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College for Appraisers
Pottery II – American Pottery
A 24 Hour Course – On Campus or Distance Learning

Course Description and Objectives

This course traces the unique history of American pottery as manufacturers, designers and artisans spread across the continent – always close to important natural resources: clay, fuel and water transport.. Native American artisans are also studied, and the contemporary makers and studio potters. Attention will be given to learning to recognize marks, styles, and glazes, learning to evaluate quality of craftsmanship and production, condition, and to recognizing reproductions and fakes.

Course Objectives—
Students will develop understanding of:

  • The properties of clay bodies and how these assist in identification and determining value
  • How to research marks
  • The range of American manufacturers and how to identify them through design characteristics, marks, etc.
  • How to detect reproductions, fakes and forgeries
  • How to efficiently write accurate appraisals

This course is designed to develop the skills, judgment and competence to identify, evaluate and value American pottery items based on knowledge of producers, eras, forms for the appraiser and collector.

Course Requirements / Evaluation
Two exams and three written reports.

Grading: A – 90- 100; B 80-89; C 70-79*
*Students are expected to revise and resubmit any work product that is C quality or less

American Pottery
, College for Appraisers
Video Lectures

Lehner’s Encyclopedia of U.S. Marks on Pottery, Porcelain and Clay
Warman’s American Pottery and Porcelain, Sue and Al Bagdade
Kovel’s New Dictionary of Marks: Pottery and Porcelain
Miller’s Antiques Checklist
: Pottery, Gordon Lang
Miller’s Antiques Checklist: Porcelain, Gordon Lang

Recommended Texts
American Art Pottery
, David Rago KnickerbockerPress, 1997
Miller’s How to Compare and Appraise American Art Pottery, Rago and Perrault, Millers Publications, 2001
American Art Pottery, Dick Sigafoose, Collector Books, 2006
California Pottery: From Missions To Modernism, Bill Stern

Review of Pottery
History and Techniques
Identifying Clay Bodies
  • Porcelain
  • Stoneware
  • Earthenware
Glazes / Decorations
Construction Techniques / Firing Techniques
Utiliarian Pottery : “Primitives” to Restaurant China
Makers: their histories and products
Introduction to Glazes and marks
Geography of American Pottery Producers : The essentials of location: Clay, fuel, and transport
Early Producers by location
  • Northeast
  • Mid-Atlantic
  • Mid-West
American Porcelain and Parian Ware
Beginning of American Pottery Distinctions
Early producers, histories, motifs, markets
American Belleek vs Irish Belleek
American Art Pottery / Industrialization
American Art Pottery: Arc-En-Ciel – Zanesville
A Word about China Painters
Innovators in focus – Histories, Output, marks
  • Rookwood
  • Grueby
  • Ohr
  • Teco
  • Weller
  • Newcomb
  • McCoy
  • Hill/Fulper
  • Buffalo
  • Cowan
American Art Tiles
Native American Pottery
Pre-Columbian – Pueblo Families
Contemporary Products and Artisans
20th Century Producers – Major Houses By Geography, Dates, History And Products
Mid-Century Dinner-Ware
Makers, Products, Designers, Marks
California Potteries – A - W
A review from American Ceramic Products - Winfield
Issues in Identification and Evaluation
Confusing Competitors
Hidden Treasures
Contemporary Studio Artisans

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