Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

 If you grew up in Oklahoma and specifically in Tulsa you know what this stuff is.  It is Frankoma pottery.  Frankoma Pottery was founded in 1933 by John Frank a University of Oklahoma art professor.  You can find much more information on Wikipedia.  Anyway, Frank developed a style using Ada clay (from the area around Ada, OK) and perfected a unique glaze that made his work very desirable.  Eventually he moved the manufacturing to Sapulpa, OK which only about ten miles west of Tulsa.  During the 40's, 50's & 60's Frankoma pottery was extremely popular.  They manufactured dinnerware as well as decorative pieces. Some of it combined an art deco sense of design with a southwest flavor in the glaze.  Because of the way the glaze reacted when fired, no two pieces of Frankoma pottery are exactly alike.  I never really appreciated Frankoma pottery until the past ten or fifteen years.  While I only have a few pieces and I usually pick them up in flea markets, I have come to love this product that originated in my home state and settled only a few miles from my home town.  For all practical purposes, the pottery ceased to be manufactured in 1991.

Almost all of us have some sort of collection of coffee mugs.  Mine includes three examples of Frankhoma pottery.  I have four of each of these designs.  The one in the center is a collector mug from Falls Creek Baptist Assembly, which is the largest church sponsored youth summer camp in the world.  I attended Falls creek four years in a row from my freshman to senior year in high school.  It is still operating and better than ever.

Other than the coffee mugs, I don't have any pieces of the dinnerware.  Here you can see the variation of color within each piece that made Frankoma pottery so unique.  For most people, you either like it or you don't.  I used the be in the "don't" camp, but I have definitely come into the light.

 The small vases are bout six inches in diameter and six inches tall.  I suppose they could be used as table center pieces.  I use a couple of them on my desk as pencil holders.  The larger footed vase is on display in the living room.

The very design of this little vase caught my eye at a flea market recently.  Here is an example of art deco design sensitivity combined with the southwest glaze influence.  I love how the darker glaze accents the lines of the piece.

This bowl is about ten inches in diameter and it is my favorite piece.  That subtle design coming up from the base of the bowl is absolutely brilliant design as far as I'm concerned.  Again, the glaze accents the decorative elements of the pottery.  This piece will fit in any interior decor.  Yep, I rescued this from a flea market as well.

The only way to appreciate this little dish was to stand it on it's side.  I'm not sure what the original purpose was, but I'm sure that the stylized shape of the state of Oklahoma was not a mistake and is what captured my attention. Here you can see the variation of color common to the Frankoma glaze.
I don't collect a lot of things, and none of my collections are extensive, but I enjoy each item that I have collected and that's really all that is important.  Do you collect anything and what is your favorite item in your collection.


  1. I did start collecting dinnerware at one point and it's been so long ago I forgot what they are called. Very colorful dinnerware. Then I stopped and that was that. I do like your collection.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

  2. I enjoy pottery so this post was a delight to me. Great shots.
    Thanks for sharing at http://image-in-ing.blogspot.com/2015/09/steam-powered-whatchamacallits.html, Driller!

  3. I love Frankoma pottery. All I have is an Oklahoma themed coffee mug and coaster that I got a Woolaroc years ago.