Cranberry Pottery

Cranberry Pottery of Powell River, BC closed its doors on April 12, 2014. The pottery was in production for 40 years at which time the owners made the decision to retire. The company produced handcrafted porcelain-like stoneware pottery; they were known for their functional production pottery in five main patterns. They produced full lines of hand decorated dinnerware, accessories, teapots, serving dishes and ovenproof bakeware. As well, special designs evolved over the years, such as Crocus,Tulip, Sunflower, Bouquet, and Thistle patterns. In past years the shop showcased special projects and interpretive work by particular artists, such as unique patterns, and functional, but unusual, pottery pieces.

Production Dates: 1974 – 2014 (Official closing date: Dec 31, 2013; doors officially closed after the last order was filled on April 12, 2014)
Location: 6729 Cranberry Street, Powell River, BC
Second location: For three years there was a subsidiary shop in Campbell River which produced a brighter ‘Cone 2’ earthenware pottery in pinks, blues and yellows. The potters were Tracy Fleming, Carol Bieber, Laurie Shilleto, Aimee Dupont and Lori Porter.
Owners: Carol Bieber, Mark Cunningham (1974-1982); Lin Morrison became part owner in later years.

Potters: 
Carol Bieber 1975 – 2014
Mark Cuningham 1975 – 1982
Lin Morrison 1980 – 2014
Lu Wuthrich 1987 – 1991
Myrtle Cunningham 1980 – 1985
Pam Begbie 1987 – 2010
Claire Heffernan 1982; 1987
Deb Lesuk 1988 – 1995
Mary Anne Grantham 1988
Alex Graham 1989 – 2005
Dawn Swanson 1989 – 1991
Penny Coyle 1992 –  1993
Adrienne Robillard 1993 – 1994
Claudette Sarrazin 1995 – 2014
Charlene Price 1996 – 2000
Tracy Fleming 1996 -1997
Alison Sawyer 2005
Terry Reiben 2006 – 2010
Tyler McCulloch 2011 – 2014
Pamela Mathews 2009 – 2014

“Almost all the pottery pieces were done by an individual potter, with their personal stamp in addition to the Cranberry Pottery stamp on the bottom of pots. In about 1990 dates were added to the bottom of pots, e.g., 91 for 1991, and 00 for 2000.  The glazing, however, was a group effort and all potters were encouraged to develop the necessary skills.  Over the years new designs were developed, and old ones dropped as tastes and materials changed, and the clay body eventually morphed to almost white stoneware.  All surface decoration was hand painted and all designs were unique to Cranberry Pottery.  However it should be noted that almost all employees were trained to be full-fledged potters, not just skilled in one area. Everyone made pots, glazed, shared in kiln loading both bisque and the fuel fired Cone 10 car kilns, and worked in the sales area as well.

For a variety of reasons, various production methods were used, not just throwing on the potter’s wheel.  Castware was initiated because a non-porous porcelain clay was required for vases; extruded pieces were needed for hand built rectangular casseroles; jiggered ware made for matching dinnerware, and was much easier on aging bodies.  All molds and all designs were produced in house.” (Carol Bieber)

Materials: brown spotty stoneware clay, matte & high gloss glazes

Glazes & Patterns:

Five main patterns were produced with over 100 items in stock of these patterns:

2a: Cranberry Pottery lidded bowl, Blackberry pattern

Blackberry pattern

  • Cranberry – cranberries with blue & green leaves
  • Blue Leaf line – blue leaves on cream-coloured background
  • Blackberry – blackberries with blackberry bramble leaves
  • Grass Iris – Irises with yellow leaf spears
  • Tiger Eye – abstract shapes in amber, tans & browns

Below are a few of the special patterns available as limited stock or by order:

  • Coast Collection – landscape in greens, blues, greys reflecting the BC coast
  • Tapestry (Earthenware)
  • Heron – Heron in cattails
  • Fish Design
  • Dragonfly pattern
  • Bamboo
  • Bouquet, Tulip, Crocus, Sunflower, Thistle
  • Kid Set (boats, trains, dinosaurs, teddy bears)

Marks: 

Cranberry Pottery mark, impressed script

impressed script

  • script: [in clay]

    Cranberry Pottery mark, ink script (M 1992)

    ink script (M 1992)

  • Cranberry [signed & dated]
  • Cranberry Pottery [in ink under glaze]

 

 

Additional resources:

Carol Bieber, co-owner and potter, has provided more in depth information on the history of the pottery, potters, and patterns. Check it out… 2014 Cranberry Pottery History (by Carol Bieber)

For a limited time only, the Cranberry Pottery website has information and the latest catalogue available – this has been the main source of my information.


Comments

Cranberry Pottery — 29 Comments

    • Jean, I do not personally have any, so let’s hope someone out there has some items in the Cranberry Pottery Coast pattern for you. Maria

  1. From Linda — ‘Grass Iris’ pattern

    I have been buying this dinnerware for many years I have most pieces available I would like to know if its possible to get some replacements small side plates mugs dinner plates.

    • Hi Linda,
      My website is focused on Research only. The pottery itself is no longer operational (see Cranberry Pottery page) and any replacement dishes will only be available thru secondary markets online. NOTE: If anyone has pieces they wish to show Linda, please reply here.
      Thanks,
      Maria

  2. From W. Nelson —
    I have quite a few things of your blackberry series, but just recently broke my sugar bowl. It was a lidded one with a hole for the spoon. Do you still make it??? And if so, can I order it and have it shipped?

    • This is a research site on Canadian pottery only – I have no affiliation with the Cranberry Pottery. The pottery was officially closed in 2014, so it is unlikely that you’ll be able to get one custom made for you. However, you may be able to purchase a used one by looking for it online. Good luck with your search.

  3. Aloha, I just purchased from the Salvation Army ($2.50) a plate/platter 16 inches in diameter that is signed Cranberry Pottery with some initials. I can’t make them out. There is no date. So, according to what is stated above, it must be pre 1990. Would you mind telling me what you might know about this piece. The colors are so vibrant! It really is a work of art.

    • What a beautiful platter! It is not one of the basic 5 patterns made by this pottery, so it would most likely have been a custom order [see the link above for 2014 Cranberry Pottery History by Carol] What a find – certainly a work of art!
      Maria

    • Hi Brian. I personally do not have any pieces in this pattern. Maybe someone else will have something and will get in touch. Good luck! Maria.

  4. What is the value of dinner plates, mugs,bowls,napkin holder,mixing bowl ect? I have a few pieces of the blue leaf pattern from the 90’s and don’t know price to ask.

    • Hi Lisa. I’m sorry it took so long to reply – we had a tragedy in our family and I’m only just now getting back to posting. This site does not provide valuations, but it is possible someone out there would be interesting in making you an offer. Please send photos and I’ll see about getting them posted here. Thank you, Maria.

  5. I would love to get another blackberry platter(s)
    Just love the pattern! Or any other pieces if you are willing to part with them.

    • Hi Heather. I believe you can reply directly to Bill by clicking on the ‘Reply’ button on the Craigslist posting (see link URL). It would be best if you contacted him directly for information.
      Maria

    • Hi Heather,
      I do not have any mugs of this pattern. I will post your comment and others may respond.
      Thanks for your inquiry,
      Maria

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