Mid-Century Tableware Brings Retro Design To Your Modern Home
As I was browsing through a magazine the other day, a small article about a mid-century pottery company caught my eye. What initially gained my interest, however, wasn’t the product – but the location of the factory. The Bauer Pottery Company of Los Angeles is located in Highland, California – just a hop-skip-and-a-jump from where I spent many happy childhood summers visiting my grandparents.
Dating back to 1885, the original J.A. Bauer Pottery Company had its beginnings in Kentucky. It relocated to Los Angeles in 1909 and produced tableware, vases, flowerpots, and planters until its closure in the early 1960s. Among its products was California Colored Pottery, a line of vibrant dinnerware that gained tremendous popularity in the mid-1900s. After J.A. Bauer Pottery shut down in 1962, all the original molds were lost or destroyed, and Bauer pottery enthusiasts were thrown to the tender mercies of their grandmother’s attics, second hand stores, flea markets, and eBay.
Fast forward a couple of decades and, thanks to Mid-Century aficionado Janek Boniecki, the Bauer Pottery line is back. Using his own collection of vintage pieces as templates, Boniecki relaunched Bauer Pottery from a factory in Highlands, CA and a new era of retro-styled tableware and home accessories was born. Currently two distinctive styles are being manufactured: the very-retro Ringware line which takes its name from concentric circles worked into brightly colored pieces and a revival of Russel Wright design, which features sleek contemporary dinnerware. Although purists have commented that the new tableware doesn't have the heft that the older pieces have, the new stuff is also lacking the lead content found in many older pottery pieces, which brings the Mid-Century design very healthily into the 21st Century.
If you would like more information about the Bauer Pottery line visit the Bauer Pottery Company of Los Angeles where you’ll find goods for not only your tabletop, but for your garden and the pets in your life as well.
BTW - My grandmother, who I visited every summer of my childhood, was every bit the typical Mid-Century woman. Although she didn’t use Bauer ware, she did have cupboards full of Desert Rose Franciscan Ware.