The Charms of Art Pottery


My first Arts and Crafts love was oak furniture, in part because I have always enjoyed discovering an abused piece, carefully taking it apart, repairing any broken elements, reassembling it, and applying a new, but appropriate finish. However, a room full of nothing but brown furniture, I gradually discovered, can actually be somewhat boring, even with all of those wonderful pegged joints, arched stretchers, beveled tenons, and graceful corbels.

The hand-stitched Arts and Crafts textiles I began bringing home, from table runners and placemats to window curtains and throw pillows, certainly helped soften all those fumed quartersawn boards, but there is a limit to just how many table runners one table can handle.

Or so I was told….

And as much as I love my Heintz bronze vases and Roycroft hammered copper bowls, adding more brown to the room made me happy, but didn’t solve my problem.

Although in my mind I wasn’t sure there actually was a problem….


The solution may seem obvious to you, but I actually resisted letting myself become seduced by the mistress called art pottery. Artus Van Briggle knew of its powerful lure from the beginning of his brief career, even going so far as to wrap the sensual young maiden Lorelei around the top of his monumental vase. He, too, had been smitten.



But my budding Arts and Crafts career coincided with the births of my two sons and homes which always seemed to include a few mischievous cats and a romping dog. Not the ideal setting for a sideboard topped with a fragile piece of Newcomb, Grueby, Rookwood, or Teco art pottery.



And so I began with a minor dalliance, sneaking out to find what I called my “cheap green pots.” Now, however, my sons have homes of their own and the cats live outside in our moderate North Carolina climate, so I have allowed myself to succumb to the charms of art pottery.

At one of the earliest Grove Park Inn Arts and Crafts Conferences I met several of the volunteers who devote their time, energy, and experience to the American Art Pottery Association and their quarterly magazine. “The Journal,” as it is often called, is as beautifully crafted as any of the decorated vases gracing its pages. It is that rare, perfect blend of photography, historical information, and personal experience that explains why each issue remains beside one of our reading chairs until the next one arrives.



In addition to publishing the “Journal,” the devoted volunteers at the AAPA mount an exhibit at each of the February Grove Park Inn Arts and Crafts Conferences and staff an information and registration booth for new art pottery collectors.



And from April 29 through May 3, the AAPA will again host its annual convention, show and auction in the city of Cincinnati, not far from the original site of Rookwood Pottery and the must-see Cincinnati Art Museum. The National Arts and Crafts Conference is proud to again contribute a two-person, two-night February 19-21, 2021 conference package, including lodging at the historic 1913 Grove Park Inn and two three-day conference events passes, to the AAPA’s benefit auction.

Information on the convention and the auction is available at their website, where you can also become a member and reap all of the benefits of receiving “The Journal.”

Simply click here to learn more:


Until next week,


“Collect things that you love, that are authentic to you, and your house becomes your story.” – Erin Flett