Hummel Figurines

Hummel marks Hummel Figurines


Berta Hummel (May 21, 1909 to November 6, 1946) was born Massing, Bavaria, and the young girl exhibited artistic talents early, drawing little sketches with images of her friends or things she observed in nature. Her family encouraged her abilities, and by 1927, she enrolled in Munich’s Academy of Fine and Applied Arts. While still a student, Berta became friendly with two Franciscan nuns who were members of [...] Click here to continue reading.

Sgraffito – definition


Sgraffito derives from graffiare (Italian for “to scratch”) and graphein (Greek for “to write”) and is yet another example of a term that has been slowly adapted (or corrupted, some might say) for use in the American marketplace. Technically and historically speaking, sgraffito is used to describe a method of fresco used on walls (amazing examples still survive on even the exteriors of old buildings throughout Europe) and a means for decorating ceramics. [...] Click here to continue reading.

The Sarcophagus in Decorative Arts

The Sarcophagus in Decorative Arts

Derived from the Greek sarx, meaning flesh, and phagein, meaning eat, a sarcophagus is, essentially, a container for a body, much like a coffin or casket. Historically, sarcophagi were typically made of stone (though sometimes of other materials, such as wood or metal), with a relief-carved or pediment top, and designed to be above ground, and have been used by many cultures since ancient times.

An ancient [...] Click here to continue reading.

Grisaille – definition


Grisaille, from the French word gris meaning grey, is a term used to describe works of art painted entirely in a monochromatic palette. Technically speaking, there are other terms that apply when the monochromatic palette used is of a different color (brunaille for brown, verdaille for green, for instance), but grisaille is often misused to cover all monochrome works, regardless of hue. There are also plenty of works that are considered grisaille that [...] Click here to continue reading.

Cassolette – definition


“Cassolette,” the diminutive form of the French word “cassole,” means small container. While the word has other meanings, in the world of decorative arts, it refers to a small covered vase meant to hold perfumed substances or incense. A cassolette normally has holes pierced in the shoulders and in the cover to allow the scent to drift out. Frequently, mounted vases that were not originally designed as cassolettes have had a pierced metal [...] Click here to continue reading.

Sewer Tile – Definition

Sewer Tile

Since the dawn of time, as long as there have been people, there has been…sewage. And for almost as long, we’ve apparently been concerned with it. There is concrete (or clay, at least) evidence of this dating back as far as 4000 B.C.E. Babylon, known for many things – gardens, law, sin…., was also known as the birthplace of pipe, pipe that was formed of clay and baked.

Nearly six thousand years [...] Click here to continue reading.



The word mustard is thought to come from two words: “mustum,” a Latin word for young wine, which is called must, and “ardens,” a Latin word for hot. It was a hot condiment made by grinding mustard seeds up with must to form a paste, and still today as a condiment made from mustard seeds (whole, ground, or cracked) and mixed with a liquid like water or lemon juice to create a paste, [...] Click here to continue reading.

Timmerman Pottery

Shimuel Timmerman, potter

Shimuel was a man of the times. He was a Justice of the Peace, fought in the Creek Indian War, and was a Confederate soldier. His only sibling, John, died as a POW at Camp Douglas, Illinois. His two sons continued to run the business after their father passed on. He is buried at the Wayfare Primitive Baptist Cemetery, Cow Creek, Echols County, Georgia. (Information provided to p4A by a granddaughter [...] Click here to continue reading.

Herend Porcelain

Herend Porcelain

The Herend Porcelain Manufactory was started in 1826 in Hungary by Vince Stingl, he started by making earthenware pottery, but by 1839, went bankrupt and his creditor Mor Fischer took over the factory. Fischer started artistic porcelain manufacturing in this year. Herend subsequently became very successful, being popular with much of the European aristocracy and nobility. His sons took over the operation in 1874 and the company continues to produce fine hand-crafted [...] Click here to continue reading.

Bezanson, Brother Thomas

Brother Thomas Bezanson

Brother Thomas Bezanson was a Canadian-born artist who is best known for his finely thrown porcelain vessels and complex glazes. After studying philosophy at the University of Ottawa, he spent twenty-five years as a Benedictine monk at Weston Priory, Vermont, before becoming the artist-in-residence at Mount Saint Benedict in Erie, Pennsylvania. Bezanson believed in art as the language of the spirit, and he approached pottery as a monk would their daily [...] Click here to continue reading.

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