Alberta Clay Products (1910 - 1962)
Was an enormous
company dominating the brick and tile industry in Medicine Hat for over half a century. In November 1908, Warren Overpack
of Webster City, Iowa met with Medicine Hat City Council on behalf of a group
of American investors. His purpose was to discuss the prospect of constructing
a sewer pipe factory. Overpack felt that
began in November, 1909 with every brick used being manufactured on the
premises. The plant complex was, enormous, with fourteen round downdraft
kilns surrounding a four-storey main building measuring 256 by 80 feet. The
factory was equipped to produce brick, building tile, and sewer pipe.
Production started in the fall of 1910 when, months before the completion of
the premises, the company began shipping five carloads of brick daily out of
the city. The plant went into full operation in November 1911, working
twenty-one hours a day. By 1912, it was the largest clay products plant in
The successes of
the Alberta Clay Products Company drew considerable interest elsewhere in
Canada and further a field. Sir Wilfred Laurier
and Premier Sifton visited the site with a group of
political and business leaders about 1910, followed by a delegation of
British investors in 1912 who represented an estimated £250,000,000. Alberta Clay Products owed its origins
to American capital, and to the experience and confidence of the
Over the next
decade, the company capitalized on unprecedented demand and prosperity in the
Canadian clay products industry. The need for brick and tile in the developing
western provinces continued to grow, and 1928 saw a record season for the
Products continued under Yuill’s leadership
until his death in 1944. The company fared relatively well throughout the
Depression years, and survived the building restrictions imposed by the federal
government during World War II. The post-war period saw steady growth for
manufacturers of brick, tile and sewer pipe. Yuill’s
two sons maintained the business after his death: Harlan became President, and
Bill remained a Vice President. However, it appears that rivalry between the
brothers in the end undermined their ability to continue. In 1955,
Here is a good link for more Alberta Pottery Information.
Alberta Potteries Ltd
(Wyatt) (1931 – 1938)
Established in Redcliff by Jessie Wyatt and his sons, former Medalta employees. (See Medalta entry)
Alberta Potteries Ltd, (Yuill) 1941 - 1966
Harry Yuill, owner of the giant Alberta Clay Products established this as a separate stoneware pottery venture in Redcliff, Alberta.
Artistic Studio Pottery
See also entry for Blue Mountain Pottery.
Initial began as a promotion for the 1967
Centennial celebration. Opened in the Fall of 1966,
next to the BMP factory on
Blue Mountain Pottery
Craigleith and then Collingwood, Ontario
Pottery (Founded in 1947 and closed in 2004), was a
Canadian pottery company located in Collingwood, Ontario. In 1947, a group of skilled craftsmen
experimented by making pottery with the red-brown clay found along the shores
of Georgian Bay in
Pottery (BMP) is generally recognized for its traditional flow-green
glaze. This glaze was the original artisan’s attempt to portray the colors
which appear on the face of the
Many similar items have been called "Blue Mountain Pottery" by uninformed or unscrupulous sellers, so buyers should be careful when purchasing such items sight unseen.
I think it is safe to say that NO ONE should buy anything UNSEEN!
It should be noted though that many pieces not labeled as Blue Mountain are often from one of the other Canadian potteries such as McMaster, Laurentian, Canuck and Huronia to name a few. These are just as distinguished and collectable as original BMP and also out of business. So probably the best guideline for buying BMP looking pottery is to ask yourself, "Do I like it it enough to pay the asking price?" If the answer is yes, then examine the piece for quality of workmanship. A good place to look closely is on the bottom. There you can tell what colour clay was used (Some potteries used different colour clays) [i.e.; BMP hardly used white], how thick the clay body is and for jagged irregular edges and/or nicks.
pottery forms – vases, jars, bowls, etc. – BMP also tried to be innovative.
“One example was our Noah’s
years, BMP continued to address changing market conditions, and widened their
distribution to include
The good news is that most pieces of BMP can still be purchased for less than $100, with many still available in the $4 to $20 range, although rare glazes and styles will command $75 to $300. “In general, animal figures realize more than their utilitarian counterparts,” said Pitcher.
collectors also don’t need to come to
first meeting of the
made pottery in the
“If something is
identified as ‘rare’
Whether prices of the more common pieces will escalate now that the era of Blue Mountain Pottery has come to a close remains to be seen, but one thing is certain. For just a few dollars, you can still get in to the game.
Blue Mountain Potteries Tips
Here is a
terrific link for
in base and drip colors should make dating BMP easy, but quite the reverse is
true. “There are several factors to consider,” said Pat Pitcher, a
dealer/specialist in Canadian Pottery, including
(So don’t treat the following as written in stone)
Dating BMP by colours;
The various colours used by BMP are:
Harvest Gold Brown and Gold (1968 - 1982)
Mocca Mat finished brown and black (1965 - 1984)
Slate Mat finished grey and black (1965 - 1984)
Cobalt Blue Deep blue and white (1973 - 1980)
Mountain Blue Medium blue and white (1986 - 1990)
Native Artists Series Mat orange yellow (1972 - 1975)
Many of the
products are cast ware and therefore impossible to identify with a
manufacturing mark. The giftware
products are always of a "Red Body" and decorated with a free flowing
glaze and although they are all "hand glazed" there is a
consistency that allows identification of original
Dating by sticker or label
A number of items simply had stickers on them with no marks on the item
One of the oldest stickers is a little oval black & white sticker 1/2" x 3/4" which states merely BMP. This sticker's sole purpose was to affix an Aqua & Black hangtag (depicting 3 different styles of jugs) onto a piece of pottery that had no handle to wrap a string tag around.
The Trillium labels were amongst the earliest ones used by BMP. Each of them was printed in 2 different sizes--7/8" across and 1¼" across.
There is also another version of Trillium label--this one bearing an artist's line drawing of a trillium. It also bears Jozo Weider's signature and, also, was made in 2 sizes--7/8" across and 1¼" across.
All of the above stickers were in use while Jozo Weider was owner of BMP, which places them amongst the earliest.
There were two types of the three jugs sticker. One marked up as Glaze Test Approved.
There is also a 3-trees sticker which indicates Glaze Testing.
A hang tag was used during International Silver's ownership period. It has the signature 3 jugs with graceful handles on the front and the triple trees on the reverse. The introduction on the inside is done in both English and French.
After International Silver, the next owner of BMP was Heritage Craftsmen. A magazine or newspaper ad in a publication dated March of 1974 also bears the 3-jugs logo. Heritage Craftsmen was the owner of BMP until around 1980. The First Edition Christmas Plate bears the 3-jugs logo.
The Canadian Wildlife series label was put onto the grey felt, which was affixed to the base.
The waves logo sticker (looks like a vase surrounded by ripples) was found on the base of an 8” Celadon glaze vase.
The Pottery Studio was not constructed until 1966, prior to the 1967 Canadian Centennial. Dominic Stanzione gave demonstrations for the tourists, and also put on classes.
There were other potters who worked there, besides Dominic Stanzione, either at the same time, or after he left BMP and their pieces were identified with stickers. Dominic Stanzione, hand-signed his creations. The gold and blue " Hand Made Canadian Studio-Line " sticker was affixed to pieces made by these other potters.
The company introduced "The Muskoka Collection", which included the pastel glaze. A few of those items bore a yellow label.
The red-white-blue Artistic Studio Pottery sticker was affixed to pieces that Dominic Stanzione made in his own studio, after he left BMP.
1. Perhaps it’s
obvious, but still needs to be said: look for the marks. If there are 3 pine
trees side by side, it is
2. If it is of brownish clay it is likely Barton, if it is mocha coloured, it is Evangeline (Canuck).
3. Just because
the clay is red doesn't mean it is
4. Just because the glaze is green … see number 3 above.
5. A good general rule of thumb: if it is orange and brown or orange and black, it is almost certainly Canadian, McMaster or Canuck.
6. White clay with a green glaze is most likely Wyatt Art Pottery, often marked with a “W” and a number. BMP did do some work with white clay, most notably the Canadian Wildlife Series (around 1985) and the Millennium Collection 2000. There are some other BMP white clay works, but they are the exception. White clay of various shades could also mean McMaster, Laurentian Art Pottery, Danesi, CAC, Beauce, Foley/Canuck and any of a dozen US potteries that didn't always mark their wares.
7. Do searches for other Canadian pottery and familiarize yourself with their glazes and shapes. This way when an unmarked piece shows up, you will have a sense of what it might be.
8. If you absolutely love the piece - the colour, the shape- ask yourself if you care if it is Blue Mountain or not. If you are strictly limiting yourself to only BMP pieces then make sure you ask the seller questions, check the collector's site or get a second opinion.
Blue Mountain Pottery Angelfish
A Star is Reborn
C. Biernacki & T. Milks
First produced in
the mid 1950s, the angelfish was illustrated in the earliest known
The name angelfish
was given to number 58 by collectors. Early
angelfish was usually made with Blue Mountain Pottery’s traditional streaky
green glaze, it did appear in the company’s harvest gold (brown and yellow)
collection and was featured on the cover of the 1981 Harvest Gold catalogue.
Examples in other popular glazes such as mocha, slate, jade, red or blue
have not been seen by collectors or found in known
was designed by Dennis (Zdenek) Tupy.
Made in large two-part moulds, the angelfish were heavy and awkward to produce. When removed from the mould, extreme care was necessary to prevent the fins from being knocked and broken. Further handling during the glazing and firing process presented many other opportunities for further damage. Early angelfish with flat glazed bottoms had to be raised on two triangular stilts, each with three points, or, alternatively, three bar stilts. This prevented them from sticking to the kiln shelves during firing. This laborious balancing act had to be done very carefully to ensure that pieces did not touch or rub against each other, thus ruining the glazed finish. After firing, the stilts had to be broken off the bottom of the angelfish. This left rough areas that had to be smoothed by a belt sander. Great care had to be taken during this step as well. All this even before the angelfish was packed, shipped and displayed on a store shelf. (When moulded maker's marks first appeared on angelfish beginning in 1967, three-part moulds were used. The additional part was for the base of the piece. Bottoms were no longer flat, but slightly concave to allow clearance for the raised mark.)
The angelfish was a popular item when it first appeared around 1955. Although early examples, including the ones with blue bases, have flat glazed bases that bear no maker's mark, they were identified with factory stickers and hangtags. From 1967 to 1972 angelfish were molded with the Three Trees mark, from 1972 to 1976 the BMP Canada mark, and from 1976 to 1986 the Vase and Waves mark.
long term popularity of the angelfish did not inspire other potteries to copy
it. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, if one pottery produced a
commercially successful item, others would often copy it to reap windfall
profits. But the myriad of production challenges facing Blue Mountain
Pottery in their efforts to make the angelfish would have been immediately
obvious to pirating potters. For them, the difficulties were too great. And they
could never successfully replicate that streaky green glaze. This clearly
demonstrates the high level of ingenuity and technical expertise at Blue
Mountain Pottery. One known exception, however, was Danesi
Arts (1937-1975), a
An early angelfish is often immediately recognizable by the slight iridescent look of its glaze. This is a natural ageing effect that happens to the surface of certain types of glass, as well as glass-based formulas such as ceramic glazes. Although designed as a vase, few examples of the angelfish are found today with water marks or scaly residue. It seems that most buyers appreciated its bold sculptural design.
The popularity of
the angelfish received an unexpected boost when it appeared on the cover of
the winter 2005 issue of the Toronto-based Antique and Collectibles Trader
magazine. It promoted the magazine’s feature article, Blue Mountain
Pottery: Canadian Icon. During January and February, 15,000 copies were widely
Once the "must have" desire was ignited among collectors, angelfish prices began to climb. In 2001, they sold for about $10. Last summer, angelfish could be bought for under $50. But by April the price had risen sharply to $250. Since then, prices have softened, but remain in the $150 to $225 range. In May, an angelfish in Harvest Gold, a much rarer glaze colour than green -- sold for $385. But it is not only Blue Mountain Pottery collectors that go after the angelfish. Since its look is so 1950s, many buyers eagerly seek out this piece to complement their retro style décor.
Sometimes good repairs can be difficult to detect. When buying an angelfish, check the fin tips. It is easy to disguise repairs in these areas once they have been sprayed. Also, check the sides of angelfish to see that they have not been accidentally pushed in or dented during the production process. Make sure that all the fin tips come to relatively sharp points. Sometimes the tips were broken off in the factory, but to save the piece it was still glazed but sold as a second. A noticeable glaze drip on the bottom tail fin would also make an angelfish a second.
Some angelfish are an inch taller or longer than others. Sometimes the vase opening is slightly wider or longer. These variations were the result of the shrinkage characteristics of the various clays that were used during the long production period of this piece. Also, as the moulds wore out, new ones had to be created. Minor size and design variations would invariably occur during this handmade process. A recent sampling of eight angelfish gave the following results: lengths ranged from 15-1/4 to 16-1/4 inches, base widths from 3-1/2 to 3-3/4 inches, and heights from 16-1/2 to 17-1/2 inches. When the angelfish were lined up by date of manufacture, no correlation was found between size and age. From a survey of existing catalogues, the 1974, 1976 and 1977 editions list the height as 17-1/2 inches, while the 1969 catalogue says that it is only 16 inches.
The 30-year lifespan of the angelfish demonstrated its long-term popularity. Its large size meant that it was a costly item to manufacture. The earliest known price list from the late 1950s shows that it sold for $12, the most expensive item available. In today's money, that is equivalent to $87. (A large tenpins jug, pineapple vase, and tulip vase followed at $10 each.)
A survey of existing Blue Mountain Pottery catalogues shows that the price of the angelfish steadily increased to $39.95 in 1986, its last year of production. Compared to other pieces, it never ranked lower than the seventh most expensive item (topped in different years by a tea service, three-tier buffet tray, bottle vase, four large animals, two types of hanging planters, and two versions of a lazy Susan).
When Robert Blair bought Blue Mountain Pottery at the end of 1986 (becoming its last president and owner), the angelfish was replaced with a realistically sculpted version, called Tropical Fish, number 132. It was almost as large: 12 inches long, 4-1/2 inches wide, and 16 inches tall. It was made in green from 1987 to 2000, in blue from 1998 to 2004, and in white (with a white clay body) in 2000. The Tropical Fish remained in production until the factory closed in 2004. It was always among the highest priced items and ranged from $29.95 to $39.95 (exceeded only by a large elephant made from 1980 until the factory closed, the Romar Collection from its introduction in 1997, and the Robert Wilson Collection from its launch in 2002).The Tropical Fish replaced the angelfish in 1987 and remained in production until Blue Mountain Pottery closed in 2004. These pieces were unmarked but identified with a factory sticker and hangtag
this fish was also designed by Dennis Tupy. He
The appeal of the
first angelfish, both then and now, is its design. Having a relatively flat profile, it can easily sit on a window sill,
mantel or shelf. Its distinctive outline is instantly recognizable and its
broad flat sides gave the Blue Mountain Pottery Company a superb opportunity to
demonstrate its unique glazing abilities. Many collectors agree that the design
of the angelfish is stylish, dramatic and timeless. Beyond that, it is just
plain fun. All this is a reflection of the magic of Tupy,
an exceptionally talented artist who, working with his muse, created a ceramic
Brantford pottery was a very large operation in its time. (1849-1907). Brantford pottery produced pieces typical of all potteries of that era: highly functional crocks, jugs, and churns quite often marked with the names of proprietary businesses. Later there were more decorative pieces made, such as planters etc. Highly desired by collectors are the crocks with hand painted blue birds, wheat sheaves and other iconographic figurines. You can start collecting Brantford in the 20-50$ range but could expect to pay in the thousands for very rare pieces. Well known patterns are the "Rebecca at the Well", "Beaver" and 'Maple Leaf".
Canadian Ceramic Craft (CCC)
Craigleith, then Collingwood, Ontario.
Red clay body.CCC was started c. 1960 by
Mr. Dennis Tupy (see Blue Mountain Pottery entry
above) who immigrated to
CCC (Canadian Ceramic Craft) - Clarksburg, Ontario.
White clay body.
Canadian Art China - Collingwood, Ontario
Canada Art Pottery - Hamilton, Ontario
Canadian Porcelain Company Hamilton, Ontario
Founded 1912 by Walter T. Goddard and John Alden, both from the U.S.
Company was formed
to manufacture porcelain insulators and fixtures for use with electricity. George Emery was hired in 1913: An
association that lasted until c. 1940. Mr. Emery arrived in
Canadian Potteries, Ltd.
Established in 1830, joined the Crane
Canada, Inc. Group in 1920. A new plant was built in 1931. Still in operation. Over the years it has continued to
produce lavatories, water closets, and other sanitary ware for a variety of
uses. A new pottery was constructed at
Coquitlam, British Columbia in 1958 to supplement the production of the
Started c. late 1960's by Alfred Dube who had previously been plant manager at Blue Mountain Pottery in Collingwood.
Canuck Pottery, Ltd.
Canuck Pottery, Ltd. - Saint John, N.B. then c. 1964 Labelle, Quebec. Operation was a continuation of Foley Pottery. Foley - Saint John, N.B. (See Foley below)
begun c. 1890's by James William Foley (Born in England March 30, 1857,
died 1904). Business continued under Fenwick, son of James Foley, in the Foley
residence on Bayside Drive, Saint John. Sons of Fenwick Foley, Percy and Alponse,
were owners and started Canuck Pottery Ltd.. Factory moved to
Is a line of pottery from the Canuck Pottery company (see above). Known to have existed c. 1958. (
Is a line of
pottery from the Canuck Pottery company (see above).(
•1828, Baptist Mills, Bristol, England, brothers Joseph Sr. and James White began business as J. and J. White, manufacturers of yellow ware and black teapots
•1864, Joseph Jr.
(1838-1919, left Bristol with his family and came to Canada. He bought the Courtenay Bay Pottery, Crouchville (East Saint John),
•Courtenay Bay Pottery had been operated by William Warwick
•Joseph White revised the pottery by introducing “new
ideas” to the operation which were being employed in
•in 1880 James Foley (–1904),grandson of Joseph White Jr. and a Mr. Sam Poole built new facilities and I am assuming it then became Foley pottery
•Royden Foley, son of James,
according to the "St. John Public Service News, "
•the clay was brought in from Nova Scotia by boat to the Marsh Bridge then taken to Loch Lomond Road East Saint John
•1949, owner Fenwick Foley, fire destroyed many of the kilns and a large part of the building
•1954, Foley Pottery became Canuck Pottery
•1964, fire destroys the pottery. Fenwick’s 2 sons, Percy and Alponse, move the pottery to Labelle, Quebec
•Fenwick Foley stays in Saint John. Works out of his basement producing Beachcomber Pottery
•Evangeline Ware is a line of pottery produced by Canuck
•operations cease in the 1970’s
Located in Burlington, Ontario and ships to Canada and North America. Specializing in Ceramic and Pottery, Ceramic Arts offers Ceramic Bisque, Ceramic Kilns, Ceramic Training, and specializes in opening "Paint Bar" Contemporary Ceramic Pottery Studios. We are full line distributors for Duncan, Mayco, Gare and BiqueFire. We also manufacture earthenware slip and are the leading supplier of hobby ceramics in North America.
Ceramique Tracadie Ceramics
Ceramic de Beauce, Beauce, Beauceware
Began in 1939 and ran for 50 years,
ceasing operations in 1989. With
thousands of combinations of molds and glazes, Beauce
pieces are available in most every style, from art deco wallpockets
to Eames era decoratives, psychadelic
70s pieces, and modern 80s pieces that were made in the last years of the
company. There is something for every
collector in every price range available. Some of the most desirable pieces are wall
pockets and anything designed by the famous Jean Cartier. Cartier (1924-1996)
was an relentless experimenter in his field. This
constant progress led to numerous innovations in the industry, cementing his
reputation as one the of the finest glaze creators in
Designer Doug Funk, creater of Canadian Pioneers Prints around 1972, gave Ceramique de Beauce one of the finest lines the company was to produce: the Ptarmigan line (Perdrix des neiges). Reminiscent of our white grouse, the pieces in the Ptarmigan line have no place settings, the line being designed to complement plain white dishes that would not distract from the imposing Ptarmigan accessories.
Today, many pieces
of Ceramique de Beauce Inc
are exposed to the growing interest of the collectors who furrow the alleys of
the flea markets and the attics of the antique dealers everywhere in
Charlottetown Pottery, Ltd.
- Charlottetown, P.E.I.
Creemore China & Glass
Arts (1937-1975), a Toronto plaster and pottery giftware manufacturer.
Their ceramic items (produced from 1955) were cast from original designs
created by founder Primo Danesi or commercial moulds.
A Danesi copy of the
Deichmann pottery, Dykelands Pottery, NB
The Deichmanns of Moss Glen, New Brunswick (1935-1963). (Dykeland Pottery) are considered pioneers in studio art pottery in Canada, Kjeld would throw all the pottery on the foot-powered kick wheel while Erica created all the glazes, producing more than five thousand of them in her career, she recorded the ingredients in recipe books. Erica was also an accomplished artist, painting, making ‘Goofus Aminals’ and pottery and jewelry. In the early days the Deichmanns used a dark brown clay and would only sign with their stylized D and N.B. for province of New Brunswick. Later used other clays and would sign the name Deichmann with stylized D (using K E D stylized logo)with N.B. and on some of the better pieces would also date with a glaze numbers. Each piece is clearly marked with a stylized D, even on the tiniest candle snuffer.
The Deichmanns would open their studio in the tourist season on Monday - Friday demonstrating their techniques to visitors and selling paintings, pottery and their jewelry. Erica closed the pottery studio after Kjeld’s death in 1963.existed from 1935 to 1963 and was the handiwork of Kjeld and Erica Deichmann who worked in New Brunswick. All of their pieces were hand thrown and one of a kind. Their work consists of everything from utilitarian ware to highly stylized vases and mini animal figurines called the 'goofus.' Large pieces of Deichmann are hard to find and fetch the dearest prices among collectors. All the pieces are hand thrown and unique, prices for Deichmann are not low, usually ranging from $100.00 US dollars and up. Goofus animals usually sell for well over $300.00 US. Her signature colours are the Kennebecasis blue (named after the nearby river) and purple patch.
Dundas Clay Products, Ltd.
Operated c. 1934-39, with Mr. George Emery as President and produced decorative ware. Additional principals were Albert Ross and James Orme. Operation purchased by McMaster Pottery in 1939 and George Emery continued making pottery in Hamilton.
Ecanada Art Pottery
The Ecanada Art
Pottery Company had its operations in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada from 1926 to
1952, under the ownership of George
Emery Sr. (1881-1959). George Emery Sr. was born in Newcastle-under-Lyme,
Ecanada Art Pottery products are attracting new collectors.This Hamilton pottery sold products through Eatons and Birks. Inspired by Wedgwood, (due to Mr Emery’s Wedgwood background) loved by Canadians.
Although their items look like Wedgwood jasperware, they're a bit heavier, less
finely detailed, and the relief decoration is not as elegant. But they're made
(See entry for Ecanada Art Pottery)
Active in the
early 70's for whom Jacques Garnier gave a new
interpretation of the forms he used for his Argile Vivante production in the 60's. ESTRIE is French for
Was a giftware importer primarily. Pieces mold marked Elbro Canada also known to exist.
Active in the early 70's for whom Jacques Garnier gave a new interpretation of the forms he used for
his Argile Vivante
production in the 60's. ESTRIE is French for
Foley Potteries, Ltd.
(Empal Sales) - Toronto, Ontario
Owned by David Peichey.Operated in the 1960's-1970's
Gas City Pottery Canada Pottery ( 1916 -1924)
Established by William Clark, superintendant of Medicine Hat Potteries.
Owned by David Peichey.Operated in the 1960's-1970's
Georgian China, Ltd.
Started in 1948 by John A. Brown. In 1963, 'Royal Haeger of Canada' awarded a franchise to Georgian China to produce its functional, decorative and table porcelain. Closed in 1970's.
Grenadier Art Pottery
Grand River Pottery Ltd.
One of the very few remaining 20th century Canadian potteries, they sell decorative wares at reasonable prices. My wife has some delightful cow figurines from them. In earlier years, most of the molds were supplied by Herbert Wyatt, now making dinnerware.
Telephone : 519-843-4450
H & R. Johnson (Canada) Ltd.
(See entry for Sovereign Potters)
Operation began in
1852 as Hamilton Potteries in
Theo and Susan Harlander
The pottery began in the 1950s and they were in business for several
decades. They had a small studio pottery and made unique, one-off pieces, often using the names and images of specific
clientele. Their work has strong
- Toronto, Ontario
Hilborn Pottery Design, Inc.
- Cambridge, Ontario
Hilborn Pottery was founded in 1975 in Canada.
Specializing in original wheel thrown and hand built clay; Hilborn
Pottery creates a myriad of pieces in a vast array of selected patterns that
allow not only for collective art but also the unique presentation of fine food
and drink. The pottery uses hand painted patterned designs and colorful glazes.
All of the pottery is safe for food and drink as well as microwave, oven and
dishwasher-proof. , Hilborn Pottery by Nancy and Rick Hilborn from Hilborn Pottery in
Cambridge is renowned for beautiful designs that capture exceptional form and
function. Nancy Hilborn has created innovative,
colorful handmade designs that are functional and unique. She got her BA at
The many functional uses of the Hilborn’s pieces allow for not only collective art but also for unique presentation of fine food and drink. Organic forms and rich colours characterize Nancy and Rick’s pottery that call for attention while also fitting into the most contemporary and traditional of decorating schemes.Nancy has won many awards including the City of Cambridge Visual Art Award.
Meaford, Ontario. Like CCC, it was started by a Czech immigrant who had previously worked for Blue Mountain Pottery and was in business concurrently with BMP. The pottery comes in many forms, from vases and pedestal bowls to highly desirable animal figurines. Huronia boasts many unique matte glazes reminiscent of American Arts and Crafts potteries such as; Rookwood, Grueby, and Fulper.
Hycroft China was originally founded by Harry Yuill (owner of Alberta Clay Products) as Medicine Hat
Potteries Ltd. in 1937.Medicine Hat Potteries sold out in 1955 to Marwell Construction of Vancouver., and was re-named Hycroft China by its new owners. Hycroft
struggled to find a market niche in the face of stiff competition from Japanese
and British manufacturers. In 1957, the
company was sold to businessman, Harry Veiner, mayor
Veiner decided to start making sanitary ware. Hycroft China may have been the only plant in the world that ran toilets and dishes through the same kiln. One style of toilet produced at Hycroft was named the "Albertan". This addition saved Hycroft. By Veiner’s own admission, neither the toilets nor the pottery alone could keep the company in business. By completely re-directing the company’s production, Veiner managed to keep Hycroft in operation until 1989. Profits from "sanitary ware" funded the limited manufacture of dishes and souvenirs until about 1985.
Souvenirs and commemorative plates became a mainstay of Hycroft’s production from 1955 through the 1960s. The factory ran on and off until 1989 when it shut down. After Mr. Veiner passed away in 1992 his family donated the Hycroft plant to the Friends of Medalta Society. In 1994, the Friends of Medalta established the Clay Products Interpretive Centre in the Hycroft buildings.
The Hycroft China factory was designated a Provincial Historic site in 1995
Victoria and Saanichton, B.C.
- Burlington, Ontario
Jesco Manufacturing Co.
- Saint John, N.B.
Also known as LP and Laurentian Art Pottery and Poterie Laurentienne. These pieces are variously marked, sometimes with LP (looks like a stylized coffee mug in a circle), other times with the LP mark and Laurentian, sometimes Quebec, sometimes Canada, usually with a mold-mark item number.A later mark is a "three trees" logo (more slender than the BMP trees logo with no trunks). Laurentian Pottery founded in 1939 by a Mr. Kominick. Unconfirmed, but I believe this pottery closed sometime c. 2005.
Ernst and Alma Lorenzen settled in Lantz, Nova Scotia and are perhaps, of all the studio potters, the most experimental with their glazes. Actively seeking out compounds, blending them by hand, and experimenting, they created pottery from utilitarian wares to modern vases. Of all their pottery, their unique series of mushrooms, expertly sculpted and brilliantly glazed, remains their most sought after. Requiring many weeks of work these mushrooms are exact replicas of their botanical counterparts and are displayed in museums. Upon the death of Ernst, their daughter Denamarca began to work with her mother, continuing the family trade and she is still making them today.
Maple Leaf Pottery
Started in 1938 by Harry Jay McMaster. Jay McMaster was a native of Pennsylvania (USA) who had immigrated to Canada and was initially involved with Sovereign Potters, Hamilton, Ontario.The business was continued by a son, Robert. Robert McMaster died in 1987 and the business closed in 1988.
Both white and red clay items were produced, the white (a commercial clay imported from the USA) being the earliest: A switch to local red clay was made in the 1950's. (See also entry for Dundas Clay Products.)
Medalta Stoneware Ltd. Medalta Potteries Ltd.
(1915 – 1924)
Purchased the Medicine Hat Pottery Company buildings
and assets and began operation in December 1915. Charles Pratt, a Scotsman came
to Alberta in 1908 determined to make his fortune in Medicine Hat. After trying
his hand in many businesses and finally losing it all in real estate he found
himself farming in 1915. With the profits from his first crop he partnered with
Ulysses Sherman Grant and William A. Creer, they
acquired the Medalta Stoneware Company in December of
1915 and incorporated as Medalta Stoneware Ltd. in 1916.
The buildings and equipment of the defunct Medicine
Hat Pottery Co. Ltd., the first pottery plant to be built in the city in
1912, were in disrepair though. So after renovating the factory they commenced
production in May 1916. As the name
suggests, it was designed to manufacture wares from stoneware clays, primarily
household items such as crocks, jugs and churns. By the spring of 1916 Medalta was in full production with seventeen staff on the
payroll. William Clark, former
superintendent of the Medicine Hat
Pottery Company, oversaw the factory’s operations. Carloads of stoneware
were already being shipped to
In 1924 the company reorganized under new ownership as Medalta Potteries Ltd.
The new company made plain stoneware
crocks, jugs, bowls and churns for household use. By 1918 the company
had $48,000 annual gross sales (the average wage was $1100). By 1924 the
company was supplying households across
By the end of the decade Medalta was producing 75 percent of the pottery in Canada. Two of the founding members left to retire, selling their assets to a group of Calgary investors.
Not six-months later, the company was in despair. The stock market crash marked the beginning of the great depression and Canadian pottery production plummeted 85 percent in four years. Medalta managed to stay in business by keeping only essential workers, and producing a limited number of products. Many former employees branched out to form their own companies: Alberta Potteries Ltd. in 1931 and Medicine Hat Potteries in 1937.
The Second World War breathed new life into a dying industry. Despite growing competition from glass companies, armies needed record amounts of stoneware. All lines were put on hold for the war effort. Cups, dishes and water coolers for the troops were priority. Business boomed as imports from Europe and Japan were cut off, and other materials, such as tin, were found to be inadequate.
A major labour shortage throughout the war forced Medalta to look beyond the now enlisted young men for workers. A record number of women were added to the payroll, owners pled their case to the government for hiring boys as young as 15, and in 1945 Medalta took on nearly 50 German prisoners of war. Although the POWs were paid little in comparison to their co-workers, the working conditions at the factory were preferred to life in the internment camps.
Demand for pottery remained steady into the 40s, but the after-war glow was wearing thin on the labour fronts. Unrest swept across Canada as unions began to barter for the right to represent. In 1947, Mine-Mill gained control of the Medalta workers union, three months later they had embarked on what would be one of the longest strikes in Southern Alberta. Workers took to the picket lines on August 12 demanding higher wages. They would not return to work for 72 days.
Negotiations broke down quickly, and by September the strike turned violent. Picketers destroyed a shipment of crock-pots and vandalized the homes of replacement labourers. In one incident, 15 striking workers were arrested and convicted of various crimes when an employee was assaulted while trying to cross the picket line. Eight men were sent to jail and seven women were given suspended sentences, but all were hailed as heroes in the community. As the strike wore on, Mine-Mill’s position rapidly deteriorated, with them ultimately admitting defeat on October 24, 1947. As workers gradually returned to their posts, Medalta’s owners scrambled to find ways to remedy a struggling industry and duplicate the company’s early success. New lines were introduced including the innovative "Sanitas Cup". By the early 1950s production was down again, this time owing to increased imports and higher manufacturing costs. The decreased value of British products put Medalta temporarily out of business in 1949. The company was officially disbanded in September 1954.
Medalta pottery comes in myriad forms, from industrial pieces like hydro insulators to commercial pieces like crocks, chicken feeders, and butter churns to the other end of the spectrum highly decorative objects including vases, bowls, lamps, and even figurines (which are very uncommon and
reminiscent of Doulton figurines). Medalta potteries come in many base variations, from a plaster base to stoneware all the way to a china like ceramic. Highly collectible objects include basket weave yellow ware sold in Eatons in the 30s and 40s; also popular with collectors are restaurant ware pieces. These range from the Canadian Pacific and Canadian National railways dining car pieces which appeal to railroad collectors to the RCAF and military restaurant ware.
Medicine Hat Pottery Company (1)
The first pottery factory in Medicine Hat
was founded in 1912 by John McIntyre, representative of the Western Porcelain Manufacturing Company in
Spokane, Washington. He saw the successful production of brick and sewer
evidently agreed with McIntyre’s assessment, as they granted him concessions in
March of 1912 amounting to free land, reduced utilities, and tax exemptions. In
return, McIntyre was to erect a plant for not less than $37,000 and offer
continuous employment to between 50 and 65 employees. The factory was supposed
to open in May of 1912, but McIntyre was held up for months on the delivery of
the machinery he ordered from
Unfortunately, not much else is known about
the company. New enterprises starting in
Their stamp is highly recognizable and is affectionately referred to by collectors as 'the sleepy Indian.' MHP pieces range from crocks, vases, wall pockets, all the way to dinnerware whose glazes are reminiscent of Homer Laughlin’s 'Fiesta,' 'Harlequin,' and 'Riviera' color ware lines.
Medicine Hat Pottery Company (2)
Not to be confused with the short lived plant established by John McIntyre
Founded by Harry Yuill (owner of Alberta Clay Products) as Medicine Hat Potteries Ltd. in 1937. Built down the road from Medalta, Medicine Hat Potteries soon emerged as the older company’s main competitor. Its 100 workers were almost all former Medalta employees, attracted away by the modern working conditions and higher pay.
The factory complex built for the new company was equipped with the latest in modern technology and equipment. It featured what was then the largest tunnel kiln in Canada, measuring 70 feet in diameter. Many of the factory’s features were designed to improve the working environment such as: abundant windows and skylights providing maximum natural light; modern safety devices were included in the building’s design; loudspeakers placed throughout the plant broadcast radio programs and records at intervals during the day; and a soft drink cooler and water fountain were installed on the factory floor.
As technical advances continued in the ceramics field, Yuill re-invested in the plant to keep its production methods current. One of the company’s major acquisitions was a Miller’ Automatic Jigger Machine, acquired around 1947. This was an elaborate piece of equipment which single-handedly transformed soft clay into finished wares ready for glazing and firing. The machine was regarded as a mechanical wonder which offered manufacturers two big advantages: production speed, and labor reduction.
Increased production and reduced costs were part of Medicine Hat Potteries’ approach to efficiency. However, modern management methods were considered just as important as modern equipment. A handbook on company policies outlined the importance of treating employees well, and providing leadership and encouragement on the job. In addition to maintaining high efficiency standards, promoting economy and enforcing safety regulations, the foreman was instructed to build morale and be a good listener.
Medicine Hat Potteries then began by making
dishes in direct competition to Medalta’s dinnerware
lines. The new company produced lighter, more decorative wares, which proved
more popular with customers than Medalta’s.
Within months of opening in 1938, Medicine Hat Potteries had taken over Medalta’s distributors in
Medicine Hat Potteries sold out in 1955,
and was re-named Hycroft China by its new owners.
Hycroft struggled to find a market niche in the face
of stiff competition from Japanese and British manufacturers. Souvenirs and
commemorative plates became a mainstay of Hycroft’s
production from 1955 through the 1960s. In 1960, Hycroft
began manufacturing toilets. The plant had changed hands again in 1956, this
time to Harry Veiner, mayor of
Craigleith (Collingwood), Ontario.
Pine Pottery was started by Mike Jaroch, 1972 in the building first used by Dennis Tupy at CCC (See Canadian Ceramic Craft)
. The string tags used by Pine Pottery stated Collingwood as the location. Pine Pottery closed c. 1983.
Pine Ridge Pottery
Poterie Laurentienne (1987)
Inc – (See entry for Laurentian)
Poterie de Port-Au-Persil
St-Simon, Quebec. See entry for Sial.
Provincial Industrial Enterprises
Operated briefly in the Alberta Potteries plant between the time Wyatt's pottery closed down and when Yuill's company started.
Quebec Art Craft
Was a short lived pottery that was known to have existed after WWII. They created many highly decorated pieces; primarily of Art Deco design. Step designed wall pockets appear to have been a specialty. Produced on a white ground in many glazes such as chartreuse, red, black, and white, these pieces are uncommon and highly desirable among collectors.
(See entry for St. Lawrence Ceramics)
Quebec Art Pottery
R. Campbell Sons, Potters
- Hamilton, Ontario.
Name changed to Canada Potteries, Ltd. in 1928 and then to Hamilton Potteries, Ltd. in 1929. George Emery began work here in 1912 before moving on to Canadian Porcelain Co. in 1913.
Rainbow Bridge Pottery
Niagara Falls, Ontario
When Jim Lloyd (T. James Lloyd) left Georgian China Ltd., he joined Dennis Tupy at CCC and they formed Rainbow Ceramics which was essentially a continuation of CCC. Pieces, for the most part, continued to be marked CCC. An "RC" mold mark is also known. Rainbow Ceramics was formed c. 1966 and continued until the mid 1980's.
Started by Henry Tupy, who had previously worked for his brother Dennis at CCC in Collingwood, Sofia Originals in Toronto, and Canadiana in Ingleside. In operation c. 1972-1990.
Royal Ariston, B.C
Rocky Mountain Pottery
Rocky Mountain Pottery used to make Pine Scented Pottery which was a bisque fired to white and then stained to resemble wood grain and soaked with a pine oil. Marked RoMco, the Rocky Mountain Pottery Co. logo, on the bottom.
Royal Canadian Art Pottery
Hamilton and Southampton, Ontario
Began operation in 1946 as a subsidiary of Foley Potteries Ltd. and by the 1960's became the largest teapot manufacturer in North America. Art pottery production began in 1968.
Royal Haeger of Canada
Most likely made in Collingwood, Ontario c. mid to late 1960's.
(See entry for Georgian China)
Began operation in 1947.
Smith Potteries Oshawa, Canada
Oshawa, where this pot was made, is about 25 miles east of Toronto. Today, there still are a number of studio potters and small firms active there.The history of who, what and exactly where the Smith Potteries were seems to be lost to us today. We could not find a single reference to the firm. Our best guess it was made some time "between the wars," as dealers say. That is, in the period between World War I and World War II; about 1915-45.
Sunburst Ceramics Ltd.
Medicine Hat, 1960 - 1963
According to owner/manager Malcolm McArthur, New Medalta Ceramics was on the verge of real profitability when a fire on Christmas Eve day 1958, left much of the factory in ruins. The fire marked the end for New Medalta but not for McArthur. By 1960 he convinced the Thrall family from Lethbridge Alberta to launch Sunburst Ceramics under his management. Sunburst moved to Lethbridge, AB. in 1966 (Items are marked Medicine Hat)
St Emile, Quebec
A Canadian floral wire-service
Inkstamp appears on various floral containers.
Vandesca Pottery Ltd.
- Joliette, Quebec
Established 1947, see entry for Syracuse-Vandesca Ltd.
Approximately 40 employees work at this location
Sales: $20 - $50 Million
Chinaware & Glassware-wholesale Wholesales-Homefurnishings
You’ve probably been served coffee in White Oak mugs.
Wyatt Art Pottery
Wyatt Art Pottery began operation in 1947. Started by Herbert R. Wyatt and continued by sons Robert and Jerry Wyatt.Changed ownership September 14, 2001.