Glass for Everyone!

Depression Glass Bowl
Green Depression Glass Bowl

The year was … well I’m not sure of the exact year but it was some time in the mid-1920’s. That was when a type of inexpensive glass began to be mass produced for the American table.


Pink Bud Vase   Fenton Depression Glass

It was meant to be cheap enough that everyone could have pieces of it in their home. In fact, some of it was given away as premiums. You could purchase a product and you could get a bowl or a cup with it (like finding the decoder ring in the box of cereal or an N’Sync CD for you 90’s people). It was used as a way to gain product loyalty.


cobalt depression
Cobalt Depression Glass Hazel Atlas Co.

According to the National Depression Glass Association the colors it came in ranged from crystal (clear), amber, yellow, pink, green and blue with amber and yellow being the most mass-produced. There are a couple of colors that had very short runs and therefore are the ones that command the highest prices from the collectors.

lavender depression
Amethyst (lavender) Depression Glass

Those colors are tangerine (created by the Heisey Company) and a lavender that a couple of companies tried but did not sell well.

Depression glass is a fairly thin glass because, don’t forget it was supposed to be inexpensive. Many times there are rough edges on it where the glass squeezed out of the mold and was not ground off in the finishing process. There is also a distinction between “Depression Glass” and “Elegant Glass.” Depression Glass was a basic glass that had maybe a simple pattern like lines or “ribs” or a flat-panel type design that was created with the mold. Elegant Glass, however can have intricate designs etched into the glass after it came out of the mold.

blue depression candlesticks
Blue Elegant Glass Candlesticks

Elegant Glass usually has a smoother finish along the edges as the time was taken to grind down seams so it sat flush on the table. Elegant Glass of course, was a little more expensive. tells us that that the following companies made Depression Glass: ” Hazel Atlas Glass Company, Hocking Glass Company (and later Anchor Hocking Glass Company/Corporation),  Federal Glass Company, Indiana Glass Company, MacBeth-Evans Glass Company, Jeanette Glass Company, Imperial Glass Company, Lancaster Glass Company, U.S. Glass Company, and L. E. Smith Glass Company.”


Yellow elegant glass
Yellow Elegant Glass Bowl

They also say that ““Elegant Glass”, [w]as produced by such companies as Westmoreland Glass Company, Imperial Glass Company, Fostoria Glass Company, A. H. Heisey & Company, and others.”

As far as patterns, they are too numerous to list. The two sites quoted in this post are the best places to start if you are researching a pattern.

Green creamer sugar
Green Depression Glass Creamer and Sugar Bowl

By the end of the depression less than 50 companies were producing the glass but it has become highly collectible. The green, pink and blue seem to be the most collected today, with the lavender and tangerine being rare but desired by most collectors.

I hope you have enjoyed this very small overview of Depression Glass. I find the history of it fascinating, myself. Since it was rather thin and cheap, it is amazing that pieces still exist, but they do. Take a look at the other sites I’ve quoted in this post for more information.

If you are looking for some Depression Glass or any other vintage items, take a look in my store Vintage Eve’s.

light blue depression glass
Light Blue Depression Glass


Do you see that picture at the top of this post? Those are not dishes. Those 2 pieces are enameled cast iron. In perfect condition to be sure, but a lot heavier and sturdier than they look. I found these pieces in almost unused condition. They sold in my shop the first day I listed them. They are what is known as Danish Modern or Mid-Century Modern design.

Bottom of Casserole Dishes

These 2 casserole dishes were actually made by a company called COPCO and were designed by a specific designer by the name of Michael Lax. After I found the pieces I did some research on this designer and this is what I found out.

mlax 1
Michael Lax Cookware


According to the New York Times, Michael Lax was an innovative designer who brought a “Scandinavian flair to American products” and shaped the look of the 1960s.

Casserole Oven With Warmer and Yellow Casserole Dishes

Born in 1929 in New York, he graduated in 1947 from the New York School of Music and Art. In 1951 he graduated from Alfred University in New York where he sharpened his ceramic technique.

Dutch Oven by Michael Lax at COPCO

Collector’s Weekly says that in 1954 he won a Fulbright Fellowship to Finland where he studied with architect Alvar Aalto who was all about clean, organic modernist design. Finishing his studies with Russell Wright back in New York whose ideas leaned towards functional and simple needs-based designs, he began his own career.


Collector’s Weekly goes on further to say that he made two very iconic 1960s pieces; a brightly-colored enamel-coated tea kettle with a teak handle and a telescoping cube-shaped desk light.

Tea Kettle with Teak Handle


He was a sculptor at heart and took his designs in that direction. He created brand new looks for the 1960s American kitchen.



LyteGem – Design by Michael Lax


He went to work at COPCO in the early 1960s. When a friend of his that he had met taking his daughter to preschool, said he was starting a new company called COPCO he asked Michael to join him. It was at COPCO that he developed a line of enameled cast iron and porcelain enamel cookware.




Fryer with Basket – Functional Beauty

Although enameling cast iron had been done since the 1920s, as stated here, what he did with it was that he took utilitarian pieces and created them in cheery, fun colors, bringing them into the mod 60s.

Along with cookware, he designed for other companies, too. Mikasa, Rosenthal and Tupperware were companies that utilized his skill as a designer. His designs were clean and vibrant which was what the Danish Modern look was all about.

Fun Enameled Bowls

Danish Modern is described as clean, pure lines that are ergonomic for the human body. It is a classic look that does not rely on ornamentation for its beauty. The beauty of Danish Modern is in the minimalist lines.

Michael Lax certainly was able to incorporate the aesthetic of Danish Modern into his designs. Michael passed away in 1999 but he created many iconic pieces that have stood the test of time and are still much coveted by collectors. Deservedly so. Look at these pieces; I want them all!

Really Mod Bowl


Take a look around Vintage Eve’s for more vintage and mid-century modern items!

Where I like to party Adirondack Girl @ Heart !

A Good Rhead, Charlotte That Is!

crhead bowl
Charlotte Rhead Crown Ducal Bowl circa 1930s

Isn’t this bowl pretty? I love this type of pottery. It is by a designer I had not heard of until this weekend when I was binge-watching a discontinued show I loved called “Cash in the Attic.” Yes, I am that person. “Antiques Roadshow,” “Cash in the Attic,” “Flea Market Flip” they are my kind of shows. Well, I was watching the show and someone had this gem of a bowl, not the one pictured here but another one. It happened to be worth some money. It was then that Paul Hayes (look him up, he’s adorable and well-educated on his subject, a lethal combination) explained who Charlotte Rhead was and why her pottery was important. So who was she?

crhead wallvase
Charlotte Rhead Wall Pocket circa 1930s
crhead ewer
Charlotte Rhead Wood’s Pottery Arabesque Ewer circa 1920

According to World Collector’s Net, Charlotte Rhead was a woman who was born in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent in 1885. She came from a long line of potters. Her father, Frederick Alfred Rhead worked at Minton and her brother, Frederick Hurten Rhead became a famous pottery designer in his own right. Charlotte and her sister studied at the Fenton School of Art in the early 1900s.

After art school, Charlotte got a job at Wardle & Co. where her brother was working at the time. She became skilled at tube lining which is a process of squeezing a thin line of clay onto a pottery piece being decorated. It is like piping a line of icing on a cake. In this case, the clay is used to outline a design that is then colored in.

Tube Lining Before Painting or Glazing

The process looks like this before it is fired and set. Charlotte became very skilled at this process before she left Wardle and moved to Keeling and Co. in Burslem as an enameler. Her brother had moved to America by this point.

Burleigh Persian Plaque by Charlotte Rhead

She bounced around in the pottery world until she landed at Wood and Sons, where her dad was working and went to work again as a tube liner and also as a designer. She moved on to Burgess and Leigh of Middleport from 1926 to 1931 which is where she did the work for which she is best known. This is one of those works. This plate sold in 2003 for about $3,900 at Christie’s London.

From Burleigh she went to A.G. Richardson; Crown Ducal was their brand name. This occured in the 1930s. She was very prolific for Crown Ducal. Then from 1941 until her death in 1947 she worked at Wood and Sons, again. This all occurred during a time that few women worked. She was a very successful artisan on her own. It does not appear that she ever married.

crhead plate
Charlotte Rhead Bursley Ware Cake Plate circa 1940

Oh, remember her brother that moved to America. He created the Fiestaware line! I am not kidding. Talk about a creative family!

Have a great week.

Looking for some great vintage pottery? Check out my Etsy website Vintage Eve’s.

For another great blog, give the Vintage Vertigo blog a look.

Row, Row, Rowantrees!

I recently ran across a cute little pottery jam jar with a backstamp that read “R.K. Blue Hill, ME.” It was a mellow yellow color with a lid that sported a red rose on top. All done in clay and glossy glazed. Well, if there’s anything you all know about me at this point it is that I love pottery. I did a quick check on my phone and found out it was probably by a company by the name of Rowantrees. I did purchase this little jam jar pictured below knowing I had to go home and research them more. This is what I found out to share with you.

Rowantrees Kiln “RK Blue Hill ME” Jam Jar

Rowantrees Pottery was started by a woman named Adelaide Pearson. She was a world traveler and a number of other things. According to Maine Memory, she offered art classes in her home and set up her own kiln in 1934.

RowanTree Coffee Pot
Rowantrees Coffee Pot

She wanted to teach others the skill of throwing clay. Her items and the items her students made began to grow in popularity. Much like Newcomb College (although less prolific), the pieces were interesting and well done. They became an important part of commercial industry in Blue Hill, Maine.

Their glazes are really pretty and reminiscent of the colors you would find in nature.  Blue Hill sits on the coast of Maine where the Atlantic Ocean laps at the shore on a quiet day or whips into whitecaps when angry. You can see that in these plates …

Rowantrees plate
Rowantrees Kiln Plates

Wild blueberries are indigenous to Maine. Here they sit atop a pretty jam jar.

blueberry pot
Rowantrees Kiln Jam Jar with Blueberry Lid

More glazes inspired by nature …

RK sugar creamer
Sugar and Creamer in Brown Bark
creamer RK
Rowantrees Creamer circa 1930s or 1940s in Moss Green

The colors are understated just like the Maine coast. The depth in the pieces draw you into them as if you are surrounded by nature.

In 1986 the pottery was cited by OSHA as they apparently used raw lead in some of their glazes and the workers were exposed. According to a Bangor Daily News article from 1986, a woman by the name of Sheila Varnum, who had been working there since she was 14 years old and had been trained by Pearson herself, was going to appeal the citation. Vinegar was used to neutralize the lead in the glazes. She also wanted to retire as she had worked at Rowantrees Kiln for 46 years. She wanted a company who could carry on the tradition of quality that Rowantrees had become known for. A company named Lowell Hill Pottery of Penobscot, Maine became the only company with the exclusive right to recreate Rowantrees Pottery. They have their own line as well. Their recreations also have the Lowell Hill Pottery mark with the Rowantrees mark to help date the piece.

I love this color!

Aqua Blue Rowantrees Plate circa late 1940s

If you want to see more vintage pottery, stop by my shop Vintage Eve’s and take a look around. Have a great week!

Perfect Purinton

Not sure if you can tell from my blog entries so I will say it … I love pottery pieces. Just in case my “Bowls” blog didn’t make that clear or my “Cliff” blog was a little vague about the whole pottery issue. I mean glass has its allure but there is something about the solidness of a piece of clay that has been fired and manipulated into a utilitarian piece that makes me drool. Not sure if that is healthy but I don’t really care. I love pottery.

One pottery company that I am going to highlight today is Purinton Pottery. They made some really unique pieces. Take a look at this sugar IMAG0746bowl and creamer to start with. Each piece was hand-painted. They had only 8 to 10 trained artists at any given time and they were each trained to work the designs that were staples of the company’s business. But because they each had a different style the pieces themselves, while similar are all unique. This is their classic Apple pattern. Another piece that bears that same pattern is the Lemonade Pitcher with an ice lip. Such a graceful piece and it has survived since the 1940s. I find that amazing.


According to Wisconsin Pottery, the Purinton Pottery Company started in 1939 and stayed in business until 1959. During that time they manufactured a wide variety of hand-painted pieces. Bernard Purinton bought out the East Liverpool Pottery Company in 1936 in Wellesville, OH and began the Purinton Pottery Company patenting his unique method of casting called Slipware. This efficient method allowed molds to be placed on racks so multiple pieces could be done at once and the decoration purinton honeywas done on greenware which means they have not been fired yet and are at their most fragile. But utilizing this method and having the handles attached at this point rather than after the first firing made the handles stronger and the process faster.

There were some drawbacks to this method.

One of the more rare pieces by Purinton is the Oasis Jug which was very round and top heavy so most of them caved in on themselves before they could be fired. If you find one, grab it although they run near $1,000 dollars if you find one in great condition.

Purinton Oasis Jug

William Blair, Bernard Purinton’s brother-in-law was an artist. He created the Apple design which is one of their most famous and popular designs. Eventually, as the business grew, they needed more manufacturing space so they moved to a new facility in Shippenville, PA in 1941. William Blair eventually left to start his own ceramics company known as Blair Ceramics in Ozark, Missouri.

Interestingly enough, there was another plant owned by Purinton that made items for other companies such as Taylor, Smith and Taylor and Esmond. One of the popular items made for Esmond was a four-part canister set like the one below.


They made a lot of these during the 1950s.

After William Blair left the company, his sister Dorothy Purinton became the main designer of new patterns.

Some patterns that were popular in the 1950s were Brown Intaglio, Apple, Normandy Plaid and Pennsylvania Dutch.

It was also during the 1950s, however that foreign imports started to flood the market. This spelled the beginning of the end for Purinton. They could not compete with the cheap imports of dinnerware and figurines as they continued to hand-paint, but did not want to sacrifice the quality that they had built. In 1959 Purinton shut its doors. But they left behind some beautiful pieces that are still useful almost 75 years after they were made. I hope I still look this good at 75!

purinton vase

Please visit Wisconsin Pottery for a lot more information on Purinton Pottery.