As contemporary or studio pottery makers such as Door and Ephraim Pottery discontinue designs, collectors typically rapidly add any remaining examples to their collections. The contemporary art pottery market has placed a strong premium on pieces marked with previous year or 1st year marks. Live auction and eBay results for discontinued or early examples of Door and Ephraim Pottery often sell for multiple times their original retail prices.
As with antique American art pottery, collectors of contemporary, studio art pottery need to focus on quality issues such as form, extent of hand-tooling or carving, complexity and quality of the glaze when evaluating particular examples of contemporary art pottery. In addition, collectors who are looking at contemporary, studio pottery as an investment would be well served to consider production numbers in their collecting decisions.
For example, studio potters such Tim Eberhardt and Paul Katrich produce such limited number of examples of their art pottery that developing a collection beyond a few examples would be quite difficult and require a significant dollar investment and time commitment unless one has been buying these artist’s work since day one. Contemporary pottery makers such as Door, Jemerick, and C. Powell while still very limited production are more readily available, such that collectors can relatively inexpensively add to their collection while still comfortable that they are buying limited edition, hand-crafted studio pottery. Ephraim Pottery, which has the largest production numbers of contemporary art pottery makers, is more readily available in both the retail as well as secondary markets.