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Twainware ~ Mark Twain and ROZART POTTERY Vintage Art Pottery




Back in 1996 I went to an estate auction, and picked up this interesting pottery sign with advertising on it for Rozart Pottery's TWAINWARE line.

I love Mark Twain, and pottery, and the fact it was an advertising piece just added to my interest. I have had it on my literature shelf, with figurines of Mr. Twain, and some of my other favorite authors.




I had attempted to find out more about ROZART Pottery, but back then the internet didn't have all the info that's available now. Since it's for my own enjoyment, and not for sale, I hadn't pursued researching it. Then up popped this Antique Trader article the other day -- and I thought at last I would get the answers.

[Note: This was a post from back in 2011, and I am revisiting it now, in February 2014.]


Well, turns out the short piece by Dan Brownell is just a teaser, skimming the product line names, and describing the marks. I should say, the piece is an excerpt from Mr. Brownell's price guide, and the marks descriptions will certainly help his readers. I did get some of my answers, but many questions were raised. So I decided to google the heck out of the subject. Here's some of what I found, besides lots of ebay listings for some of the gorgeous pottery for sale.


Dan Brownell's article starts off by telling us that ROZART POTTERY was started by George and Rose Rydings in the 1960s, in Kansas City (Missouri).  -- [I found online reference's dating it to 1968.]

This exclusive excerpt is from the new book Antique Trader Antiques & Collectibles 2011 Price Guide by Dan Brownell (Krause Publications, 2010). Brownell has edited more than 50 books covering a wide range of subjects, including advertising, ceramics, glass, clocks, bottles, records, toys, coins, tools, and militaria. -AT Editor. 
George and Rose Rydings were aspiring Kansas City (Missouri) potters who, in the late 1960s, began to produce a line of fine underglaze pottery. An inheritance of vintage American-made artware gave the Rydings inspiration to recreate old ceramic masters’ techniques. Some design influence also came from Fred Radford, grandson of well-known Ohio artist Albert Radford (circa 1890s-1904). Experimenting with Radford’s formula for Jasperware and sharing ideas with Fred about glazing techniques and ceramic chemistry led the Rydings to a look reminiscent of the ware made by turn-of-the-century American art pottery masters such as Weller and Rookwood. The result of their work became Rozart, the name of the Rydings’ pottery.
Many lines have been created since Rozart’s beginning. Twainware, Sylvan, Cameoware, Rozart Royal, Rusticware, Deko, Krakatoa, Koma and Sateen are a few. It is rare to find a piece of Rozart that is not marked in some way. The earliest mark is “Rozart” at the top of a circle with “Handmade” in the center and “K.C.M.O.” (Kansas City, Missouri) at the bottom.
Other marks followed over the years, including a seal that was used extensively. Along with artist initials, collectors will find a date code (either two digits representing the year or a month separated by a slash followed by a two-digit year). George signs his pieces “GMR,” “GR,” or “RG” (with a backwards “R”). Working on Twainware, Jasperware and Cameoware in the early years, George has many wheel-thrown pieces to his credit. Rose, who is very knowledgeable about Native Americans, does scenics and portraits.
Her mark is either “RR” or “Rydings.” Four of the seven Rydings children have worked in the pottery as well. Anne Rydings White (mark is “Anne” or “AR” or “ARW”) designed and executed many original pieces in addition to her work on the original Twainware line. Susan Rydings Ubert (mark is “S” over “R”) has specialized in Sylvan pieces and is an accomplished sculptor and mold maker. Susan’s daughter Maureen does female figures. Becky (mark is “B” over “R”), designed lines such as Fleamarket and Nature’s Jewels.
Cindy Rydings Cushing (mark is “C” over “R” or “CRC”) developed the very popular Kittypots line. Mark Rydings is the Rozart mold maker. ?
You can read the rest of the price guide section on Rozart here via googlebooks.



Their style harked back to the works of Rookwood and Weller. An online search will show you they succeeded beautifully. And you can track values easily online. I am sure prices will go steadily up as time passes. It is truly ART pottery.

As to my questions: Are they still in business? If not, when did they stop work? The AT article does not say anything about the pottery's current status.





ROSEHAVEN

  • There is no website for Rozart Pottery, although a google search comes up with this link -- Rozart Pottery Studio. 504 North Kimball, Excelsior Springs, MO 64024 ... About Rozart Pottery Studio. We specialize in hand crafted American Art Pottery -- so apparently they used to have a website. Currently that website is a Russian site (probably a domain holder).
So, some questions answered. I look forward to your comments if anyone has more info.

Update #1: I shared this post over on the Collectors Weekly site, and here are a couple of comments that were posted there:

  1. Brian Rice Says:
    Rose is still living in Excelsior Springs and can probably be found for more information, if you’re interested. I grew up knowing the family and seeing them in action – they were a very talented family of artists. After selling the home after George’s death, Rose settled in the Oaks Apartments in Excelsior Springs
  2. Cynthia Cushing Says:
    I’m one of the artists that worked for Rozart (my parents’ pottery business). We stopped making Rozart after my dad, George, passed away in January of 2007. We were selling pieces on the website and out of Mom’s garage, but after Dad’s death we decided to hold on to the few pieces we had left and eventually took down the website.
Update #2: Thanks to ebay, I found this listing [link]:
The MAY - JUNE 2001 (VOL. 17, NO. 3) MAGAZINE “THE AMERICAN ART POTTERY ASSOCIATION JOURNAL” has a very important 4-page article about Rozart Pottery and the company’s founding members George & Rose Rydings – showing George Rydings at the potter’s wheel and Rose Rydings at the decorator’s table, as well as numerous examples of Rozart art pottery: Rozart Pottery: How It Came To Be – by Becky White







Ms. Dow Antiques Blog 'Tique Talk is published by msdowantiques.com

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