is a Hagen Renaker siamese, likely the “Papa Stalking” one made by Helen Perrin Farnlund in 1961. The larger one is from Josef Originals, and we don’t have a gallery up for that company yet either. We don’t know too much about the Josef figurines, except that this one was likely made in Japan. I believe the company shifted production from California overseas in the late 50s.

I was planning to do an end-of-year “California pottery spotting” post that detailed all the different items we’ve spotted lately. Have a huge backlog of cameraphone photos still to go through, so we’ll probably try get a post of those up soon.

In the coming year, we’re going to continue posting California Pottery with an emphasis on those items we’ve put up for sale in the main shop and our Etsy outlet. Incidentally, we’ve been slowly putting up California Pottery in our store - but if you see something in our photos here in the site and are interested in purchasing it - please let us know. Most of the things seen here will be for sale, except for a few items we’re going to keep for our own collection.

OK, look for a few more posts in the coming weeks - I hope this new year brings a lot of joy and California Pottery!

Bauer Tracy Irwin Cups

Wednesday November 10, 2010 | 2 comments

Bauer Irwin Cups - Potteries of California

We’ve got a couple more California Pottery items up on the A La Modern site, including these beige speckled Bauer Pottery custard cups. Believe this is a Tracy Irwin design, produced in the later period, around 1960-61. I’m uncertain whether they are indeed custard cups, though Chipman has one of the same size listed in his Bauer book. They have an interesting look to them, sort of similar to the modern gardenware vases that Irwin made.

Heath Cup - Potteries of California

In a somewhat matching color is this wonderful brown with pumpkin orange interior Heath Ceramics cup. Unsure as to which line this one is from.

Heath Creamer Blue - Potteries of California

This tiny blue Heath Ceramics creamer is also a bit of a mystery. It’s so small that we thought it might have been intended as part of a sake service. Anyone know which line, or what type of item it might be?

Frank Moreno For Fall

Monday November 1, 2010 | 2 comments

Moreno Ceramics Pot - Potteries of California

We’ve decided to put up a few of our Frank Moreno Ceramics pots and planters up for sale on our A La Modern shop. I think we mentioned this before, but we’ve been trying to see how best to utilize this blog - rather than having the blog utilize us! That has pretty much been the case, as the galleries and research are a ton of work.

I think it’s the only way to justify the amount of time spent working on the site. Potteries of California has settled into a decent range of web traffic - but like most blogs that get to this point, it’s nearly impossible to increase it due to the “limits” put on it by google and other search engines. We’ve had this happen before - no matter how many original, content-rich posts you write, you don’t get any more traffic than before. It’s HIGHLY discouraging when there are so many other Spammy blogs out there that get more traffic for just about no work at all.

Anyhow, using the blog as a cross-promotional tool for our modern housewares shop seems to be the best way to justify the work put into the site. The orange Frank Moreno bowl above is on sale right now at A La Modern. We’ll probably put a few more up in the shop in the coming weeks, as well as items from other California companies.

Calif Pottery Hunting - Ep. 4

Thursday October 14, 2010 | 6 comments

I haven’t done a California Pottery Hunting episode in awhile. There are actually a ton of backlogged thriftstore photos still, but here are a few found this summer. None of these were purchased - like I said earlier, we’ve been seriously cutting down.

Vernon - Potteries of California

For awhile, I’d grab pretty much any Vernon Kilns pattern I saw at the thrift. But lately, we’ve cut it down - just too many patterns to collect. This was a good sized cache of the Sherwood pattern. I actually don’t even have a gallery made for Vernon yet, have to get on that.

La Mirada - Potteries of California

La Mirada is another California pottery that we collect, but that we don’t have a gallery for yet. This one is difficult to write about because it’s intertwined with Gabriel, Winfield and the umbrella company known as American Ceramic Products. We’ll have to figure out how to present those companies later on. We ended up not picking up this piece because it was just too big. The color combo is typical of La Mirada, however.

Laurel - Potteries of California

Laurel - Potteries of California

We do have a gallery for Laurel Pottery, and I would’ve picked up this casserole from the California Life line if it didn’t have so damage. It was also rather pricey - for a thrift, even though it was in the “antique” section.

Bauer - Potteries of California

Awhile back, I saw a ton of Bauer Pottery appear in many different thrift stores. We did pick up a few pieces (will be shown in an upcoming post), but most of the pieces were damaged so we passed on them. The “Alladin” GPK teapot shown above was probably the best Bauer piece we saw recently at a thrift. It had chips to the spout and rim, however, and was priced rather high for damaged pottery. Unfortunate.

Bauer - Potteries of California

Bauer - Potteries of California

We also spotted this Bauer vase, or cookie jar bottom(?) that was interesting because it had part of a painted decal still on it. We rarely see decorated Bauer at thrift stores.

Bauer - Potteries of California

I was heartbroken that this Fred Johnson designed blue Bauer vase had a big crack in it. His hand-turned stuff is never (as far as I know) marked on the bottom. Once you learn some of the shapes and his techniques, there’s a very good chance at snagging it from underneath the noses of thrifter-sellers who pass it over because of no markings. As well, thrift store workers usually don’t price these pieces very high - again because of the lack of markings.

Bauer - Potteries of California

Bauer - Potteries of California

This single handled brown Bauer bean pot or crock would’ve been a nice pickup - except you can see the large crack running through the entire pot. A few years ago, I probably would’ve gotten it anyhow.

Bauer - Potteries of California

Last up for Bauer is this nice green pitcher, I believe from the Monterey Moderne line. I was torn about not purchasing it, but in the end the high price won out.

KTK - Potteries of California

KTK - Potteries of California

KTK, otherwise known as Knowles Taylor Knowles, pops up once in awhile. It’s often unidentified at thrifts, but because of the telltale pinkish-blue color combination from the 40s, is sometimes priced a little higher. Very similar in color and style to both West Coast and La Canada at times.

De Lee - Potteries of California

We’ll end with this cute figurine from DeLee Art. This little guy is known as “Dude”, and had an original foil sticker still attached. It was reasonably priced, and I would’ve picked it up to resell. However, it just had too much damage. A lot of these DeLee figurines have no markings, except for a sticker which is often missing. You can sort of tell from the design and style that it’s from DeLee. The rectangular foil sticker with name in all caps is also sometimes an indicator.

OK, hopefully I’ll have another California pottery hunting episode up next month.

Bauer Brusche Test Plate?

Sunday August 29, 2010 | leave a comment

Brusche Test Plate - Potteries of California

We come across California pottery pieces every so often that were either errors or were made as specialty items. This Bauer Brusche plate was pretty interesting though, because of the strange dark green glaze circle almost an inch across on the top surface. Irregular Brusche Al Fresco in speckled colors seems fairly common, but we’ve never seen a plate with a big glob of contrasting color on it like this.

We thought at first it might be an accidental drip, but it’s a little strange that it would be a single large circle and wouldn’t have any other drip marks on it. It’s also strange that they would have the speckled glazes and the solid color glazes in such close proximity to each other - or maybe that was common practice at the time.

Brusche Test Plate - Potteries of California

We thought perhaps it was a glaze test done by the factory. However, then that seems unlikely that they allowed a test plate that was so obviously non-usable for the average consumer into the “seconds” bin. The only thing we can think of is a worker took the plate home since it was going to be thrown out. In any case, we might just donate this back to the thrift from whence it came… can’t see too many collectors would be interested in a speckled plate with a big blob of green on it like this!


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