Vernon Kilns

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Vernon Kilns
IndustryCeramic manufacturing
FateDissolved
Predecessor(s)Poxon China
Founded1931
Founder(s)Faye G. Bennison
Defunct1958
HeadquartersVernon, California, USA
ProductsCeramic art ware and dinnerware
 
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Vernon Kilns
IndustryCeramic manufacturing
FateDissolved
Predecessor(s)Poxon China
Founded1931
Founder(s)Faye G. Bennison
Defunct1958
HeadquartersVernon, California, USA
ProductsCeramic art ware and dinnerware

Vernon Kilns was an American ceramic company in Vernon, California. In 1931, Faye G. Bennison purchased the former Poxon China pottery.[1] Poxon China was located at 2300 East 52nd Street.[2] Vernon produced ceramic tableware, art ware, giftware, and figurines. Vernon Kilns was one of the "Big Five"[3] California potteries. The other "Big Five" potteries were Metlox Manufacturing Company, Pacific Clay Products, Gladding, McBean & Co., and J.A. Bauer Pottery.

Vernon Kilns, May & Vieve Hamilton art ware

History[edit]

After the purchase of Poxon China 1931, Vernon Kilns under Faye Bennison's direction continued to sell and produce Poxon China's patterns, using decals for the surface patterns until 1933 when an earthquake destroyed all remaining Poxon China ware stock. Vernon Kilns first solid color dinnerware in vivid bright colors was Early California.

In the 1930s, an art ware department was created. Jane Bennison, daughter of Faye Bennison, May & Vieve Hamilton and Harry Bird became designers for Vernon's dinnerware and art ware. In 1936, Gale Turnbull was hired as the art director. Contract designers and artists were hired to create tableware and art ware. Rockwell Kent designed three dinnerware sets based on his famous woodcuts: Salamina, Moby Dick, & Our America. Don Blanding, an Hawaiian poet and illustrator designed four basic tropical design patterns for tableware. Vernon Kilns signed a contract in 1940 with Walt Disney Productions to make figurines based on Walt Disney's films: Fantasia, Dumbo, and The Reluctant Dragon. Vernon also manufactured art ware based on the film Fantasia.

Janice Pettee sculpted and designed a series of celebrity figurines including Sally Rand Paulette Goddard, Madeleine Carroll, Anne Shirley, Wallace Beery, Robert Preston, Lynne Overman, Victor McLaglen, Evelyn Venable, Gary Cooper, Preston Foster, Walter Hampden, Dorothy Lamour, and Bette Davis. Prior to World War II, Vernon Kilns ceased production of art ware, however continued to manufacture dinnerware and specialty ware.

Vernon Kilns produced transfer-print specialty ware which could be special ordered. Custom decal plates, as special order items, were produced for department stores, for promotional advertisement, for commemorative events, and for the tourist trade.

In 1952, Elliot House was hired as art director and continued to work with outside contract artists and designers such as Jean Goodwin Ames and Sharon Merrill. In 1958, Vernon Kilns closed their pottery due to mounting labor costs and competition from foreign imports. Metlox Manufacturing Company, Manhattan Beach, California, bought the molds and continued to manufacture some of Vernon's patterns in their Vernonware division.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Nelson, Maxine F (2003). Collectible Vernon Kilns. Paducah, KY: Collector Books. ISBN 1-57432-370-9. 
  2. ^ Chipman, Jack (1999). Collector's Encyclopedia of California Pottery. Atglen, Pennsylvania: Schiffer Publishing LTD. p. 243. ISBN 1-57432-037-8. 
  3. ^ "Colored Pottery, California Manufacturers Lead the World in Beauty of Design and Coloring". California Magazine of Pacific Business: 16. September 1937. 

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