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Merritt Island Pottery Melvin Casper vase

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Merritt Island Pottery Melvin Casper vase (Image1)
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Item Number: 7859
 

 



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Circa: 1937-2001
Manufacturer: Merritt Island Pottery, Melvin Casper

Here is the information I found about Merritt Island Pottery:


Melvin Casper and his mother, Peggy Jamieson, founded the Merritt Island Pottery in 1937, after moving there from Chicago. They built the pottery out of planks milled from pine trees cut on the property. In 1937 there was no electricity on the island and so the first pottery was unglazed. Melvin spent a few years in China with General Stillwell during World War II but returned to continue making pottery on Merritt Island. He remains there today, teaching and making pottery, at 84 a master potter, hardened by the fire of World War II and glazed by the beauty of Merritt Island. He came to Merritt Island in the mid-1930s with his stepmother, Esther Peg Jamison, who also was an artist. The two traveled to Florida just after he graduated from the Chicago Art Institute, where he had studied drawing, painting and pottery. They came to the isolated barrier island in Brevard County to live with his uncle, an ornithologist.

''There were lots of birds here, thousands of mosquitoes and only nine people,'' Casper said. ''My mother and I opened this shop in 1937 and became the first potters in Florida. People came in boats to buy our pottery. There were no books to be had on the subject in those days, so ours was one big experiment. But we survived anyway.''

Melvin Casper died in 2001.

This pot or vase stands 3 1/4 inches tall and is 3 5/8 inches across the top. It is wheel-thrown and glazed with a mocha overglaze over the reddish brown underglaze. Bands are incised into the lower part of the vase. It is hand inscribed Merritt Island Pottery. I don't know if this is a 1930s piece or a Mid-century piece. I DO know it is a gorgeous piece of 20th century Florida and American studio pottery.

Add it to your American studio pottery collection today. It is in excellent condition with no damage.




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