I grew up in the 70s.
Yes I’m nursing my doll, Rosebud, and no that’s not a glam rock wig.
As a 70s kid, I had my fair share of exposure to Canadian art pottery, namely the long necked swans in green, red drip-glaze urns full of plastic white carnations (oh yes, yes it’s true) and the terrifying black panthers with jewelled eyes and collars- all of which belonged in Elvis’ sunken living room more than my parents little rancher.
My parents wedding:
- Flowered polyester shirt: check.
- Orange and brown curtains: check.
- Cousin in mustard-yellow jumpsuit, wood panelling on all walls, stranger lady with bare legs and loafers: check, check, check.
But was it all really that bad?
I’ve come to appreciate some these retro pieces in my adult years, especially when I strip away the sometimes hideous backdrop (see ya later pom-poms on lampshades!) For example, this handcrafted serving dish, made in Ontario by Royal Canadian Art Pottery. With its swirling blue-green glaze, sleek lines and quality construction, it’s actually quite stunning and would compliment any modern room beautifully!
Another Canadian name I’ve come to love (and just might be my all time favourite!) is Evangeline, a line of dinnerware from Canuck Pottery. Check out this French onion soup crock! What do you think of that vibrant red glaze now?
Their adorably earthy cream and sugar set have a classic Mid-Century profile and complimentary glazing in greys- a soft detour from the often dark colours of the 70s.
Canuck Pottery was established in New Brunswick in 1938, with the Evangeline line soon to follow. And for any poetry lovers out there, Evangeline was named after Longfellow’s famous poem of the same name- aw!
There were many potteries throughout Canada in the 50s- 70s, but I’m going to end with a true Canadian classic- Blue Mountain Pottery! Also from Ontario, these were the guys that started the green glaze madness! Through their trademark ‘reflowing design’ process, in which two colours blend together in the firing stage, BMP pieces have a lovely streaked, highly polished and iridescent finish.
Blue Mountain Pottery is widely collected, harder to find and, yes of course, more pricey. Plus there’s a club. You heard me- a club. The link is below and it will enlighten you in all kinds of vintage, Canadian pottery ways!
So before you send those vintage Canadian vases to the thrift store, give them a second thought and a modern setting- you might just see something fresh and beautiful!
For some really fantastic information on Blue Mountain Pottery, visit http://www.bmpcc.com/