Friday, April 9, 2010

Weller Pottery Jardinere & Pedestal

Weller Pottery, this Jardenere is called "Sea Monster" notice the cool eye near the base...

Sam Weller first started making pottery in Fultonham, Ohio about 1872 for mostly local farmers in the nearby Ohio towns and villages. Quite distinct from the art pottery wares into which he evolved, Sam Weller started out making everyday items such as jars, jugs, tiles, and other pottery used in daily lives. While the styles were still simple, he nevertheless benefited from the rich local clays in the area as did many other top quality makers of art pottery over the next 60 years. Weller moved to the Zanesville, Ohio area about 1889 and, influenced by other potters in the area, he started making art pottery and a broader diversity of styles-- flower pots, hanging baskets, umbrella stands, and much more. Growth came quickly to the talented Mr. Weller, fueling the growth of Weller pottery into a sizable manufacturing operation of over 200 employees within the next five years. In 1893, Sam Weller traveled to the World Columbian Exposition where he was further exposed to the new work of other art potteries such as Rookwood, Lonhuda, and others. He was also exposed to new Art Nouveau stylings and the associated incorporation of nature themes into art pottery. Weller envisioned making art pottery which could be more mass produced than producers employing only a handful of talented, high paid artists such as the practice at Rookwood. Weller saw some of these characteristics in Lonhuda pottery and became acquainted with the founder, William Long. Long and Weller joined forces in Zanesville and began joint production, but the partnership was not to last. Weller nevertheless continued making pottery in the style of Lonhuda, and he renamed his line Louwelsa which was an aggregation of 'lou" (his daughter Louise), "wel" (Weller), and "sa" (Sam's initials). Louwelsa was an immediate market success.

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