Monday, January 7, 2013

G is for Glidden

Glidden Pottery was begun in Alfred, New York by Glidden Parker a graduate of Bates College in Lewiston, Maine, and instructor at Alfred University in Alfred, New York.   The pottery was in existence from 1940 through 1957 and represents all the best elements of modern.  The style and colors are reminiscent of the 1950s boomerang design era - think ' I Love Lucy'.  With that image comes a smile and playful intent; the very lightheartedness that enamors these pieces to todays casual style.  

The pottery itself was designed and created on a wheel or hand formed, with slip (thin clay) poured into molds for mass production.  The pieces were allowed to set for twenty minutes before removing the mold mark rough edges, signing and numbering each piece by hand.  All early pieces were signed by Glidden or his wife Pat (Harriet Hamill).  Glidden Parker himself was responsible for all design work, hand decoration, bookkeeping and sales.  His wife Pat created the first glazes that became signature to the brand.  It was the ultimate small business acumen, successful and made in the USA!

Another little known studio potter, Stanley Ballard who studied with Glidden from 1937-1939 at the prestigious Alfred University Ceramic Program,  also produced fabulous pieces obviously influenced by the same aesthetic.  S. Ballard Pottery was produced in Burlington, VT from 1946 through 1960.  Both of these potteries are highly sought after yet not very easy to find.

Enjoy the hunt!


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