The Arts and Crafts Movement has a lot to answer for, as today’s collectors dedicate their time to tracking down the best pieces derived from the art pottery phenomenon of the late 19th and early 20th century.
Here are five places where art pottery lovers can experience the work and traditions of ceramic masters around the world up close and personal.
Van Briggle Pottery, Colorado Springs, US
The Van Briggle legacy that began in 1899 is well known amongst art pottery fans who search with fervor for Van Briggle pottery characterized by flower, animal and humans designs finished with a soft matte glaze.
The Van Briggle craft lives on today in the company’s studios in Colorado. Focusing on the traditional designs created by founders Artus and Anne Van Briggle, the studio’s works are rooted in the past. However, the modern Van Briggle craftsmen also have a keen eye on the future and create contemporary pieces which are complementary to the celebrated Van Briggle style.
A visit to Van Briggle’s gallery, shop and studios offer a chance to glimpse the second hundred years of this fine pottery brand in the making.
Address: Van Briggle Pottery
1024 South Tejon, St.
Colorado Springs, CO 80903.
Opening Hours: Monday to Saturday 9am to 5pm.
Moorcroft, Staffordshire, UK
William Moorcroft is behind the world renowned English pottery company that first opened its studio in 1897. Since those early days the Moorcraft brand has gone on to merit regular sales at Christies and Sotherbys and a collection of this artistic pottery placed within London’s pride, the Victoria & Albert Museum.
Located in Staffordshire in the middle of England, Moorcroft offers tours of its factory where visitors can witness in process the techniques that have been honed over 100 years and are still applied today. After a factory tour you can spend time in the elegant Moorcroft Museum before visiting the Heritage Visitor’s Centre to peruse and splurge on the kaleidoscope of designs for sale.
For art lovers searching for their next holiday destination, England is the perfect spot.
Address: Sandbach Road,
Staffordshire, ST6 2DQ.
Tour times: Monday, Wednesday & Thursday 11am and 2pm. Friday 11am.
Rookwood Pottery, Cincinnati, Ohio, US
Rookwood Pottery is a modern day example of an iconic brand battling through the worst of economic decline, starting with the Great Depression to emerge with its history and identity intact and all thanks to a group of passionate collectors. The impeccable craftsmanship and design of Rookwood pottery started life with a focus on naturally colored clays to produce works in splendid pinks, olive greens and grays.
Since being restored to glory Rockwood Pottery has re-establish a presence in its founding city, Cincinnati. Fan’s of this iconic potter can visit Rookwood’s Design and Tile Showroom, which is as much a celebration of the brand’s struggle and triumph as it is an opportunity to witness the craftsmanship of this pottery.
Address: 1920 Race Street
, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202.
Contact for opening hours.
Haeger Potteries, Illinois, US
Haeger Potteries is now in its fourth generation of producers deriving from the Haeger family with 2011 marking the company’s 140th anniversary. The rich history of Haeger has seen many designs over time but its dedication to customers, craftsmanship and quality have remained the consistent throughout.
The factory store at Haeger is a genuine delight for art pottery lovers who can peruse and purchase premium pieces from the Royal Hager Gallery or visit the market for every day value ceramics. The Haeger Museum will take you on a tour of the company’s past as well as showing videos of the company’s ceramic production techniques.
Address: Van Buren Street, two blocks south of Rt. 72 in East Dundee, Illinois.
Opening hours: Monday, Thursday and Friday 10am to 5pm. Saturday and Sunday 11am to 5pm.
Porches Pottery, Algarve, Portugal
Porches Pottery may be one of the newer kids on the art pottery block but founder and Irish artist Patrick Swift managed to preserved the essence of Portuguese tile art when he opened his studio in the Algarve in the 1960’s that was popular in the country as far back as the 15th century. Today tiles, jugs and vases are created in a style that was popular as far back as the 15th century and might otherwise have been lost to Portugal forever.
The building that is home to Porches Pottery was designed by Swift in the style of an 18th century farmhouse and visitors there will feel be immersed in the essence of a thriving craft workshop.
Porches pottery works have been instrumental in the revival of the craft of art pottery in the region and provides the perfect reason for visiting the warm climes of Europe’s Portuguese Algarve.
Address: Porches Pottery, EN125, Porches 8400-451, Algarve, Portugal.
Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm. Saturday 10am to 2pm.