Activities Sports & Athletics Who's Who in California Pottery Companies A Comprehensive List From A to H Share PINTEREST Email Print Sports & Athletics Other Activities Collecting Cigars Baseball Basketball Bicycling Billiards Bodybuilding Bowling Boxing Car Racing Cheerleading Cricket Extreme Sports Football Golf Gymnastics Ice Hockey Martial Arts Professional Wrestling Skateboarding Skating Paintball Soccer Swimming & Diving Table Tennis Tennis Track & Field Volleyball Learn More By Elle Kate Taylor writes about ceramics and collectibles for LiveAbout. our editorial process Elle Kate Taylor Updated March 17, 2017 Why did ceramics and pottery manufacturers proliferate in California during the 20th century? Was it the climate, or the fact that so many people were there or headed to California anyway? Actually, it's several factors combined that resulted in more than 1,000 pottery companies setting up shop from San Diego to the north of San Francisco. Among the possible reasons for California becoming a hotbed of pottery production: California has always attracted talented and ambitious artists and entrepreneurs The Panama-California International Exposition in San Diego in 1915 introduced Spanish-Moorish -style buildings and tile with geometric designs that were copied by existing and new potteries throughout California. In addition to European ethnic influences, California ceramists were influenced by Asian and Mexican art, design and culture, which was almost exclusive to California during that period. This resulted in inspired shapes and bright, beautiful colors never before seen in American pottery. The clay soil and talc from places like Death Valley and Alberhill in Riverside County provided abundant natural resources perfect for producing ceramics and pottery. Like many industries, pottery companies established their roots in California. Many flourished, while others barely managed to stay afloat for a couple of years. At the beginning of the 20th century, several of the ceramic studios were in the more-established San Francisco area. But as Los Angeles drew attention worldwide for its sunny climate and booming movie industry, more pottery manufacturers flocked to Southern California. For natives, a glance through this list reveals pottery companies in nearly every Southern California suburb established before 1940. Production of the table, gift, and art ware actually increased in California during World War II, as small studios popped up to fulfill the needs of an industry that cut off imported goods from Europe and Asia. It was after the war that many of the smaller studios had to close their doors, especially when import embargos were lifted. While there were hundreds of pottery manufacturers in California, the ones included in this list produced wares that are more collectible, were longer established, or simply have more information about them. Companies that primarily produced tile, bricks or architectural products, like Batchelder or Hispano-Moresque, are not included. Also see: California Potteries: I to Z A list of California potteries from A to H: Adelle Where: Laguna Beach (Orange County) When: 1940s What: Planters Alexander Franzka Where: La Crescenta / Montrose, California (near Glendale) When: 1965 to 1987 What: Figurines, art ware, and terracotta American Ceramic Products Where: Los Angeles and Santa Monica When: 1939 to 1967 What: tableware, art ware, and figurines under the La Mirada and Winfield lines. American Pottery Co. Where: Los Angeles and San Juan Capistrano When: 1943 to 1953 What: Art ware, giftware, and figurines. Also produced the Brad Keeler art ware line -- mostly animal figurines like birds, ducks and cocker spaniels. Ann Cochran Where: North Hollywood When: 1950s What: Hand-painted art ware. Cochran was a former ballerina who became a ceramist and painter and was a friend and contemporary of Sascha Brastoff. Architectural Pottery Where: Los Angeles When: 1950–1962 What: Architectural Pottery produced commissioned pieces and designs for public buildings and facades, as well as high-end art ware, vases, and planters. Arequipa Pottery Where: Fairfax (Northern California) When: 1911–1918 What: Art pottery Artistic Potteries Where: Whittier (Southern California) When: 1950s What: Art ware, giftware, and figurines B.J. Brock Also known as Southern California Pottery Company Where: Lawndale (Southern California) When: 1947 to 1980s What: Lines include Brock, Brock Ware, and Grantcrest Ball Brothers Where: Inglewood (near Los Angeles) When: 1943 to 1948 What: Art ware and figurines. The company started by Howard and Arthur Ball, who were, not surprisingly, brothers. A possible connection to the Ball-Jae Pottery Company? Barbara Willis Where: North Hollywood When: 1942 to 1958 What: Art ware and figurines. Willis' early earthenware was the "Terrene" line, which is highly collectible and features bright, crackled glazes on candle holders, boxes, vases, jugs and horse figurines. Bauer Pottery Company of Los Angeles Where: Los Angeles When: 2000 to present What: Table, art, and kitchenware. Bauer Pottery manufactures Bauer 2000 pottery styled after vintage J.A. Bauer pottery. Also, produces Russel Wright's American Modern® line of dinnerware and Corita by Bauer mugs and vases featuring the art of Sister Corita Kent. Belmar of California Where: Los Angeles When: 1965 to 1967 What: Art ware The Bennetts Where: Fullerton (Orange County) When: 1940s to 1950s What: Figurines Beth Barton Where: La Habra (Orange County) When: 1949 to 1962 What: Giftware and figurines Betty Lou Nichols Where: La Habra (Orange County) When: 1949 to 1962 What: Giftware and figurines Block Pottery Where: Los Angeles When: 1940s What: Figurines, art ware, and giftware Brayton-Laguna Pottery Where: Laguna Beach, California When: 1930s to What: Historical or ethnic figurines and planters. Brayton-Laguna is credited with originating the concept of designing and selling sets or pairs of ceramic figurines. Examples: A well-dressed Victorian couple commemorating their first anniversary, a lady in a lavender dress holding a basket, with a hat over her other arm, a peasant woman holding a basket. Artists included Durlin Brayton and Andy Anderson. California Belleek Where: Los Angeles When: 1948 to 1967 What: Figurines, giftware, tableware and art ware California Ceramics Also known as Ceramic Manufacturing Company Where: Calabasas, California When: 1940s to 1950s What: Orchard Ware tableware The California Clemons Where: El Monte When: 1941 to 1963 What: Giftware and figurines California Faience Where: Berkeley, California When: early 1900s to 1930s What: Art ware and tile. The company was founded by William Bragdon and Chauncy Thomas. California Pottery Co. Where: Oakland, Niles, and Merced (Northern California) When: 1873 to 1929 What: Pipe, roof tile, crockery, pottery and garden ware California Ra-Art Where: Richmond, California When: 1930s What: Art ware and figurines Calpotter Where: Laguna Beach, California When: 1940s What: Art ware Camp Del Mar Pottery Where: Capitola When: 1940s to 1950s What: "Campo" tableware & art ware Capistrano Ceramics / John R. Stewart Inc. Where: San Juan Capistrano, California When: 1948 to 1951 What: Planters and figurals. Example: pink and light green shell-shaped planter. Carnegie Brick and Pottery Company Where: Tracy (Northern California) What: Brick and pottery Casa Verdugo Pottery Where: Montrose (near Glendale) When: 1940s What: Pottery, figurines vases, and bowls. A 1948 newspaper advertisement lists "dainty" Casa Verdugo Pottery available in pink, white and chartreuse. Products include vine bowls, antelope heads, frog inset and 4-inch deer, herons, cranes and swans. Catalina Clay Products Where: Avalon, Catalina Island When: 1927 to 1937 What: Tableware, art ware, tile, giftware, and figurines Cemar Where: Los Angeles When: 1935–1955 What: Giftware, kitchen ware, art ware and figurines Ceramic Originals by Freeman-Leidy Where: Laguna Beach When: 1944 to 1955 What: Figurines, giftware, and tile Ceramicraft Where: San Clemente (Orange County) When: 1950s What: Art ware Chalice of California Where: Los Angeles When: 1940s to 1950s What: Tableware, art ware, and figurines Chase Originals Where: Berkeley (Northern California) When: 1930s to 1950s What: Art ware and figurines Claire Lerner Where: Los Angeles When: 1940s to 1950s What: Art ware and figurines Clay Sketches Where: Pasadena When: 1940s to 1950s What: Figurines Covina Pottery Where: Covina (Los Angeles County) When: 1943 to 1990s What: Planters, floral, art ware and TV lamps. The Covina Pottery Company existed from approximately 1943-1988 in Covina, California, and was founded by the Rhodus family. The pottery studio outlasted many of its competitors. It mostly produced floral ware in speckled glazes, with geometric and atomic Midcentury modern shapes. Crest China Company Also known as Royal Crest China after 1952 Where: Santa Ana (Orange County) When: 1949-mid 1950s What: Art ware and giftware DeCora Ceramics Where: Inglewood (Near LAX) When: 1950s What: Art pottery, wall plates, and dinnerware. DeForest Pottery Where: Duarte, California When: 1950 to 1970 What: Pieces include condiment jars, salt, and peppers, chip and dips, banks and platters. Popular figurals were pigs and pig jars; collectible pieces include condiment jars, salt, and peppers, chip and dips, banks and platters. DeLee Pottery Where: Hollywood When: 1950s What: Primarily figurines, like Dutch girls, Hawaiian singles and pairs, and animals. The Hawaiian and "exotic" figurals were often paired with lamps from the Moss Lamp company. Dick Knox Pottery Where: Laguna Beach When: 1942–1950 What: Knox China tableware and art ware Doranne of California Where: Los Angeles When: 1950s to 1980s What: Cookie jars, kitchenware, giftware, planters and garden ware Dorothy Kindell Where: Laguna Beach When: 1940s to 1950s What: Giftware and figurines Eugene White Where: Bell Gardens (Los Angeles County) What: 1941 to 1948 What: Tableware and art ware Environmental Ceramics, Inc. Where: San FranciscoWhen: 1960sWhat: Kitchenware Eva Zeisel FHR Fred Robertson Los Angeles Pottery Where: Los Angeles When: 1906 to 1921 What: Art ware well known for its crackle, matte, crystalline and lustered glazes. Pottery company was owned by Fred Robertson and his father, Alexander – both accomplished ceramists. Flintridge China Company Became Gorham after 1970 Where: Pasadena When: 1945–1970 What: Tableware Florence Ceramics Where: Pasadena When: 1942 to 1977 What: Giftware and figurines Franciscan Ware Franklin Tile Company Freeman McFarlin Where: El Monte and San Marcos (Southern California) When: 1951 to 1980 What: Art ware & figurines Gaetano Pottery Gainey Ceramics Where: La Verne, California When: 1949 to present What: When the pottery company for which he had been working decided to close its doors in 1949, John Gainey bought the La Verne business. The company originally made dog bowls and water bottles (Ollas) for Sparkletts Water. Under the Gainey family's leadership, the company has produced modern, architectural style planters that are popular with designers and consumers. Garden City Pottery Where: Lincoln and other pottery companies in California and the Pacific Northwest. When: 1875 to present What: Garden ware, tile, architectural products. Glendale Plant Where: Glendale and Los Angeles When: 1923 to 1984 What: Lines included Franciscan and Catalina Pottery art, kitchen, and tableware; Hermosa tile. Became Interface in 1962 and Franciscan Ceramics, Inc. in 1979. Genevieve and Charles Tulley Where: Glendale When: 1940s to 1950s What: Lamps, art ware, and figurines Gladding, McBean & Co. Where: Lincoln and other pottery companies in California and the Pacific Northwest. When: 1875 to present What: Garden ware, tile, architectural products. Glendale Plant Where: Glendale and Los Angeles When: 1923 to 1984 What: Lines included Franciscan and Catalina Pottery art, kitchen, and tableware; Hermosa tile. Became Interface in 1962 and Franciscan Ceramics, Inc. in 1979. Guppy Pottery Where: Corona Del Mar, California (Orange County) When: 1940s to 1950s What: Island or Polynesian-themed dinnerware and serve ware. Company founded by Roy and Harriet Guppy. Golden State Ceramics Where: Pasadena When: 1940s What: Art ware and giftware Hagen Renaker Where: Monrovia and San Dimas (San Gabriel Valley) When: 1946 to present What: Animal figurines, giftware, planters and some Disney. Founded by John and Maxine Renaker in Culver City in 1945. Maxine’s father, Ole Hagen, helped the couple build a pottery studio in Monrovia, and a year later they set up shop in 1946. Among their most popular products are horse figurines. Halcyon Pottery Co. Where: Pismo Beach (Central California) When: 1910 to 1940 What: Established at a Theosophist cooperative community and sanatorium near Pismo, where founder Alexander Robertson was the instructor and director. As he did at Roblin Potteries, Robertson applied lizards, flowers and other native motifs to bisque-fired pottery including vases, pitchers, candlesticks, serve ware, paperweights, and whistles. Hans Sumpf Company Where: Madera (Central California) When: 1939 to 2006 What: Garden ware and architectural wall surfaces Harold Johnson When: 1940s What: Planters, flower ware, and art ware. Example: Low, water lily-shaped bowl for floating flowers. Heath Ceramics Where: Sausalito (near San Francisco) When: 1948 to present What: Modern and Midcentury modern tableware, art ware and garden ware. Founded by artist and ceramist Edith Heath in 1948 after her solo pottery show at San Francisco’s Legion of Honor. Hedi Schoop Where: Hollywood When: 1940s to 1950s What: Art ware and figurines. Swiss-born Schoop fled Nazi Germany in 1933 with her husband, Academy Award-winning composer Frederick Hollander. The ceramic artist was known for her charming, detailed figurines. A fire in 1958 forced the closure of her plant. She died in 1996. Examples: stylized ethnic figurines; Harlequin wall plaques. Heirlooms of Tomorrow Known as California Originals after 1955 Where: Manhattan Beach (near LA) When: 1944–1955 What: Figurines Hollydale Potteries Where: Harbor City When: 1935–1959 What: Malibu Modern tableware Howard Pierce Where: LaVerne, Claremont, and Joshua Tree When: 1941 to 1994 What: Giftware and figurines J.A. Bauer Pottery Where: Los Angeles When: Late 1880s to early 1960s What: One of the "Top 5" California Potteries, J.A. Bauer produced colorful glazed and distinct, collectible patterns. Flower pots, crockery, table, garden and art ware. For the new line of Bauer, see Bauer Pottery Co., Los Angeles (above). For additional information: California Potteries, The Complete Book by Mike Schneider is an older book, but quite a good reference book for those interested in learning more about the pottery companies in California.