2 x 10 x 2 in. (5.08 x 25.4 x 5.08 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.
For dinnerware, a set of coupe-style dishes (coupe plates are flat and rimless, with a slight concave edge) was initially produced by Winfield Ceramics. This was followed in 1937 by the first square-shaped dinner service made in California. Most of the pieces in the line had softly rounded corners, as seen in Bowl (c. 1940), and required unorthodox production methods and molds. This low square sage-and-brown serving dish is a good example of Winfield founder Lesley Winfield Sample’s glazing skills. The rim of this piece is a nod to Japanese brown ash glaze, lazily flowing into the sage glaze.
Billie Sessions, PhD.
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