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What was the Art Deco style originally known as?

Style Moderne
Streamlined Moderne
Arte Moderne.
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Art Deco Collectibles: Fashionable Objets from the Jazz Age
by Rodney Capstick-Dale &
Diana Capstick-Dale

In the 1920s and 1930s the Art Deco style influenced everything from art and architecture, interiors and furnishings, automobiles and boats to the small, personal objects that were part of everyday life: Featuring high-quality photography and vintage illustrations and ephemera, this book brings these objects to life in exquisite detail for the first time. The objects in this themed book encompass the Deco style at its most alluring, as well as the modernity, excitement, and social revolution of the Jazz Age.

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The Story of Art Deco

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French Art Deco Geometric Brooch

From Utility to Beauty
by Bob Brooke


Pottery, that is earthenware and stoneware, had been delegated to everyday utility use for centuries, In the 18th century, earthenware was the only pottery made in the American Colonies. Those people who wanted elegant porcelain dinnerware and decorative pieces had to import them at great expense, mostly from England, but also from France and The Netherlands.

By the early 19th century, American potteries began producing porcelains of their own. And by the 1850s, earthenware and stoneware had disappeared into the kitchens of the wealthy to once again be used only for utilitarian purposes. The Industrial Revolution provided the technology for ceramics to be mass produced, thus taking them out of the realm of the individual potter.

The English Arts and Crafts Movement, begun by William Morris, focused once again on handcrafted pottery. But this time, potters began producing earthenware and stoneware that was not only useful but beautifully crafted.

The handcraft concept made its way over the Atlantic Ocean to the United States, where potters eagerly set to work crafting their own earthenware pottery designs.

The Arts and Crafts pottery movement began in America in the 1870s. Historians generally agree that the original Arts and Crafts Movement ended around 1920. It resulted in a return to the creativity and simplicity associated with the craft of producing hand-made art pottery. It also reflected an abandonment of mass-produced art pottery in favor of the uniqueness and simplicity of style, form and glaze typically seen in Arts and Crafts pottery.

The Arts and Crafts movement is typically defined by the pottery produced by companies such as Grueby, Marblehead, Newcomb College, Wheatley, Teco, Rookwood, and early Van Briggle pottery. The Arts and Crafts style pottery movement relied upon the integrated expression of form and design by an individual craftsman who would typically individually complete the production of a piece of Arts and Crafts pottery. Today, many small studio potters are returning to the roots of the original Arts and Crafts movement

American art pottery refers to aesthetically distinctive hand-made ceramics in earthenware and stoneware from the period 1870 to the 1950s. Ranging from tall vases to tiles, the work features original designs, simplified shapes, and experimental glazes and painting techniques.

Art pottery was made by some 200 studios and small factories across the country, with especially strong centers of production in Ohio at the Cowan, Lonhuda, Owens, Roseville, Rookwood, and Weller Potteries and in Massachusetts at the Dedham, Grueby, Marblehead, and Paul Revere Potteries. Competition from commercial mass-production companies, as well as the advent of World War I followed a decade later by the Great Depression forced most of them out of business.

The American art pottery movement developed out of the tradition of individual potters making utilitarian earthenware and stoneware vessels for everyday use that dates back to Colonial America. Differing locations, the potters' appreciation for Native American pottery traditions, and modernist aesthetics helped to influence its evolution. Frederick Hurten Rhead, who worked with several different art potteries, and Maria Longworth Nichols, whose Rookwood Pottery produced what many consider some of the very best American art pottery, were two of its most influential artists.

Later art pottery designs became more graphic, linear, and abstract. But flowers and animals, like Rookwood's eponymous rook remained popular subjects for decorations throughout the Movement. Some pieces had three-dimensional features, such as designs incised into the surface rather than painted on top, or raised elements like slip-trailed patterns or low-relief sculptures.

While many of the key figures in the movement founded or were affiliated with specific potteries, a few remained essentially independent throughout their careers. Notable in this group are John Bennett, who worked in New York and New Jersey, and Adelaïde Alsop Robineau, whose Scarab Vase is considered one of the finest examples of American art pottery. Also operating "independently" was the vast factory of Edwin Bennett in Baltimore which periodically produced fine examples of art pottery, although the overall focus of the business was industrial.

Rookwood Pottery Company
Maria Longworth Nichols Storer, who was influenced by Japanese and French ceramics, founded the Rookwood Pottery in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1880. Rookwood became known for experimenting with glazes and for the exceptionally high quality of its painted and incised work. The Pottery’s production standards and quality control were second to none. Often what was considered average quality for Rookwood Pottery would have been considered exceptional for Roseville, Weller and other makers. The primary Arts and Crafts lines produced by Rookwood were its hand carved and painted matte lines.

Roseville Pottery
The Roseville Pottery began in Roseville, Ohio, in 1890 then moved to Zanesville eight years later. It began by making housewares and only began making art pottery around 1900. More collectors collect Roseville pottery than any other American art pottery maker. The most recognized hand crafted, Arts and Crafts Roseville pottery includes Della Robbia introduced by Frederick Rhead and Fujiyama created by Gazo Fujiyama. Frank Ferrell is another recognized Roseville designer.

Teco Pottery
William Day Gates founded the Teco Pottery in Terra Cotta, Illinois, in 1899 as a specialty branch of his American Terra Cotta Tile and Ceramic Company which made architectural terra cotta items like drain tiles and chimney tops. Gates's experiments with glazes and forms led him to found Teco—an acronym for TErra COtta—to create art pottery, especially vases. Teco became known for its distinctive architecturally styled wares with little to no surface decoration and for a medium-green matte glaze. Most designs were the work of Gates himself, but a few Chicago-based Prairie School architects also made works for Teco. The firm’s matte green pottery set the standard for the Prairie School branch of the Arts and Crafts Movement. Teco’s geometric and architectural vases complemented Frank Lloyd Wright and Prairie- or Mission- style homes. The potters at Teco primarily molded rather than handcrafted its pottery.

Weller Pottery
Potter Samuel A. Weller founded the Weller Pottery in Fultonham, Ohio, in 1872. The company turned out both art pottery and mass-produced work, becoming the largest pottery in the country by 1905. Many different potters worked at Weller over the years, including Frederick Rhead, who was there in 1903–04. For this reason, it has less of a signature style than some of the smaller art potteries. The early, hand-decorated pottery vases produced by Weller compare very favorably with that produced by Roseville. While Frederick Rhead was the leader at Roseville, Weller Pottery was blessed with the services of Jacques Sicard who developed the Sicard line.

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