157 River Road, Edgecomb,Maine 04556
Monday — Friday
By Chance or Appointment
By chance or appointment
By chance or appointment
This bowl is an original one of a kind object created by Brenda Nash Andersen
Andersen Design is an American Designer Craftsmen Studio established by Weston and Brenda Andersen in 1952 on Southport Island, Maine, USA. The studio was established with a philosophy of creating hand crafted products affordable to the middle class. It designed original glazes and decorative techniques and designed a line of contemporary functional forms and nature sculptures, using slip cast production as the medium for creating art.
Brenda developed archetypical patterns as repeatable patterns to be rendered by the unique hand
of individual artisans so that no two were ever exactly alike. She also used the ceramic medium to create many one-of-kind artworks. One of her favorite subjects was portraiture. This bowl is one of a series she painted of her children,
The portrait is of Susan, the second eldest daughter, the author of this description. I look to be about the age I was when our family moved to Maine, dating this bowl at 1952. It is signed by a sgrafitto “Anderson” rather than “Andersen” which also dates it to the early fifties.
Andersen Design remained an American made ceramic studio at a time when most of the western ceramic industry moved production to foreign labor markets. The company competed successfully in a market flooded with foreign made imports, producing a hand-made art product affordable to the middle class. The work was collected by Americans of every walk of life and collections handed down through the generations.
The story begins with my parents setting out to create a unique and creative American ceramic design and slip casting company without anyone to tell them how do it. This bowl is a portrait of a journey in its beginning.
Andersen Design stands as a singular original American design company choosing an alternative path during an era of global transformation. It is my inherited responsibility to tell the story of this unique American company. The practice of creating and making ceramics is as invaluable an aspect of what Andersen Design innovated as are the hand-made objects created by the process.
The bowl is decorated by Brenda in brown, gray and black decorating colors, designed by Weston and then glazed in a white glaze which is glossier than usual and so might have been made at a time when the standard white glaze was being developed. There are some dust skips and a small green blotch on the outside of the bowl.