Bauer Pottery Company started life as Paducah Pottery in Paducah Kentucky. In 1885 John Andrew “Andy” Bauer purchased it. Then, in early 1909 moved it to California, renamed it J. A. Bauer Pottery Company and located in on West Avenue 33 in Lincoln Heights which is an area between Los Angeles and Pasadena. They continued to produce the same products they had in Kentucky….brown glazed, hand-thrown wares including crocks and jugs. With demand from the nursery trade they began making flower pots, garden ware and planters. Around 1912 they hired Louis Ipsen as a designer and added fancy redware items. Later, accomplished turner Matterson (Matt) Carlton joined the company making hand-thrown vases. Andy Bauer retired. The company split, changed hands, changed hands again and wound up back in the hands of Bauer’s daughter, Eve and her husband, Watson E. Bockman. Bockman hired engineer Victor F. Houser to develop new glazes. Houser’s glazes on Ipsen’s forms were magic and, circa 1930’s, Bauer pottery introduced California Colored Pottery. They continued to grow and expand with new artists and products becoming more and more popular. Until, in 1962 due to a general labor strike Eve shut down the plant and they ceased operation. There is now a New Bauer Pottery which was founded in 1999 and began producing some of the old designs. They are marked differently, and it is easy to recognize the old and highly collectible original Bauer pieces from the new.

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