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Winfield Ceramics


circa late 1940s

1 x 10 x 1 in. (2.54 x 25.4 x 2.54 cm)
Gift of Wm. Bruce and Shauna Crane

Winfield Pottery of Pasadena was founded by Lesley Winfield Sample in 1929. Sample was born in England in 1897, where he received a wide-ranging education, including instruction in ceramics. He immigrated to Southern California in the 1920s. The original site began as a studio and school of clay working and offered classes in the evenings. Despite limited experience in ceramic production, Sample managed to turn out an exceptional line of cast porcelain vases and bowls. Designer Margaret Mears Gabriel joined Sample in 1935, bringing new hand-painted patterns featuring bamboo, tulip, avocado, geranium, and citrus motifs. Sample died in 1939, and Margaret and her husband Arthur became the Winfield owners. In 1941, they built a new factory in Pasadena with three large periodic kilns. In 1946, American Ceramic Products of Santa Monica helped Winfield fill their huge backlog of orders after the war. Winfield Pottery ceased operations in 1962, one of the many victims of cheap foreign imports and the rising popularity of plastic dinnerware.

The bamboo pattern on Plate (late 1940s), produced in many color combinations, was introduced in 1937, becoming by far the most successful design and remaining in production until the business closed. The bottom of the plate has a glossy, clear glaze; underneath, it is stamped “HAND CRAFTED Winfield China,” with bright blue underglaze. This ink stamp and “Winfield China” show that it was manufactured by American Ceramic Products after 1946 in Santa Monica.

Billie Sessions, PhD.

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