Canadian Art Pottery: Bringing Back the 70s, Baby!

I grew up in the 70s.

Angie 1970s

See?

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.

Ellis Wedding 1970s

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!

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Evangeline_Crocks2New Cropped

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?

Evangeline Cream Sugar CroppedTheir 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!

Blue Moutnain Jug New

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. 

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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/

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I Heart Blenko

I’ve been a lover of hand blown glass for some time, but vintage Blenko holds a special place in my heart! It all started with this amber bud vase, with it’s crooked little top, warm honey tone and bulbous shape- I immediately fell in love!

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It’s not often you find vintage glass with the sticker still attached, so you have to watch out for other telltale signs of Blenko craftsmanship. One is an uneven rim, as seen in the above photo. This is the result of being ‘fire polished’, when the item is returned quickly to the fire to remove any tool marks or rough edges. Another is a rough pontil mark, the spot where the punt was broken from the glass during the blowing process- basically the belly button!

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Blenko glass is generally thick walled and almost always transparent. An exception to that rule is this handsome guy: a rare, blackest-of-blacks, cased glass vase! And with the sticker still attached, I almost felt like I was cheating- too easy!  😉Image

There’s so much more to know about Blenko, and many resources online to help you along! The Blenko Museum is a great place to get started:

http://www.blenkomuseum.org/index.htm

Enjoy!