Fulper Pottery was incorporated in 1809 by the Fulper Brothers in Flemington, New Jersey. The earliest of Fulper Pottery was crafted from the rich clay found in Hunterdon County, which was also home to several other potteries. This area in the country became known as the original home of 'Bennington' type of art pottery, such as those pottery pieces finished in salt glazes.
The art pottery line was formally introduced with the Vasecraft series in 1909. Vasecraft was influenced by ancient Greek and Chinese ceramics with simple shapes and superb matte, crystalline and flambé glazes. The early years in Fulper Pottery are indicative of the striking quality glazes that Fulper Pottery is so well known for. Using approximately 100 different glazes over the years, there are many examples that are representative of the beauty of even the most common forms.
Likewise, there are a variety of markings over the years. Fulper’s middle period of production also used other marks including the Rafco mark and Flemington stamp. Marking goes as follows:
- Fulper Rectangular Ink Mark (1909-1916)
- Fulper Vasecraft Paper Label (1909-1916)
- Prang Rectangular Ink Mark (1913-1929)
- Raised Oval Fulper Mark (1916-1922)
- Incised Fulper Mark (1916-1922)
- Oval Ink-Stamped Vertical Mark (1922-1928)
- And, the Fulper Horizontal Impressed Mark (1928-1935)
Fulper Pottery artists include John Kunsman, the Rutgers University professor Dr. Cullen Parmelee, and Martin Stangl. In 1910, Martin Stangl became the ceramics engineer for Fulper Pottery, as this area was growing in leaps and bounds. In this role, he was credited for the development of many of the art pottery forms and glazes for the company while also juggling the difficulties inherent of a new business model. Fulper Pottery, under Stangl's direction, became the first American pottery company that introduced a line of dinnerware to the American people in glazed solid colors.