Finding information on some Canadian pottery manufacturers can be intriguing and frustrating. Snippets of information here and there will sometimes be all that can be found for details. Such is the case with this mid-century British Columbia pottery.
History: Crown Ceramics is mentioned in the Clay and Shale Deposits of British Columbia, Bulletin No. 30, written in 1952 for the British Columbia Department of Mines, as being active during the 1950s, and that they manufactured ceramics on a small scale in Vancouver. Most resources state that Crown Ceramics operated from 1945-1957. Little more is known about the history of this Canadian ceramics (pottery) manufacturer.
Shapes: Examples of the mid-century modern shapes produced by Crown Ceramics can be found on two well-known websites, The Canadian Design Resource and the Museum of Vancouver (Keyword search: Crown Ceramics).
- Cone Vase (1955)
- Crown striped vase (1957)
- Candlesticks #325-D
- Pinched bowl (1957) – green, also in turquoise
- Crown vase (1957)
- Leaf vase / planter #401
- Leaf dish #122
- and more…
NOTE: A CC 12″ vase has some similarity to a BMP vase mould designed by Dennis Tupy in the 1950’s (the CDR)
- Crown Ceramics, Vancouver, BC (circular design) lll (center of the base)
- 3-digit mold #
- marked with both impressions & labels
When conducting research on a topic, one does not always need to ‘re-invent the wheel’ as it were. One of my favourite bloggers, Johanne Yakula of the Edmonton-based Heritage Home Consulting company posted on a ‘New’ Canadian Pottery coming out of Nova Scotia. This is particularly relevant, as I just returned from a fantastic holiday in Nova Scotia. I remembered reading Johanne’s post from 2014, and thought I’d re-post it. The blog is about a woman potter from Nova Scotia who started her business in the 1930’s. Her name was Alice Mary Egan (1872-1972). Read the complete blog post here.
While in Nova Scotia, I met a few very talented studio potters. Although my research here focuses mainly on commercial pottery, studio pottery should never be discounted; the rich traditions of Nova Scotia studio potters live on today.
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia: “On the Table”
Lambert Potteries pieces inspire owners and enthusiasts to find out as much as they can about this vintage Canadian pottery. An excellent example of this enthusiasm is the Pinterest Board created by Bee Hansen to display David Lambert’s exceptional ‘Pacific Northwest Coast Designs’. Check it out at… David Lambert Pottery (on Pinterest). This is perhaps the most extensive collection of images for Lambert Potteries Ltd. that I’ve seen to date. For instance, I was not aware of the Lambert’s use of red ware pottery in terracotta from the 1970s.
If anyone else comes across other similar galleries or research sites on Lambert pottery, please let me know and I’ll add the links.
One does not have to go far to find exquisite Canadian pottery. A friend brought these pottery artists to my attention.
ROD & DENYSE SIMAIR live and work in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. They are Internationally acclaimed crystalline ceramic artists, creating stunning works of heirloom quality art.
“The Simairs combine their talents with Rod’s elegant and masterfully thrown original porcelain designs harmoniously brought to fruition through Denyse’s personally researched, formulated and fired macro-crystalline glazes. The results are heirloom keepsakes of aesthetically inspiring ceramic art to cherish now and for generations to come.
Rod has a natural bond with the wheel. To him, beautiful forms and scale are all joyful “physics in motion”, as a part of him is transferred into the energy of each and every piece he creates.
Denyse incorporates the abstract and familiar together with developmental glazing techniques. Her work has been described as having “a familiar warmth, with a touch of intrigue and mystery”.
The exquisite vases by Rod and Denyse Simair include some of the rarest in the world, particularly in the area of large wheel thrown raku and crystalline glazed porcelain. Rod and Denyse combine their talents in a way which highlights one another’s strengths, producing rare and distinctive award winning works of art. Their works can be found in collections throughout the world.” – website.
Rod & Denyse Simair, Crystalline Artists, share why they create Crystalline. Contact www.simair.ca
I was participating in a writing workshop this last week and, as conversations typically go with other participants, I mentioned I was working on a website for Canadian pottery research. Ruth was interested in seeing it, so I pulled it up on my laptop. The first comment she made was “Wow! I love the artwork. Who is the artist?” And here we are…
The banner, titled The Collector, is a work of art inspired by the ceramics of the west coast. In so many ways it fits – I was born in BC and lived there until I was 12 yrs old. I still consider myself a BC girl, even though I will never go back there to live. I’m a diverse collector, with a main focus on Canadian pottery. I love finding pieces I’ve never seen before and digging into the research aspect of collecting – thus, The Collector.
Erika Schulz is a central Alberta artist living and working in Red Deer. She creates and develops her art at Tempest Studios. I have long admired her – in addition to being an admirer of her fabulous artistic talent, she is also a personal friend. And what do friends do? They create unique pieces of art for them, such as the banner you see above.
To find out more about Erika, visit Tempest Studios – Blog – Shop – Deviant Art Gallery – Facebook Fan Page. Follow her. You will not be disappointed.
Part of the process of researching Canadian Pottery is to find gems and nuggets of info in varied formats. In many ways it is easier to conduct research because of the World Wide Web and in many other ways it is so much harder than in the paper format days. When I come across a website of interest, I must jot it down somewhere or it disappears into the ether known as the web. This has become the place for fleeting web stuff (paper is hard copy, and endures as long as you can live with the piles of it). I’d like to draw your attention to a website on Studio Ceramics in Canada – it will provide useful and enlightening information for me and I hope for you as well.
Barry Morrison is an art historian, a writer and a website creator. His site focuses on Canadian studio ceramics – ‘The artists, The Styles, The Techniques, The Art”.
Check it out at Studio Ceramics Canada.
British Columbia pottery of the mid-late 20th century displays distinct themes of the West Coast natural world, of West Coast Native spiritual and cultural designs, of the great Pacific Ocean. It is glorious in colour, organic in shapes, and grounded in land and sea. The following potteries are a few of B.C.s better-known pottery manufacturers, with a studio pottery or two thrown in. These pages are by no means complete, but I have tried to pull together here what is known about BC pottery and the research resources where more in-depth info can be found:
BC Ceramics: Herta
Lambert Potteries Ltd.
Royal Ariston (Importex Company & BC Ceramics)
BC Ceramics: Herta – West Coast Indian Design “Eagle”
Lambert Potteries #21 Killer Whale (Killerwhale) plate
Ineke – applied Dogwood
I’m having the time of my life! Researching Canadian pottery has been a hobby of mine for many years. I’m a collector and researcher and I’ve amassed an extensive diverse collection of Canadian manufactured pottery. I especially enjoy doing research on the history of the potteries – the people, the places, the pieces – and how all parts fit together to provide a picture of the material culture history of Canada. As a beginner collector of Canadian pottery, I found that there was no consistent information available to help identify what I held in my hand. The larger, better known potteries, like Blue Mountain Pottery and Medalta pottery have excellent collector’s clubs and websites that provide information about that pottery. It was the smaller, less known, potteries where I was often stumped for information. This led to the creation of spreadsheets and files, and finally to the idea of creating a website where the information can be shared with others – from the beginner collector, to the researcher, to the artist. I will be sharing information gathered from many places – snippets of info here and bits of info there. Check out the ‘Additional Resources’ page, when ready, for research sources.
5a: Herta “Dogwood” large vase or planter, mould 7109
Where possible on this website, I will link information to its original source. Where it is not, I will give credit to the source. The photos are my own and are certainly not professional quality. However, I hope they provide details on materials, like clay types, glazes, and identifying marks.
So, this website is certainly under construction now, and will most likely be ‘Under Construction’ for many years to come as information and research sheds new light on Canadian pottery.
Please feel free to contact me if you have anything you’d like to add to this ‘research’ process. If you wish to reuse the information on these pages, feel free to do so, but credit the ‘original’ source.
NOTE: I do not provide appraisals or evaluations through this website, nor do I sell pottery here. When pottery pieces are for sale, a link will be provided to the store. All content is for information purposes only.
Interesting information about Canadian Pottery will soon be appearing in this space. Stay tuned!