The Road Less Travelled
You may be accustomed to finding our traditional line, priced to be affordable to the middle class. We would love to be making it and also to be teaching others how to make our line but, alas, we do not currently have a production and training studio. To raise funds for a studio we are putting our vintage collection of rare, one of a kind and original design prototypes on the market. To learn more, follow our blog, Andersen Studio Evolution Diaries. We love this process and are committed to seeing it continue for the benefit of future makers.
I speculate that this series was designed on commission. These mugs correspond with the time when the movie Carousel was filmed in Boothbay Harbor. During that time there were numerous actors and others associated with the filming came by my parent’s ceramic gallery to have their portraits painted by my mother on the ceramic forms usually designed by my Dad.
However, the only part of this rare mug form that resembles my father’s sensibilities is the handle and so I believe that this mug was created as a commission and the person commissioning the work dictated the design of the form.
The form is of a very delicate cast, The mugs are artifacts from a very different time when Weston and Brenda set up production as an art form with a mission to create handmade products affordable to the middle classes, at a time when the middle class was wide and dominant. Later Warhol made production an art form that made prestige art objects.
There is a chip on the lip, which does not mar the value as a cultural artifact. I do not think of these historical mugs as something one would use for everyday drinking. They are relics of a time now gone. The Happy Face mug was created before there was the ubiquitous and more commercial Happy Face that proliferates all over the place to this day. The chip is on the other side of the mug where the Happy Face closes its eyes to look within. On one side of the mug is a decorative jewelry-type vine that winds around the ear and embraces the eye, making the face into a mythical personification of a forest spirit.
it has a lyrical Ad signature executed in dark blue decorating color.
Brenda decorated pieces with the established patterns and spontaneously created one-of-a-kind decorative work. One-of-a-kind works were not planned, they just happened, but to have the ability to successfully execute artwork with such freedom, one needs to have an innate control of the medium, which comes about through repetitive practice.
Andersen Design was started by Weston and Brenda Andersen in 1952. Our generation has the great honor and responsibility to guide it into the 21st century, maintaining while expanding upon its unique philosophy. What is that you say? Read on... Andersen Studio Evolution Diaries, by Susan Mackenzie Andersen
90 Knickerbocker Rd, Boothbay, ME 04537
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