Established in a renovated schoolhouse in 1880, Rookwood Pottery soon became one of America’s most successful pottery companies by the turn of the century. The founder, Maria Longworth Nichols Storer, experimented with many glazes and production techniques to make her pottery to be both beautiful and useful. Rookwood soon employed approximately 200 workers, artists, and sculptors, of which 136 artists are well documented. Artists of note include Matthew Andrew Daly, Henry Francois Farny, and Kataro Shirayamandani.
Rookwood Pottery began with relief designs composed over red, pinks, greys and sage green clays, and the high-gloss, yellow-tinted Standard Glaze came around 1883. Other highly imitated glazes include the clear Iris, tinted Sea Green and Aerial Blue. Rookwood pieces are typically incised the mirrored “R” Rookwood mark and identifying numbers, with more collectible work containing an artist mark.