Okay, could be you'd feel divided as to what ceramic studio actually created this flowing hot blaze of a colorful, mid-century server (Maurice of California? Treasure Craft?), but you’d have to stand definite on this: it is a vintage-cool, one-of-a-kind ceramic beauty. Yes, I’m crazy about this piece and here’s why.
First, there’s no faux silver or brass hostess handle sticking through a drilled center hole here. I love those servers as well, but this one is special. The upward curving triple ceramic ‘branches’ that sculpt the handle on this unusual piece are charmingly creative and seriously functional. They are inviting to hold, offer a sturdy grip that is completely in balance and feel lovely to the touch.
Second, the overall presentation is a perfectly balanced Trefoil- the three-lobe pattern of petals or leaves found in nature to universally symbolize harmony of spirit. This natural design is a perfect palate for delectable sweets or savories. The triple bowls are generous, and the presentation unforgettable.
Third, this glaze, this glaze, this glaze! Rich golden brown color flows from below the tripod handle, covering the creamy base glaze to create a caramel effect. The richness pours downward, defining by contrast the sculptured fronds that form the base of each trefoil bowl. But, the shiny hot lava red that erupts and pools in the bottom of each bowl, that dangerous deep essence red, rimmed by the cooling ash colors of white and blue and grey, that is what elevates this wonderful piece right up to spectacular.
Have I gone overboard here? I hope so. This type of glazing technique seems a lost art. You can get lost yourself looking down into the intricate meld of colors. And this is art, tabletop art, meant to be functional, serviceable, and beautiful.
It measures 12 inches wide from one bowl edge to the next. From the center knob where the three bowls join their fronds to the outside edge of each bowl rim, I measured approximately 7.5 inches. I measured 3 3/8 inches in height tabletop to the tip of the branched handle. Condition is wonderful. There are no chips on any rims. There are no cracks. There is age related crazing. This crazing is area specific and wonderfully enhances the volcanic effect of the glaze. This is a significant example of mid-century California ceramic design and quality.
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- Vintage springs eternal!