Monday, January 28, 2008


As the daughter of James Johnson; granddaughter of Fred Johnson; and great grand niece of Matt Carlton, I have “lived” Bauer Pottery my entire life. I have a wealth of information I want to share with collectors of this wonderful medium, while also correcting some misinformation in reference to my family and a few others...hence my book

Unlike other collectors books on the market today, this volume covers the corrected & factual history of my family's involvement in, and contribution to, five separate potteries and one ceramic company. It charts more than one hundred years, travels from Arkansas to Indiana to California, and identifies over a dozen lesser known and unknown artists in the early American Arts and Crafts era of the pottery industry relating to these few companies.

It focuses primarily on Niloak Pottery in Benton, Arkansas, and J.A. Bauer Pottery in Los Angeles, California. Others covered include: Ouachita Pottery in Benton, Arkansas; Muncie Pottery in Muncie, Indiana; Garden City Pottery, San Jose, California; and Yona Ceramics, Los Angeles, California.

Unknown to current collectors, 12 (of my) family members labored at one or more of these establishments. However, among them only three have become "legends", namely, those listed in the first sentence above. They are mentioned repeatedly in other publications; however, much of the information is incorrect, incomplete, or distorted in some fashion, and most of the other nine members (or their contributions) are never revealed.

This history embraces the why's and wherefore's of who these artists were, mentally and emotionally...and what made them tic, thus providing insight into the effect, appearance, and appeal of each individual’s creations. It gives recognition and insight into other contributing employees and artists previously over looked (both family and non-related), whilst giving appropriate and authentic identification procedures, realistic values...and a great deal more!

It consists of 306 pages; over 500 photographs; Dedication, photographic identification of family members and other artists; company and personal histories; corrected product Identification and Values; Trivia relating to people/product, Techniques, Glaze identification and formulation, Glossary of pottery terms...and just for fun...a family album of never before seen shots!

This book is self-published:
Available on CD: $32.99 with FREE shipping.
(CD, 124 MB, opens in all Microsoft office/word systems; downloadable from CD and completely printable in full color!)
Also available on DVD, or CD in PDF format.
Payment via PayPal is preferred and affords immediate shipping. (If not familiar with PayPal, email me for quick & simple instructions). Personal checks, Bank cashiers checks, money orders are also welcome, with shipping upon checks bank clearance (allow six weeks for this process).
Please designate CD or DVD when ordering AND your preference of Microsoft Word or PDF format!
To ORDER, contact: (for checks, money orders) or deposit directly into PayPal via your account.
Photos below: Left, Carlton at Bauer
Left center, Carlton at Bauer, hand painted
Right center, Johnson at Muncie
Right, bottom, Johnson at Muncie

NOTE: In the not too distant future, I will also be offering an audio CD or DVD, which is an assembly of old (1940-1950's) 8mm home movies of various areas of Bauer Pottery.
INCLUDED: Scenes of Plant II, Wat Bockman and other employees (including my father, grandfather, uncle, cousins, etc); personal "down time" of R&R shots of several employees, family, and much, much more! FUN STUFF HERE!
To view a Tribute, double click on the ">" arrow below.
And PLEASE...check out the kind "Comments" and leave one of your own!


Cheryl said...

Hi Brenda,
I'm so happy that your book is now ready and I'm looking forward to receiving it....will order it soon as I figure out how to do it. :-)
I'm still "in love" with my Yona piece that I stumbled across at a thrift store. I had no idea what a treasure I had found.....I only bought it because it was beautiful.
After getting it home I peeled the sticker off the back and found a number under the name "Yona". Out of curiosity I searched the internet for more information and my first contact was YOU. Imagine that! And you know the rest of the story. I've also purchased some figurines which are so NOT me, but I appreciate the history and talent of those who created them and thus I display them proudly. Thanks for your efforts in enlightening the experts as well as us "littlesperts".
Cheryl in MI

Art Front said...

All the Bauer collectors who were beginning to think the subject had been examined in the finest detail will be thrilled with the fresh information presented here. You will never look at a Fred Johnson piece in quite the same way again. Buy this book - I recommend it - it is well done.

Susie Scott said...

Hi Brenda,
Just wanted to let you know we received our DVD Book and We are so pleased! It is
beautiful and so well done. We have always been Bauer fans and have collected several pieces over the years, but your book has
renewed our appreciation for the pieces we have and sparked our interest to begin collecting again. Thanks so much and thank you for setting history straight!
Susie & Don

Steve Soukup said...

Unabashedly frank at times, heart-wrenchingly explicit in account, this is a very personal remembrance. Occasionally the writer is prone to meander a bit, but their is an honest attempt here to shed new insight on the Bauer story from one families perspective. Your efforts are appreciated, thank you. Steve

Anonymous said...

Hi Brenda,
Glad you are adding to the knowledge of the midwests production potteries, you wrote to me several years ago, about the
muncie pottery conection.

Jon Muncie Pottery author

kaye said...

we read your article in the Country magazine and being lovers of pottery items, was intriged. also being from Bowling green , Ky. sparked the interest more. wish your book was in book form. are all the items marked? thanks for your article. billy and kaye

BREAKING BAUER...Myths! said...

Hi Kaye! Thanks for checkin' out my Blog! Re: J.A. Bauer pottery: no, hand-thrown items are never marked (there is ONE exception and I'm happy to report I own it!). Molded items are incised/stamped with ink and a few had paper labels. Many folks think they are looking at an unmarked piece when it's a knock-off. Re: Niloak, Ouachita and Muncie; not all were marked. Niloak had several different marks/incisions/stamps/labels but did have unmarked as well. Ouachita is rarely marked and Muncie may be incised, marked with wax or 'thumb print'. Garden City is both incised and not. Hope this helps?! Brenda

bnmayala said...
This comment has been removed by the author.