Mary Rogers Date of Birth and art movements involved in for pottery and porcelain in cermaics?
Famous British lady, for her hand-made porcelain and stoneware.
“Rogers, Mary (1929 – )
Mary Rogers was born in Belper, England. She studied graphic design at Watford School of Design and apprenticed with John Dickenson from 1945-47. etc etc etc….Presently, she concentrates on small, delicate porcelain forms as well as some larger stoneware pieces that reflect natural history objects and forms found in nature.”
The novel, Shades of Darkness, Shades of Grace is set in Minnesota among the states many natural wonders, rich history, and eclectic towns providing a vivid backdrop against which the story unfolds. One of the key plot points involves Red Wing Pottery, manufactured in the Minnesota town of the same name for nearly 100 years.
The matriarch of the Pierson family, Beverly, collects Red Wing Pottery and has gone into the antique business opening Past Treasures Antiques in downtown Wayzata, Minnesota. Red Wing had its origins in the rich clay discovered as the area was being settled in the 1860s. Over nearly 90 years the company would produce salt glaze pottery, utilitarian stoneware, art pottery, cookie jars, and over 100 patterns of hand-painted ceramic dinnerware. Much of the stoneware was marked with a distinctive red wing on the front, in later years the art pottery and dinnerware was stamped with a red wing on the bottom.
In the novel, Beverly and Bill Pierson give their son Paul and his bride Pamela, a blue tinted lily bowl and pitcher, a stunning example of Red Wing artistry. Officially advertised as “Ewers and Basins in blue tint” – the set was offered in the 1920s and 30s along with hundreds of other stoneware items for the household and farm. Because few of these gorgeous sets survived intact, in mint condition they are extremely valuable.
As Kay, the narrator of the story notes, Red Wing Pottery is an integral part of Minnesota’s history. But the pottery also holds an important place within the history of America and the pottery industry, as in the early 20th Century the company was the largest manufacturer of pottery in the United States. Other Red Wing pieces of note mentioned in the book include Nokomis vases that were part of the art pottery line during the 1930s; cherry band pitchers which were manufactured during the same time period as the lily pitcher and basin; and cookie jars produced until the plant’s closing.
Today, Red Wing Pottery is highly sought after by collectors and is often referred to as “the Cadillac of pottery.” Ten years after the plant closed in 1967, a group interested in collecting the pottery for both its beauty and historic significance founded the Red Wing Collector’s Society. Every year during the second week in July, thousands of Red Wing collectors from across the U.S. converge on the city of Red Wing for their annual convention, where members buy, sell, barter, and trade pieces of the pottery. Highlights of the Red Wing Convention include auctions, where mint condition salt glaze pottery, unusual or one-of-a-kind pieces can sell for thousands of dollars.
Want to learn more about Red Wing Pottery? There are numerous web sites devoted to the history, preservation, and selling of Red Wing and some of the best are listed below. Another good place to shop for Red Wing is on eBay, where more than a few Red Wing aficionados like Beverly Pierson have caught the collecting bug and developed spectacular collections of the pottery.
Red Wing Collector’s Society – Founded in 1977, the Society is a great place to learn more about the pottery and its lasting legacy.
Red Wing Collector’s Society Foundation – This non-profit foundation’s mission is to preserve the history of Red Wing Pottery. The RWCS Foundation maintains a museum in Red Wing, MN and provides educational materials and scholarships.
Red Wing Dinnerware – Todd Hintz and his wife Ivy Loughborough are avid collectors of Red Wing Dinnerware and have designed an extensive web site on the topic. Every pattern is represented.
Schleich Red Wing Pottery Museum – In October, 2001, Jerry and Louise Schleich opened this one-of-a-kind museum in their hometown of Lincoln, NE. Since then, hundreds of visitors from around the world have viewed the collection. Over 5,000 pieces on display chronicle the history of Red Wing Pottery.
About the Author
Catherine Johnson is the author of Shade of Darkness, Shades of Grace published through iUniverse. For more about the novel, visit Catherine Johnson Novels
Ceramic and Pottery Art by Lakeside Pottery, Stamford, CT
If you are looking for a great creative outlet or a new hobby that can bring in a little spare change while you are at it, you may want to consider learning to make your own pottery. It is a great and fun hobby that isn’t terribly expensive, once you have the initial tools of the trade and is a lot of fun for many people around the world. Moreover the results of your efforts when it comes to pottery making are actually useful items to have around the house or to bring in a little extra income selling on Ebay or at local craft fairs and flea markets.
Well-made and carefully selected pieces of pottery also make excellent gifts for friends and family. If you are one of the millions of people around the world who really feel the pinch around holidays then learning to make your own pottery can really help to soften the blow while providing great gifts for those you love. There are many useful purposes for pottery not the least of which is as bowls, baking dishes, containers, pitchers to hold liquid, vases, pen and pencil holders-the possibilities are virtually limitless for what can be done with pottery once you have the basic tools in your possession as well as a few primary skills that are necessary to create the wonderful works of art.
One thing to keep in mind is that making pottery is not a one size fits all process. There have been many different methods for the creation of pottery that have been utilized throughout history by many different cultures and the results are all similar in many ways while remaining quite unique to the culture, the clay, the people, and the history of those who have created the pottery. Well beyond the actual tools used in the making of the pottery there are different markings that are placed upon the many pieces that often represent the artisans that created it or the tribes that were responsible for a particular style of pottery. In today’s pottery the tool markings are often symbols of the artisan and are almost all unique to that particular artist. This eliminates the likelihood of forgeries and gives credit to the artists who craft individual items where credit is due.
When learning to make pottery it is important that you are willing to learn several different styles of creating beautiful art with ceramics in order to have more versatility. The more styles and techniques you familiarize yourself with the more likely you are to find a style that you most enjoy and have a wider range of skills from which to draw when creating new works of art. Pottery is an immensely useful skill to know and there are many amazing and beautiful styles that can be learned for creating these beautiful pieces. Take the time to learn as many as you have access to learn.
Another thing that must be done when learning to make pottery is not only learning different styles of pottery but also learning to use your imagination when creating pottery so that you can see new and useful creations to be made. Those little touches are the very things that allow one artist to stand out from all the rest. If you can create a style that is uniquely your own when it comes to making pottery then you will enjoy far greater commercial success as an artist. Even if you are only learning to throw pottery as a hobby the more styles you have mastered, the more you will enjoy making your own beautiful pieces and the more versatility you will have in their creation.
Whether you use your skills to create platters, bowls, cups, plates, bake ware, spoon rests, vases, or any number of other delightful creations you should find great pleasure in the creation of these pieces first and foremost. The more you enjoy making pottery the more you will find that you want to make.
This pottery looks like Colorado, the area where it is made. Yes, it’s still made in Colorado Springs today, and pieces that will accrue in value can be obtained there. I have a collection of pieces from the early days and more recent ones that I picked up at the pottery. However, the truly valuable pieces are from the early years of the company and can sometimes be picked up when the seller is not aware of their worth.
Artus Van Briggle, a potter and artist, came to Colorado Springs in 1899 and began to experiment with the clays of the area. He was a master at blending clay and glaze and turning it into works of art. He also had the artist’s grasp of form, design, and color. All his pieces have a soft-toned glaze and the colors are the colors of Colorado-turquoises, greens, roses, browns, and purples.
Artus descended from Flemish painters. He was born in 1869 in Felicity, Ohio, and is said to have demonstrated artistic abilities when he was quite young. He began his studies in Cincinnati and eventually apprenticed at Avon Pottery. His mentor in the creation of pottery was Carl Langenbeck. He spent several years in the study of art, partly promoted by the founder of Rookwood Pottery Company, where he worked for some time. Rookwood sent him to Paris to study ceramics. In fact, he is best known for his eventual rediscovery of the Ming glaze, which had been considered lost for centuries.
Anne Lawrence Gregory Van Briggle
While in Paris, he met and fell in love with a fellow American student, Anne Lawrence Gregory. They planned to get married in 1895; however, that didn’t work out and they finished their studies in Paris during 1896 and both returned to America, Anne going to live with her aunt in Pittsburgh. Meanwhile, Artus went back to work for Rookwood, where he continued to develop his skills and to work on the formula for the dead Ming glaze. Unfortunately, he developed tuberculosis and was unable to work very many hours a week. A friend suggested that his health might improve in the climate in Colorado Springs, so he moved west.
Anne moved to Colorado Springs in 1900 and became the art instructor at the local high school. She and Artus developed the logo found on most Van Briggle Pottery, a double A enclosed in a square. He built a small workshop and the company grew from that. He sold his first pottery, about 300 pieces, in 1901. His fame was growing worldwide, and before long, he was able to find investors and his pottery was erected.
Anne and Artus were married in 1902; Anne became a working partner and, as an artist, produced many of the early pieces that today bring the highest prices on the collector’s market. Artus died in 1904, having accomplished more in his short life than most artists accomplish in a lifetime. Anne assumed the responsibilities of managing the plant and carrying on Artus’ work. A new, state-of-the art plant was erected and began operation in 1908.
Anne remarried and moved to Denver in 1923 and the company went through a turbulent period, the new building eventually being damaged by fire and a flood. However, it was eventually moved to the abandoned Midland Terminal Railroad roundhouse, where it can be visited today. Pottery is still being produced there, and a display of pottery from the various periods including the early ones can be seen there. Also, The Pioneer Museum in the Old El Paso County Courthouse holds the largest collection.
Collecting Van Briggle Pottery
There are many reasons collectors love this pottery. It’s beautiful and it looks like no other. Even those who collect Rookwood are attracted to it. After all, Artus’ foundation was there. The colors are extraordinary, and a collector from time to time finds one in an antique shop or even a yard sale that turns out to be quite valuable. The best way to be sure you’re getting an authentic piece of this beautiful pottery is to purchase a book that will show pictures and will have specifics about what to look for. The one I use is authored by Richard Sasicki and Josie Fania.