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Ceramics by Gertrud and Otto Natzler, 1950s. Photo courtesy of Jackie Masters.
While 19th-century and early 20th-century ceramics were a result of imports from places like Japan and Europe, World War II brought international trade to a standstill. This opened up an opportunity for local artisans and craftsmen that had never existed before in the United States; local studios flourished and a new era of pottery was born.
California’s building boom also sparked an immediate need for decor and housewares and local studios rose to the occasion. As mid-century modernism bloomed and blossomed, ceramics followed suit, resulting in minimalist shapes and archetypal forms in a wild array of new color and glaze techniques. The works that exist from this period are now considered valuable works of art, some of which have become extremely valuable in a relatively-short period of time.
Ceramics by Rose Cabat, 1950s. Photo courtesy of TMOF.
Glazed vessel by Robert Maxwell, 1960s. Photo courtesy of Savacool and Sons.
Serving platter by Edmund Ronaky, 1950s. Photo courtesy Ink361.
Works by Harrison McIntosh, 1960s. Photo courtesy of the Eichler Network.
Maddux of California Pottery platter. Photo courtesy of Brownfield Supplies.
Pottery by David Cressey, 1960s. Photo courtesy of Hildebrandt Studio.
Casual California Pitcher by Vernonware, 1953. Photo courtesy of Ruby Lane.
Ash Tray by Jacquin California Artware, 1960s. Photo courtesy of Artfire.
Len Collective all began with the passion of jewelry designer Shannon Len. From creating herbal tinctures with her mother and sister, to collecting sage along the Big Sur coast, she has always respected honest, devoted creators with similar respect for the earth. As a long-time collector of unique artisan goods from across the globe, she eventually curated her own space of beauty and inspiration. Len Collective is now a brick and mortar shop in San Luis Obispo, CA featuring handmade jewelry, natural apothecary, home goods, and one-of-a-kind gifts.
Elaine Sewell Jones – widow of celebrated architect A. Quincy Jones – spent years cataloguing photos and archives of Jones’s work before sending them to LA’s Hammer Museum. The exclusive exhibition Building for Better Living was held and ended in 2013, but you can see some of the gorgeous photos here: