Colorware History & Design

The Maximalist

Pacific Pottery Hostessware Glaze Colors

Hostessware Glaze Colors | 1932-42

Pacific Pottery Hostess Ware Colors
Based on company records, between 1932-34, the available Hostessware glaze colors are listed as: Canary Yellow, Cactus Green, Desert Brown, Silver Green, Apache Red, Royal Blue, Sapphire Blue, White, Black, Gun Metal, and Forest Green. Certainly several of these colors were only available on art or gardenware. Black was a custom-order glaze. To date, I’ve only spotted it on a handful of pieces. Given the rarity of Desert Sand, it was likely custom-order as well. The initial Hostessware lineup included:

  • Apache Red
  • Canary Yellow
  • Silver Green
  • Pacific Blue (cobalt)
  • Desert Brown (or Desert Sand)
  • White

A common mistakeĀ is to mix up Desert Sand with Apricot. Desert Sand is extremely rare – the matte glaze is tan with brown speckles and has only been found on a handful of early Hostessware pieces, including the tumbler below and a demitasse cup/saucer.

Pacific Hostessware Desert Sand

Pacific #419 ball tumbler in Desert Sand glaze

Here’s an example of early Apricot, later Apricot and Apache Red. Note the difference in ring sizes on these luncheon plates from the early to later glazes. Part of the confusion between Desert Sand and Apricot is that there are two versions of the Apricot glaze, the earlier version is darker, and the later features a much more glossy pink-orange glaze. This confusion has been exacerbated by a misreference in the existing Pacific Pottery book.

Pacific Hostessware Apricot & Apache Glazes

Pacific Hostessware Apricot (early & later) & Apache Glazes

It should also be noted that there was an early glaze known to collectors as “lavender” (a light pink-purple color) that has shown up on very early transition pieces.

The Hostessware Glaze Colors & Availability

Pacific Hostessware Glaze Colors

By 1935, six colors are consistently shown in display advertising:

  • Apache Red
  • Lemon Yellow (Canary Yellow)
  • Jade Green (Silver Green)
  • Powder Blue (Delph Blue)
  • Pacific Blue
  • Sierra White

It’s unclear when Aqua is added – probably sometime in 1936, since I’ve seen early in-mold marks. Apricot followed after that. Aqua and Apricot are harder to find colors, so perhaps they were (1) limited production, (2) not as popular or (3) Pacific had slowed down pottery production in the late 1930s and there’s just less of it out there. At some point in the mid-to-late 1930s, the glazes change: Later Hostess Ware has a less “rustic” look with glossier glazes less prone to crazing. White changes from glossy to vellum. Additionally, unless you see them close up, there are a couple of colors that can be a little challenging to identify – especially if you’re looking at online photos in shot in poor lighting conditions (especially silver green and aqua, and sometimes apache and apricot).

In 2016, I conducted a 8-year historical search of all online Pacific Hostessware sales via Worthpoint (from 2007-2015), and reviewed three extensive collections to determine the general availability of the Hostessware glaze colors. As expected, red, green, yellow and Pacific blue – all produced for the full duration of Hostessware production are most common, with red dominating. In fact, red represents 30% of all known pieces in this sample. Green came in at 19%, yellow at 15%, Pacific blue at 12%, Delph blue at 9%, apricot at 7%, and white and aqua finishing out at 4% each.

Experimenting? Hostessware Meets Coralitos

Maybe for fun or test production runs, the odd piece of Hostessware will show up in a Coralitos glaze. This #612 Hostessware chop plate has been glazed in Dubonnet. Punch bowls have been seen in the Verdugo green color and as well as lavender. Coasters have been spotted in baby pink and oatmeal glazes.
Pacific Pottery Hostessware Dubonnet

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