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Diana F.
Diana F., Antiques Expert
Category: Appraisals
Satisfied Customers: 7908
Experience:  Bachelor of Arts Degree (summa cum laude); 10+ years exp.
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Trying to get any info on this pottery vase. It has a frog

Customer Question

Hi there! Trying to get any info on this pottery vase. It has a frog looking mark on the bottom and maybe some other little mark beneath that that I can't make out. (See photos) It's kind of cream with black lines around it and little dots up one line. Kind of looks like buttons up someone's shirt maybe? Funny. It also seems to have some clear glass crystals inside the base. (Maybe that is some standard ceramic process? I know nothing about pottery!) It's in excellent condition and is about 4" tall and 5" across at widest point. Would love to know anything about maker, or if I should just call it "studio pottery" and approx resale value. Thanks so much!!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Appraisals
Expert:  Diana F. replied 1 year ago.

Hey! How are you?

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Offhand it definitely looks like studio pottery, but wow what an odd mark. That's probably glass added to the bottom. That's an artist technique you can do for effect called fusing. Often artists used colored glass scraps, but I've seen clear too. I've even seen old marbles melted down.

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I'll see if I can track down that mark.

~Diana

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks so much! 😀
Expert:  Diana F. replied 1 year ago.

Okay. I have to admit defeat on the maker. I have searched every guild book, potters books, marks book and every database in between and found nothing like that frog. The closet I found was a symbol used by a few Native American artists, but this is not that. I even tried taking the other impression on the bottom into a program to try and see if that was a potter's mark, but even that didn't match.

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It's a studio art piece, I just have no clue who.

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The piece has what looks likes fused glass in the bottom, which is usually by throwing glass scraps in during the firing process. It also has crazing all over the entire piece. Rather than that being a flaw from temperature changes, age, etc. I think it may have been intended or at least not minded. =) This is where I wish I could check it out in person, but I think it's raku fired.

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That's a process I never cared to do because it's smelly, but it creates some fantastic finishes. The process developed in Japan but pretty popular here. With traditional firing, pieces are put in a cold kiln and then heated to a desired temp then it's cooled and you remove the pieces. With the raku method, pieces are often loaded into a hot kiln and when it's fired the right length (which is strictly by eyesight), it's pulled out why still hot. It's a bit more of an extreme heat/cool method. Generally the pieces are taken through what's called a post-firing reduction phase where they are often put in to a container with any number of materials (sawdust, leaves, etc) and essentially smoked. This is where the glaze takes on all sorts of unique looks and effects, one of which is crackling and crazing. Where it's unglazed it tends to turn super dark.

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That's two features I really see in yours piece.

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It's a great looking piece. I think it's a raku piece with a white crackle glaze and striped effect with a fused bottom. As for the clay body...I think it maybe originally have been handbuilt rather than wheel thrown. It could been wheel thrown, but therre's some irregularities in the overall rounded body that look more like what you get handbuilding. It also doesn't really have a lip on the bottom.

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i don't think it's a student piece or hobbyist work. It's a bit too good for that, but it's definitely a lesser known artist. Dating is a bit harder with studio style pottery, but I would say it's probably late 20th century.

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This is one of those areas where it's worth likely won't match your sale value. If it was mine and I was putting it in a gallery, I'd put about $75 to possibly $100 on it. Will it sell for that anywhere else...probably not. For more "average" resale you'll look closer to $40 to $65 on the high side.

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If you have any questions, let me know (and you should be able to rate now, but if you run into a problem let me know).

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Please keep in mind I am only credited for my answer if yourate me positively. If you feel the need to use a lower rating which adds a negative mark to my profile or if you have any further questions about your item please feel free to reply to me and tell me what else I can do for you.

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If you would like to use me on any further questions. Requesting me expires in just a short time. If you put my name (DianaF) in the question, that will make sure it gets to me.
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I look forward to working with you again.
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Have a good night!
~Diana

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Aww, bless you!! You are TOO good. Thanks so much for your diligence!! We love you. ;-) This is more than enough info. Have a great day!
Expert:  Diana F. replied 1 year ago.

Aw. Thank you for that. I'm glad you were able to get something out of it. =) If you need anything let me know!

~Diana