A Little Bauer Pottery History
Did you know that a collection of Bauer Pottery was featured in the 1992 thriller, "The Hand That Rocks The Cradle?" Indeed it was. A collection of ring dinnerware can be seen in the kitchen during the film. Not surprisingly, Bauer Pottery was long established and well-known way before anyone laid eyes on that movie. With its beginnings in Paducah, Kentucky in 1885, Bauer Pottery became a far more familiar name with its move to California in 1909. Here, the company set up shop in Lincoln Heights, a Southern area of the state. In this article, we are going to explore much more of the Bauer Pottery History.
The initial success of the company came when J.A. Bauer began producing and direct selling items such as oil jars and crocks. For gardeners and garden businesses, flower pots and hanging baskets soon become of high demand as well. By the time 1912 rolled around, a man by the name of Louis Ipsen was on board, adding redware items to the line of pottery that was considered to be of a fancier nature. Following the addition of Ipsen was Matterson Carlton. Carlton tossed his own flare into the mix by creating pottery items that included carnation vases and hand-thrown vases. The business was growing rapidly now, as was J.A. Bauer's fortune.
Sadly, Bauer passed away in 1923. Bauer Pottery not only carried on, however but continued to thrive. Believe it or not, at this point, the company was not even known yet for the same product it has come to be known for today. But with decades left to go before a product that's recognizable in modern times, Bauer Pottery had some more hills to climb and changes to make.
With the addition of ceramic engineer Victor F. Houser in 1929, a pottery revolution of sorts took place. Houser introduced new glazes and colors. It was a concept not yet common in the trade of pottery. The fresh colors sold quite well in the west and even made a mark on the east coast. But by the late 30's there were some new companies finding their footing, and they effectively halted any more expansion by Bauer into the eastern regions. Bauer Pottery was not quite done fighting for exposure on that side of the country, though. So in 1938 the company successfully turned an old winery in Atlanta, Georgia into a pottery. And thus, Bauer Atlanta was born.
As the years moved on, Bauer seemed to fail in the modernization of production processes. That, including issues with the pottery worker's union, lead to the unfortunate end of the company in 1962.
But it's no surprise if Bauer Pottery sounds familiar to you, after all these years. The company was revived by a little ceramic studio owned by Janek Boniecki in 2000. What was exciting to anyone familiar with Bauer Pottery from decades earlier, Boniecki offered a pottery line that mirrored 1930's and 40's original pieces. He titled the line "Bauer 2000." He cleverly took pieces of his own personal collection to engineer the line. Boniecki's studio can be found just outside of Los Angeles, California.
This Bauer Pottery history is rich and legendary. The creations and influences from the innovative company can still be seen in the art of pottery today!