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Creamer from the Yellow Luncheon Service for Six

1951 Beatrice Wood Born: San Francisco, California 1893 Died: Ojai, California 1998 earthenware and glaze 3 3/4 x 5 1/4 x 3 3/4 in. (9.5 x 13.4 x 9.4 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Museum purchase through the Howard Kottler Endowment for Ceramic Art 2008.5.14 Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 53B


Luce Center Quote

"And one very erudite Japanese said to me, 'But Miss Wood, your work is very beautiful but you use a great deal of color.' And I said, 'Yes sir, I'm not Japanese, and I live in a pink and blue house in bright sunlight.'" The artist, Oral history interview with Beatrice Wood, 1976 Aug. 26, Archives of American, Smithsonian Institution

Luce Center Label

Beatrice Wood was best known for elaborate forms and shiny, iridescent glazes, known as lusters. She also created utilitarian pieces like this creamer. Wood exaggerated the creamer’s spout and handle, lending a hint of whimsy to the functional piece. The bright yellow glaze is most likely unique to this particular luncheon service. She often compared creating glazes to cooking—she took a basic formula and made slight adjustments each time, resulting in unique glazes that could not be replicated. Wood had a great sense of humor and joked later in life that she was the only person who could afford to eat off of her plates ("Luster for Life" [Beatrice Wood at Ninety-Seven], House & Garden 162, no. 6 [June 1990]).

Keywords

decorative arts - ceramic

Crafts - Clay

ceramic - earthenware

About Beatrice Wood

Born: San Francisco, California 1893 Died: Ojai, California 1998

More works in the collection by
Beatrice Wood