Russel Wright (1904–1976, American)
J.A. Bauer Pottery Company (1885–1962), Atlanta, GA
10 1/2 x 4 3/4 x 4 3/4 inches
Several years after the great success of his American Modern dinnerware line, Russel Wright was courted by 27 companies asking to develop a dinnerware line with him. Wright chose to work with Bauer Pottery Company in Atlanta, Georgia to design a naturalistic line of ceramics. Wright hoped to achieve a handmade look with the ceramics’ silica glaze, which settled unpredictably on the pottery, creating designs like the ripple effect on this lamp base. The results of the glazing were impossible to duplicate. The combination of the heavy, simple clay forms, the earth tones and the variegated glazes make this lamp almost rock-like. Wright intended the pieces in this line to share a table-scape with plants and flowers, whose naturalism and individualism he thought his pottery would match. Bauer ran a series of 1,000 glaze trials over the course of a year, trying to achieve a final product that Wright would approve of, but the glazes were finicky and Wright was equally hard to please. It was difficult to achieve the handmade aesthetic Wright sought in the confines of an industrial pottery company, and the collaboration began to fall apart. Bauer stopped production of the line in 1946.
ON VIEW in Modern Gallery 7
Collection Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art