Dating van briggle marks
so Van Briggle embarked on a new era which saw the pottery continue to produce the traditional matte glazes and Art Nouveau designs, but which also saw the introduction of more trendy gloss glazes and modern designs.Longtime employee Kenneth Stevenson took majority control of the company in 1969, and the pottery continued to produce two distinct lines and enjoyed a period of expansion and relative stability under the production supervision of Fred Wills. Stevenson died in 1990, leaving the pottery to his wife Bertha Stevenson and their son Craig A. "If Artus Van Briggle walked in and saw our production facility today," according to Craig Stevenson, "he would certainly recognize a lot of what we're doing." Throughout its history, Van Briggle Pottery has attracted talented artisans and, since at least the 1930s, has featured tours and live displays of potters "throwing on the wheel." Potters who have worked at Van Briggle include Ambrose Schlegel, Harry Bangs, Nellie Walker, William Higman, Clem Hull, Collectors identify Van Briggle pottery by its distinctive glazes, shapes, and bottom markings.After two years of trials and experiments a matte glaze was perfected.One of the matte glazes perfected by Artus was the matte blue glaze, based on an ancient Chinese process that had long been lost to history.At the age of 17 he moved to Cincinnati, Ohio, where he decorated china dolls at the Arnold Fairyland Doll Store, while attending his early art studies at the Cincinnati Art School.After a stint at the Avon Pottery where he was introduced to the ceramic arts, Artus took a job at Rookwood Pottery; there he excelled at hand-painting designs.Lewis nonetheless put into action plans to relocate the pottery to a higher-traffic area of Colorado Springs. Lewis and Clem Hull brought a new facility on line at a renovated railroad roundhouse on Midland Road.The new facility, known as the Midland Plant, had a smaller capacity but enjoyed quick success due to its location on the main highway to the Garden of the Gods and other tourist locations. Lewis sold the Memorial Plant to Colorado College, and it fell into disrepair for the ensuing 40 years, being used variously as offices and storage.
Other marks that might appear on the bottom of their pottery include the text, "Van Briggle", "Colorado Springs, Colorado" most frequently abbreviated, artist marks indicating the artist who threw the piece or finished it, or both, clay batch numbers, and year of manufacture indicators.
Van Briggle's Art Nouveau designs and distinctive matte glazes were awarded high honors from prestigious sources, including the Paris Salon, the Saint Louis Exposition, the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition, and the American Arts and Crafts Exhibition in Boston.
The Van Briggle Pottery Studio closed in spring 2012.
His skill and talent were recognized by Rookwood founder, Maria Storer, who became his benefactor, even sending him to France to study art at the Académie Julian in Paris.
In Europe, he was exposed to styles of art and became infatuated with an early matte glaze from the Chinese Ming Dynasty; a type that was lost to history.