About Owens Pottery

Owens Pottery was founded by John B. Owens in 1885. Owens began producing art pottery in 1896 with the introduction of the Utopian line, which soon brought Owens Pottery to national acclaim, with several awards. Many, to this date, believe Owens Pottery remains undervalued in comparison to its better known competitors. The highest quality Owens’ piece rivals the art pottery produced by competing firms including Rookwood, Roseville, and Weller.  It is believed that Owens ceased art pottery production in 1907. After stopping art pottery production, Owens focused on producing tiles as the J.B Owens Floor & Wall Tile Co. until 1929.

Owens Pottery

During its art pottery days between 1896 and 1907, Owens Pottery produced over 48 distinct art pottery lines. It is widely believed that Owens pottery introduced more new lines during this period than any of the firm's competitors. Owens most popular art pottery lines include the decorated animal and floral high-gloss Utopian line alongside the Lotus, which contained similar decorations but with a matte finish. In 1900, Owens released the Art Nouveau Henri Deux where designs were incised in the wet clay. Other styles of note are the bronze-like Corona, the Matte Green, and the ebony black Soudanese, highlighted in lavender and pearl.

Owens PotteryOwens Pottery
Many of the now famous names in the American art pottery history were at some point associated with Owens Pottery. These include Frank Ferrell, John J. Herold, Herb Hugo, Karl Langenbeck, John Lessell, W. A. Long, and Albert Radford. Markings are as diverse as the artisans; while unmarked work can be difficult to identify, pieces impressed with “Henri Deux,” Owens Feroza,” or “Owens Utopian” can be found in their respective lines. The Owensart mark is found on work after 1906 with the “J” and “B” initials in a large “O,” accompanied by “Art Pottery.”