The Saturday Evening Girls Club, or Paul Revere Pottery, originated in a Boston library with philanthropist Mrs. James Storrow at the helm. Girls from Italian and Jewish immigrant families were invited to make Arts and Crafts every day of the week, but it was on Saturday evenings that the older, teenage girls made pottery. It is said that classic literature was read out loud as they worked, to educate and inspire them. A kiln was purchased and, beginning in 1907, Edith Brown led the pottery production, design, and growth. Edith Brown upheld the pottery’s manufacture until her death in 1932, and the Saturday Evening Girls eventually closed in 1942.
Arts and Crafts ware from Saturday Evening Girls (SEG) vary from utilitarian purposes, such as lamps, tableware, and toilet sets, to the vases and wall hangings collected today. Each piece was hand decorated with soft, pretty colors in an “Easter egg” style. Using the cuerda seca technique, designs were traced with wax and manganese glaze and, when fired, the burned wax would create the black outlines. These designs were often on the border, and contained landscapes, farm animals, and occasional floral arrangements.
Pottery was often marked with “S.E.G.” and the date in a black signature while some pieces contained paper labels with “The Bowl Shop” before 1923. After 1923, markings included a “Paul Revere Pottery” circular stamp, and artists would add their initials on these later pieces. Known artists include Edith Brown, Rose Bacchini, Sara Galner, Fannie Levine, and Lili Shapiro.
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