Rookwood vase

Rookwood vase

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Description
Before becoming an international phenomenon, the Arts and Crafts movement began with the ideas of British artisan William Morris (1834-1896) and writer John Ruskin (1819-1900). Morris and Ruskin believed that the growth of cities isolated urban workers and that mass production negatively affected artisan crafts. They proposed to solve these issues by returning to a medieval-inspired village model where everybody participated in a community lifestyle. In the United States, artisans adapted these ideas into the studio art pottery movement. Unlike their British counterparts, who often focused predominantly on social issues and therefore made objects that incorporated Gothic and Renaissance motifs, American craftsmen developed a cohesive and novel aesthetic.
This small Rookwood vase showcases the company’s “Mahogany Standard Glaze.” Although it had been producing objects with the distinctive gradient coloration since 1885, Rookwood only began referring to the glaze as their “Standard Glaze” in 1900. This process was comparatively expensive; it was technically challenging to achieve and many of the pieces taken out of the kiln were defective. In the “Mahogany” version, the decorator airbrushed the slip yellow-tinted background onto a red clay body. Unlike traditional glaze decoration, which is actually a kind of glass, slip decoration is made from colored clay and adheres tightly to the clay surface onto which it is applied.
Like many of its counterparts, this vase features a floral motif. The trumpet flower on this vase was a popular flower in Victorian gardens and would have been easily recognized by its intended consumers: the rapidly growing American middle class.
This small Rookwood vase showcases the company’s “Mahogany Standard Glaze.” Although it had been producing objects with the distinctive gradient coloration since 1885, Rookwood only began referring to the glaze as their “Standard Glaze” in 1900. This process was comparatively expensive; it was technically challenging to achieve and many of the pieces taken out of the kiln were defective. In the “Mahogany” version, the decorator airbrushed the slip yellow-tinted background onto a red clay body. Unlike traditional glaze decoration, which is actually a kind of glass, slip decoration is made from colored clay and adheres tightly to the clay surface onto which it is applied.
Like many of its counterparts, this vase features a floral motif. The trumpet flower on this vase was a popular flower in Victorian gardens and would have been easily recognized by its intended consumers: the rapidly growing American middle class.
Location
Currently not on view
Object Name
Bottle
bottle
date made
1885
maker
Rookwood Pottery
place made
United States: Ohio, Cincinnati
Physical Description
polychrome (overall surface decoration color name)
ceramic (overall material)
Measurements
overall: 6 5/8 in x 3 in; 16.8275 cm x 7.62 cm
ID Number
CE.393577
catalog number
393577
accession number
208838
Credit Line
Page Kirk
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Ceramics and Glass
Art
Domestic Furnishings
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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