Colorware History & Design

The Maximalist

Padre Pottery

At the height of the pottery craze in the 1930s, California boasted over 1,600 potteries. Manufacturers sprung up overnight to meet consumer demand for colored dinnerware, gardenware and artware. For many of these companies, few if any records exist. One of the hidden gems of the era was Padre Pottery. Very little is known about the company other than they operated in the mid-30s to approximately 1943 in Lincoln Heights district of Los Angeles, close to Pacific Clay Products and Bauer Pottery. From the photos, you can get a sense of the wide range of products offered by the company. Pitchers, bowls, teapots and artware are some of the more commonly found items today.

All photos courtesy of Steve Beals.

Padre Pottery Dinnerware #1

Padre Pottery Dinnerware #1

Padre Pottery Dinnerware #3

Padre Pottery Dinnerware #2

Padre Pottery Dinnerware #2

Padre Pottery Dinnerware #3

Collectors with a keen eye will note that Padre shares some shapes with Catalina. It is believed that several Catalina Pottery employees came to Padre, and the two companies shared production molds. Even some of the glazes are very similar.

A large fire destroyed most of Padre’s manufacturing facility in 1943 – a common occurrence for potteries – and the company did not rebuild. Around 1942, most manufacturers had switched over to wartime production, dramatically reducing the amount of consumer goods produced during the war period. With such a large loss, the company was probably unable to rebuild due to financial losses, and the inability to scale to shift production capabilities to utility wares and other wartime products.

Padre Pottery Artware

The market for giftware grew rapidly in the late 1930s. In addition to their popular colored dinnerware lines, potteries produced large quantities of artware in the form of vases, decorative tableware, and artware. In 1940 the company introduced a new line of hand-painted decorative items. Many of them were made from newly created shapes. The line was called “California Regal.” The decorating was done by a staff of approximately ten young women including Jane Holland who would open her own studio in South Gate, California when Padre closed in 1943.

Padre Pottery Artware

Table and Artware

Padre Pottery Vases

Vases

Padre Pottery Artware

Decorative Artware

Padre Pottery Marks

Pottery items can be found with a variety of backstamps, in-mold marks, foil stickers and even charming handwritten notes found on the bottom of these artware pieces.

Padre Regal Marks

Padre Regal Marks

Padre Pottery Foil Label

Foil Label

Padre Pottery In-Mold Mark

In-Mold Mark

Padre Pottery Backstamp

Backstamp

Padre Pottery In-Mold Mark

In-Mold Mark

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