Charles Stehm Ozark Pottery Hand Thrown Vase Eureka Springs Arkansas
Very rare and estate fresh Ozark Pottery vase by Charles Stehm. Classically shaped and perfectly thrown form. MINT CONDITION. No chips, cracks, damage or repair of any kind. Bottom marked with OZARK POTTERY, EUREKA SPRINGS and ARK. Vase is 5 3/4" tall and 3 1/4" wide. Great early, arts and crafts vase. Charles Stehm who founded Ozark Pottery made high quality arts and crafts and mission swirl art pottery between 1925 and 1927 in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Ozark Pottery was a direct and significant competitor to Niloak in the mission swirl art pottery market. In part to reduce the impact Stehm and Ozark Pottery was having on Niloak's business, Charles Hyten from Niloak obtained the rights to the mission swirl technique by securing Niloak as a trademark and obtaining a patent on the process of swirl art pottery production. This essentially put Charles Stehm's Ozark Pottery out of business. It is widely believed that Niloak aggressively went after Stehm and threatened to sue him if he continued to make swirl art pottery. Ozark Pottery ceased production by the end of 1927 just before Niloak received its patent on the swirl process. David Gifford in his book The Collector's Encyclopedia of Niloak states that Charles Stehm was a craftsman of many talents. In the February 19, 1926 issue of the Fayetteville Daily Democrat in an article titled "Handmade Ozark Pottery Made from Native Clays, New Northwest Arkansas Industry" Stehm discussed the start of his pottery. Stehm stated "I probably never would have become a potter, however, if I could have gotten the agency for Niloak in my Eureka Springs store. I found I needed pottery so I went out, found my clays, and became a potter." The significant difference between Ozark and Niloak is that the clay swirls on Ozark rotate counter clockwise while Niloak swirls rotate clockwise. In other respects the art pottery of is similar in technical and aesthetic characteristics. The production of Ozark Pottery was extremely limited and is considered very rare and highly sought-after by collectors. In Gifford's Niloak book he states, most of the dozen or so known pieces of Ozark Pottery are dated 1926 or 1927.