George Edgar Ohr (1857–1918, American)
4 1/4 x 3 5/8 x 2 3/4 inches
George Ohr, the self-styled "Mad Potter of Biloxi" in Mississippi, created some of the most radical pottery of the Arts & Crafts period, throwing earthenware pots until they were as thin as eggshell porcelain, then folding and twisting them into unexpected shapes. "I make disfigured pottery", he said. "Couldn't and wouldn't if I could make it any other way." Ohr's multicolored and speckled glazes were another of the signatures that made his work stand out from other art pottery of the period. His credo was "no two alike". From the beginning of his career to its end, Ohr varied each piece of pottery in form or glaze to produce a large repertoire of unique work. He rejected the mass-production of large Industrial-Age art potteries, as well as their division of labor between potters (who shaped the pottery), decorators (who glazed the pottery) and the designers or pottery owners who got most of the credit. "All great orators, actors and artists MUST do their OWN WORK to score recognition", he wrote. Ohr even went to the lengths of digging and processing his own clay from a pit he purchased near his studio. He made many more one-handled pots than two-handled. His handles are normally delicate tendrils that are more decorative than they are functional; this was Ohr's intention for his art pottery, which he considered more "art" than "pottery".
Not currently on view
Bottom impressed, "G.E. OHR BILOXI"
Collection Kirkland Museum of Fine & Decorative Art