Frederick Hurten Rhead-Tile
Frederick Hurten Rhead-Tile

Frederick Hurten Rhead was an English-born American potter and ceramic artist. He was born into a family of potters and designers. He received his English pottery training before moving to the United States in 1902. He worked for many art potteries until 1917, including the Roseville Pottery in Ohio, the Arequipa Pottery in California, and the University City Pottery in St Louis, Missouri. Rhead produced a pottery correspondence course for the American Woman’s University in 1910.

Vase ca. 1914โ€“17 by Frederick Hurten Rhead
Vase ca. 1914โ€“17 by Frederick Hurten Rhead

He used English techniques such as contrasting slip decoration, pictorial low-relief carving, and monochromatic low-relief modelling in his early art pottery. Rhead began working for large commercial potteries in 1917, after closing his small pottery in Santa Barbara, CA, first as research director for the American Encaustic Tiling Co. in Zanesville, OH, and then as art director for the Homer Laughlin China Co. in Newell, WV, where he developed the famous ‘Fiesta’ line of domestic dinnerware.

Vase ca. 1904โ€“08 by Frederick Hurten Rhead
Vase ca. 1904โ€“08 by Frederick Hurten Rhead

Rhead’s work for Homer Laughlin China Co. (e.g. Fiesta) and his national influence through the American Ceramic Society contributed greatly to the design of mass-produced ceramic tableware in his later career.

Sources

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

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