Ceramics

Archive of the Mendocino Heritage Artists

Dorr Bothwell’s Ceramics

Dorr Bothwell homage by chick flick 2

During the late 1930s Dorr Bothwell designed ceramics, including tableware and small ornamental pieces, for Gladding McBean, and then for the Catalina division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles. Of the tableware, to date there is a photo record of only a single glazed malinite clay bowl design.

Malinite Clay Bowl

Malinite clay bowl designed by Dorr Bothwell for Gladding McBean (circa 1936).

Fortunately many of Bothwell’s ornamental ceramics have survived, and are popular in resale markets like Ebay.

The Conch Shell

Bothwell’s designs include a glazed terracotta conch shell.

Pair of glazed ceramic conch shells designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1938).

A conch shell appears again the following year, in Bothwell’s painting, The Birth of Venus.

The Birth of Venus by Dorr Bothwell (1939). Oil. Private collection. Exhibited in the Golden Gate International Exposition (1939 and 1940), held at San Francisco's Treasure Island.
The Birth of Venus by Dorr Bothwell (1939). Oil. Private collection. Exhibited in the Golden Gate International Exposition (1939 and 1940), held at San Francisco’s Treasure Island.

The conch shell’s use as a musical instrument is part of Fa’a Samoa, the Samoan Way, including on Ta‘ū, American Samoa, where Bothwell lived ten years earlier.

Conchs are a traditional Samoan musical instrument.

After her time in Samoa, for the rest of her life, Dorr Bothwell’s love and respect for the Samoan people and their aesthetics found expression in her art. Samoan women are the subjects of some of Bothwell’s early work for Catalina.

Samoan Mother and Child

Malinite clay bowl (c. 1936), designed by Dorr Bothwell for Gladding McBean, with Samoan Mother and Child (c. 1937), designed by Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles.
Samoan Mother and Child designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1937).
Samoan Mother and Child designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1937).

Reclining Samoan Woman

Reclining Samoan Woman designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1937).
Reclining Samoan Woman designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1937).
Reclining Samoan Woman designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1937).
Reclining Samoan Woman designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1937).
Reclining Samoan Woman designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1937).
Reclining Samoan Woman designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1937).
Reclining Samoan Woman designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1937).

Large Head Vase: Samoan Woman

Large head vase: Samoan Woman designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1937).
Large head vase: Samoan Woman designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1937).
Large head vase: Samoan Woman designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1937).
Large head vase: Samoan Woman designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1937).

Dorr Bothwell designed the basic forms but others painted and glazed them, giving rise to a highly individual, often charming, occasionally startling, range of embellishment on some of Bothwell’s figures and head vases.

Modern Head and Samoan Woman large head vase, both designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1937).

Mother and Child

Terracotta Mother and Child designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1937).

Head Vase: Woman with Broad Brimmed Hat

Glazed terracotta head vase, Woman with Broad Brimmed Hat, designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1937).

Head Vase: Woman with Turban

Woman with Turban, partially glazed terracotta head vase, designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1937).
Woman with Turban, glazed terracotta head vase, designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1937).
Woman with Turban, glazed terracotta head vase, designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1937).
Woman with Turban, glazed terracotta head vase, designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1937).

Unlike many from the same period, Bothwell’s ceramic figures and head vases are designed to be viewed in the round. They are interesting from any angle.

Head Vase: Woman with Round Hat

Woman with Round Hat, glazed terracotta head vase designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1937).
Woman with Round Hat, glazed terracotta head vase designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1937).
Woman with Round Hat, glazed terracotta head vase designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1937).
Woman with Round Hat, glazed terracotta head vase designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1937).

Head Vase: Woman with Pleated Collar

Woman with Pleated Collar, glazed terracotta head vase designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1937).

Head Vase: Woman with Tilted Hat

Woman with Tilted Hat, glazed terracotta head vase, attributed to Dorr Bothwell, Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1937).

Head Vase: Woman with Fan

Woman with Fan, glazed terracotta head vase designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1938).
Woman with Fan, glazed terracotta head vase designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1938).
Woman with Fan, glazed terracotta head vase designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1938).
Woman with Fan, glazed terracotta head vase designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1938).
Woman with Fan, glazed terracotta head vase designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1938).
Woman with Fan, glazed terracotta head vase designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1938).
Woman with Fan, glazed terracotta head vase designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1938).
Woman with Fan, glazed terracotta head vase designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1938).
Woman with Fan, glazed terracotta head vase designed by Dorr Bothwell, and possibly decorated by Max Wes, for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1938).
Woman with Fan, glazed terracotta head vase designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1938).

Head Vase: Peasant Woman

Peasant Woman, glazed terracotta head vase designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1938).
Peasant Woman, glazed terracotta head vase designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1938).
Peasant Woman, glazed terracotta head vase designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1938).
Peasant Woman, glazed terracotta head vase designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1938).
Peasant Woman, glazed terracotta head vase designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1938).
Peasant Woman, glazed terracotta head vase designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1938).
Peasant Woman, glazed terracotta head vase designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1938).
Peasant Woman, glazed terracotta head vase designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1938).
Peasant Woman, glazed terracotta head vase designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1938).
Peasant Woman, glazed terracotta head vase designed by Dorr Bothwell, and possibly decorated by Max Wes, for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1938).
Peasant Woman, glazed terracotta head vase designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1938).
Peasant Woman, glazed terracotta head vase designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1938).
Peasant Woman, glazed terracotta head vase designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1938).
Peasant Woman, glazed terracotta head vase designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1938).
Peasant Woman, glazed terracotta head vase designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1938).
Peasant Woman, glazed terracotta head vase designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1938).
Peasant Woman, glazed terracotta head vase designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1938).
Peasant Woman, glazed terracotta head vase designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1938).
Peasant Woman, glazed terracotta head vase designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1938).
Peasant Woman, glazed terracotta head vase designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1938).
Peasant Woman, glazed terracotta head vase designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1938).
Three of Dorr Bothwell’s Peasant Woman head vases.
Peasant Woman, glazed terracotta head vase designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1938).
Base of Peasant Woman head vase, designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1938).
Base of Peasant Woman head vase, designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1938).
Base of Woman with Fan head vase, designed by Dorr Bothwell for the Catalina Division of Gladding McBean in Los Angeles (c. 1938).

Catalina Pottery
Catalina Clay Products, a division of the Santa Catalina Island Company, produced brick, tile, tableware and decorative pottery on Santa Catalina Island, California, using clays and glazing minerals mined on the Island, providing much needed year-round employment for Island residents. In 1937, Gladding, McBean & Co. acquired all of the assets of the company, and the pottery on the Island was closed. All molds and equipment were moved to Gladding, McBean & Co.’s Glendale plant (Franciscan dinnerware division) in Los Angeles. Gladding, McBean continued to produce Catalina art ware and dinnerware shapes for their Catalina Pottery art ware lines until 1942. From: Catalina Pottery, Wikipedia

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