Bauer Pottery: California Collectibles

Bookcase filled with blue and green Bauer pottery | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Country Living

Time to take inventory of your serving stash before the holidays kick into gear.  Now might be the prefect time to add a ceramic vase or set of parfait glasses to the mix.  Of course, we love vintage and collectible items, and one of our favorite pottery sheds is here in California.  Based in a small studio outside of Los Angeles, Bauer Pottery is collected by vintage aficionados world-wide. J.A. Bauer originally started in Kentucky in 1885 as brown-glazed crocks and jugs. When Bauer moved to Los Angeles in early 1909, he began adding flower pots and planters to meet the demands of the nurseries in the Pasadena area.

Bauer Pottery Pinnacle Vase and planter | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Apartment Therapy

Personal Touches

Soon, designers began to work for Bauer Pottery and vibrant colors started to appear. Hand-thrown vases and and rose jars became nursery staples and new glazes were introduced in the 1930’s.   The trademark ringed dishes soon became available and accomplished hand-throwers added their personal touches.  The market began to expand as Bauer’s children took over the business and California Colored Pottery was introduced.

Vintage Bauer Pottery creamers | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Meadowbrook Farm

Bauer 2000

New shapes also began to appear to Bauer Pottery’s table and art ware lines. Sadly, they finally had to cease operations in the early 1960’s due to a labor strike. Collector Janek Boniecki revived the original shapes and colors by reverse-engineering a new line called Bauer 2000. (Sort of like Jack 2000 if anyone remembers my absolute favorite episode of Will and Grace. But I digress.) The new line was created from pieces of Boniecki’s own collection and other vintage purchases.

Bauer Pottery | Bauer 2000 | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Bauer Pottery

Start Your Bauer Pottery Collection

If you are a vintage pottery collector, Bauer Pottery pieces are not only exciting to find, but they look great together in a hutch. Take a look at our article on vintage Pyrex collections for more inspiration.  Once you start collecting pottery, those rare pieces will pop up as unexpected treasures in your life.  So fun! If you are more of the “on-demand” type, Bauer 2000 gives you the same fun look with the bonus of instant gratification. Bauer Pottery pieces show up in various movies (Hand That Rocks the Cradle) and television shows (The Food Network).

Vintage This Old House magazine featuring Bauer Pottery | Girlfriend is Better
This Old House Magazine | Photo by: Mark Lund

Start a “Brand” Collection

I have always been a sucker for collecting dishware.  My good friend Nancy always used to say, “those who don’t cook – present”.  So, you may have guessed I took that mantra straight to heart!  Ha ha 🙂  My teapot recently went kaput and I found a gorgeous ceramic one in aqua. Done and done! It’s pricey at $75, but I’m kind of a collector when it comes to this kind of stuff.  Worth every penny.  When it comes to collections, you can stick to bowls and plates, or branch out to the smallest items in the same brand.  I generally go to their Etsy site since they accept Etsy gift cards there.   They tend to stock their most popular items there, so it’s a quick and easy shopping experience.

Robert Wright designed salt and pepper shakers | Bauer Pottery | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Schoolhouse Electric + Supply Co.
Music Alert! Here’s a good one from San Diego’s sweetheart – Klatch. He’d brighten up any home as well 😉
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The Perfect Gift

A set of bowls is always a great gift idea, too.  One of my girlfriends gave me a set of bowls as a housewarming gift years ago and I use them daily!  It’s fun to give or get a set in multiple colors.  If one or two break and the color is out of stock, it’s easy to order a replacement. Mix-and-match is kind of the trend right now anyway. Add a favorite soup recipe or a gift from your garden and you’re good to go!

Bauer Pottery bowls make great gifts | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: David Lebovitz

Just Add Greenery

Don’t give a plant or flowers in paper or plastic. Add a meaningful gift by replanting in something that can be kept and cherished for years to come. Small succulents look so dang cute in Biltmore Pots.  I love how simple the shapes are and yet the color fits with anyone’s decor.  Pottery is terrific because it can be reused, or added to a pretty display.  Go for a rainbow of color, or stick to a minimalist palette of one or two colors for biggest impact.

vintage Bauer and McCou pottery | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Style at Home

Oil Jar Fountains are Good Feng Shui

If you have a fountain in your garden or atrium, add a splash of color that lasts through the winter! Bauer Pottery has a collection of 24″ oil jar fountains that have holes in the bottom for plumbing. Oil Jar Fountains are specially made to order and add some gorgeousness to your garden in the winter.  Fountains are good Feng Shui as well, so get on it!

Bauer Pottery planters and oil pot | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Bauer Pottery

Mid-Century Modern 101

Cookie jars, water carafes, garden pottery; wherever you’re needing to add some visual interest or a dash of color, Bauer’s ceramic pottery works. If you are a  lover of mid-century modern decor, Bauer Pottery is a must-have addition to your kitchen and home. I hate to bring it up so late in the game, but they carry pet bowls too! Little Fido shouldn’t have to miss out.  Take a look at our open shelving ideas and add your collection to an easy-to-move shelf space.  Pottery in mass quantities looks especially lovely in floor-to-ceiling scenarios.

Collection of vintage Bauer Pottery in hutch | Girlfriend is Better
Photo courtesy: Treasure Chest Australia via EBay

Get it on Sale!

If you live in the Los Angeles area, Bauer Pottery also has a Showroom Special the first weekend of the month. They sell their factory seconds to the public at a discounted rate. Tell them you heard about it from Girlfriend is Better! And remember to share your good finds with your friends.

3051 Rosslyn St.
Los Angeles, CA 90065
(818) 500-0666

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