Bertha Ellen Stevenson A Loss in the Van Briggle Pottery Family Bertha Ellen Stevenson, who found herself at the helm of Van Briggle Pottery after her husband’s death in 1990, passed away on September 25, 2010 in Denver, Colorado. She was a true visionary with an artistic ability few have ever possessed. Passionate about the beauty that is synonymous with Van Briggle Pottery as well as classical music and a love for animals, Mrs. Stevenson will be remembered for her generosity, her kindness and her open heart. She and her husband’s mission was to continue Artus Van Briggle’s dream; they succeeded ten-fold. When Mrs. Stevenson’s husband, Kenneth, took the reins at Van Briggle, they were only beginning to embark on those new trends and more contemporary designs, including glossy glazes that are indicative of the 1950s and 1960s. The company thrived under the couple’s direction. The Stevenson’s son, Craig, remains with the pottery as its chief designer. Mrs. Stevenson is survived by her three children, a sister and eight grandchildren. If you wish to honor her, the family has requested donations be made to the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, where she volunteered regularly. She was laid to rest October 2nd, 2010 and will be missed by all who knew and loved her. Our condolences and prayers go to the Stevenson family.
We are saddened to report that David Rago's daughter, Mary Lynn Rago has passed away. Bucks County Courier Times Mary Lynn Julia Rago of Lambertville, N.J., died Thursday, June 24, 2010, of a pulmonary embolism. She was 34. A graduate of Hunterdon High School, she had a degree in cosmetology from the Jeanne Madeline School in Philadelphia. Preceded in death by her beloved grandparents, Bernice and Charles Small, she is survived by her parents, Elaine Piechota and David Rago; sister Denise Rago; step-parents Charles Piechota and Suzanne Perrault; grandparents Domenic and Mary Rago; brother-in-law Todd Wallace; and niece Emma Wallace. Her survival of a life threatening illness nine years ago has been a testament of her tremendous will to live and her love of life. She will be remembered with love and tenderness. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Bucks County Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 277, Lahaska, PA, 18931.
Introduction to Honey Chatham Obituary: Honey is on the right in this picture. The picture was taken during a tour of her home during the 2004 convention. We are saddened to learn of the passing of a cherished colleague in the pottery world. Honey Chatham had a big heart and generous spirit. American Art Pottery Association members were so fortunate to get to know Honey back in 2004 when we visited the Gulf States for our convention. Our field trip to Biloxi and its environs was a glorious and awesome trip into a time and place that enchanted us all. One of the highlights of our day trip was a visit to the Chatham home. Honey greeted us all individually and welcomed us to see the stunning collection of George Ohr pottery she and her husband Guy had collected over the years. It was unusually cold that morning and Honey thoughtfully offered us hot tea and coffee to warm up as well as home made goodies. Her gracious hospitality and warm, engaging personality made us all feel right at home and wish we could stay and linger for a long while. We will always be grateful to her for creating a very special day. The Gulf has changed over the past six years in dramatic ways. Forever in our memory will be a magical time spent with a delightful and precious woman. Honey T. Chatham Published on www.legacy.com Jessie (Honey) Toney Chatham died Wednesday, June 11, 2010 in Hattiesburg. She was born in 1942 in Albemarle, North Carolina to the late Jacob E. Toney of Shubuta, Mississippi and Ree Ree Toney of Quitman. She graduated from Quitman High School in 1959 and The University [...]
Nancy Sweezy, Savior of Jugtown Pottery, Dies at 88 By DOUGLAS MARTIN – Published: February 25, 2010 in the New York Times In the rolling Piedmont hills of North Carolina, potters were turning out fine work before the American Revolution. But by the 20th century, the tradition had faltered. Two passionate women, a half-century apart, saved it. Nancy Sweezy, who died on Feb 6. at 88 in Cambridge, Mass., was the second. Riding a surge of interest in folk arts in the 1960s and 1970s, Ms. Sweezy revived Jugtown, the famous pottery that the first of the two women, Juliana Royster Busbee, started in 1917. Ms. Sweezy begged and borrowed $22,500 to buy the financially staggering Jugtown in 1968. She came up with new glazes to replace ones that used lead, and gave them names like Blueridge Blue and Dogwood White. She recruited talented apprentices; leaned on influential acquaintances, including Rockefellers, for support; developed marketing strategies; and got Jugtown pottery into upscale Northern stores before selling the establishment in 1980. In 2006 the National Endowment for the Arts designated Ms. Sweezy “a national treasure,” saying that her efforts had “helped inspire a revival of the traditional pottery community.” The number of potteries in the area around Seagrove, N.C., rose from 7 in 1968 to more than 100. Mary Farrell, an expert Seagrove potter who apprenticed at Jugtown, said that “there wouldn’t even be a pottery area here” had Ms. Sweezy not come. Ms. Sweezy became involved in Jugtown while shopping for traditional crafts in North Carolina to stock a shop she owned in Cambridge. By contrast, Ms. Busbee fell in love with a striking orange plate she saw at a county fair in North Carolina. She [...]
Otto Heino, Prolific Potter, Dies at 94 By Bruce Weber, New York Times Otto Heino, a prolific ceramicist whose simple, elegantly shaped pots and opulent glazes earned him not just a fortune but also a reputation, which he shared with his wife, Vivika, as the personification of sturdy American artisanship, died July 16 in Ventura. He was 94 and lived in Ojai. The cause of death was renal failure, said his niece Lillian Heino Long. Heino (pronounced HIGH-no), a driven craftsman who was said to produce up to 10,000 pieces a year, was known as a purist in his work with clay. He often worked with massive amounts, throwing 50 pounds or more at once to produce his huge signature platters. His pieces were texturally natural, with finger ridges left in them, and he mixed wood ash into the glazes he developed and used, which gave the finished work a velvety depth rather than a perfect luster. One glaze in particular stood out: He and his wife, who died in 1995, created a rich yellow, said to have been a re-creation of an ancient Asian formula. It was so widely admired that pieces finished with it routinely sold for as much as $25,000. Heino's work has been shown at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and myriad other public and private galleries. He summed up his career in an interview with The Los Angeles Times last year. "I am the oldest, richest potter in the world," he said. While many of his contemporaries ventured into sculptural techniques, Heino adhered Advertisement to the household-container model, producing variations on "a vessel format," in the words of Christy Johnson, director of the five-year-old [...]
Robert (Bob) L. Sindelar (75), Marysville, WA, was called home to our Father on April 24, 2009 after a protracted bout with prostate cancer. Born in 1933 in Parma, Ohio, Bob graduated from high school in Bradenton FL. Enlisting in the Navy after high school, he was selected for the NROTC program, and attended the Illinois Institute of Technology, where he graduated with a degree in psychology, and a commission as 2nd Lt. In the Marine Corps. He was posted to the Philippines and later Okinawa, as a platoon leader with 1st Battalion, 3rd Marines; he served his last duty in Parris Island, SC. After the Marine Corps, Bob moved to New York City where he worked for major advertising agencies: Benton & Bowles, William Esty & Co., and Jack Tinker & Partners, and met his soul mate, Sheila Joan O’Brien. Bob and Sheila were married in 1965 and, in 1968, moved to Miami, FL, and Bob joined Hume-Smith-Mickelberry Advertising. While rising to presidency of Hume-Sindelar & Associates, Bob earned an MBA at the University of Miami. Retiring in 1994, Bob and his wife moved to Mt. Dora, FL where they ran an antiques business, before moving to Marysville, WA in 2004 Bob was active in the American Marketing Association, American Art Pottery Association; in churches in Miami and Marysville; as a docent for The Appleton Museum of Art, Ocala, Fl; and in the Pilchuck Audubon Society. He is survived by his beloved wife Sheila and his two sons John and Robert, their wives Kristi and Patricia and grandchildren Benjamin and Sophia. A memorial service was be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Marysville, on May 4, 2009. In lieu of flowers, the family asks [...]
Samuel C. Schott, 85 Of Coventry Township passed peacefully November 10, 2008. Sam was born in Morristown, Tenn. on December 3, 1922. He was a graduate of Tri-State College in 1944 with a degree in engineering and was named to the Who's Who among students in American Universities and Colleges. He was employed with Firestone T & R as an Engineer inventing the rubber backing for carpet. With his father, Elmer he started Schott Metal Products and later Design Wheel and Hub. He was a member of the Tadmor Shrine and the Sons of Herman. Preceded in death by his parents, Elmer and Coza; son, David A. Schott Sr. and brother Jim. He is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Faydelle; grandchildren, David (Tracy) Schott Jr. and Lynn (Woody) Hoff; great-granddaughter, Alyssa Schott; sister, Adelaide (Ralph) Darling; nieces and nephew. Calling hours will be on Wednesday, November 12, 2008 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Schermesser Funeral Home, 600 E. Turkeyfoot Lake Road (Route 619). Private family Entombment at Greenlawn Memorial Park. Memorial contributions may be made to Acute Palliative Care Unit, 525 E. Market St., Attn: 3E Akron, Ohio 44309.
Ralph M. Kovel, antiques expert, died August 28 in Cleveland. CLEVELAND – September 2, 2008 - Ralph M. Kovel, nationally known antiques author and expert, died Thursday, August 28, 2008, in Cleveland. In the early 1950s, Kovel came up with the idea of publishing a book that indexed antiques by the factory-specific marks found on the bottom of the pottery. He and his wife, Terry, became nationally known with the publication of their first book, Dictionary of Marks: Pottery & Porcelain, published in 1953. The book led to a weekly question-andanswer column, "Kovels: Antiques & Collecting," syndicated in 1954, which still runs in more than 150 newspapers. It was also the first of 97 books that the couple would coauthor. Ralph Kovel was born in Milwaukee. He moved with his family to Cleveland Heights, Ohio in the 1930s. A Cleveland Heights High School graduate, he attended the Ohio State University, and later taught courses in antiques at Case Western Reserve and John Carroll universities. Kovel was a food broker at the same time he found success with antiques. In the late 1970s, he purchased a small Cleveland company called Sar-A-Lee. The company was sold in 1989 to Sara Lee Corporation, where he continued as Senior Vice-President of Sara Lee Coffee and Tea's Foods Division until 2000. He never retired. He was president of U.S. Brands, Inc., a Beachwood-based direct marketing firm, and president of Lucayan Aquaculture, a shrimp farm in the Bahamas. Ralph and Terry Kovel were featured in their own television series on public television, the Discovery Channel and, most recently, on HGTV (Home and Garden Television Network). They wrote columns for Forbes Magazine and House Beautiful. Their articles have appeared in Family Circle, [...]
On June 21st 2008, the bay area lost a cherished member of its community. Steve Sanford, owner of Steve Sanford Inc., Len Conrad Photography and founder of Pro Image Studios, died in his home at the age of 65 after a two year bout with brain cancer. His passing was gentle, peaceful and without pain. Steve was known for his keen wit and boundless kindness. He had business savvy, and an unrivaled work ethic. He was a man who knew how to live life to its absolute fullest. Steve was born on September 5th, 1942 in Zanesville, Ohio. He was the second son of Denzil and Vivian Sanford and younger brother to David. He grew up in Roseville where he attended Roseville High School and graduated with the class of 1960. Steve had a big spirit and big plans, and the borders of the quaint rural town could not hold him. Upon graduating from Ohio University with a degree in photography, he accepted a job and came to California where he established himself as a leading figure in the business of school photography. Steve's passions were his wife and family, his pottery and coin collection. He and his wife Martha authored eight books on pottery collecting, the production of which took him back to his roots in Ohio. Steve is survived by his beloved wife Martha, his two daughters Kathryn and Vikki, his two sons Paul and Chris and his two grandchildren Jacob and Savannah. In his final days Steve dreamt he was a knight in a band of golden horsemen in a full charge with sword drawn. He did not know where he was going but he knew he had a purpose. "Now cracks [...]