California Pottery: Cleminson, DeLee, Kay Finch, Block, etc…

February 24

California Pottery1

I have always been drawn to a broad genre of ceramics known as California Pottery.  Many pieces look like they are made by the same company, though in fact are different.  I seem to focus on figurines that have a white background with pastel hand-painted features and decoration.  And because many are not marked, deciphering which are which can be difficult.

California Pottery2

Great information can be found on the California Pottery Index website and on the Potteries of California website.

I have had a few pieces of Cleminson Pottery (though I didn’t know until now) ever since I was a young girl, like these plates:

Screen Shot 2014-02-20 at 8.43.50 AM

They did have a stamp marking, usually green:

Screen Shot 2014-02-20 at 8.42.37 AM

Cleminson Pottery

The California Cleminsons, George and Betty, started their business at their El Monte, California home in 1941 and were so successful that they eventually expanded to a modern plant with over 150 workers. Clemenson Pottery produced not only dinnerware and kitchen items such as cookie jars, cannisters and accessories, but also novelty wall vases, small trays, plaques, etc., as well. Cleminson Pottery wares are easy to spot once you become familiar with their distinctive glaze colors…berry red, dusty pink, and blues and greens with a touch of gray. Plus pieces are nearly always marked. Unable to compete with foreign imports, the Cleminson Pottery closed in 1963.

Pieces similar to Cleminson are DeLee Art, which may be the maker of my middle vase when you look at this similar one listed on Etsy that has the DeLee paper tag on the bottom:

Screen Shot 2014-02-20 at 8.49.32 AM

Screen Shot 2014-02-20 at 8.49.46 AM

More similar pieces appear to be made by Kay Finch Pottery.  From Kovels:

Kay Finch Ceramics were made in Corona Del Mar, California, from 1935 to 1963. The hand-decorated pieces often depicted whimsical animals and people. Other Kay Finch pieces included Chinese maidens, Godey figurines, Santa Claus, vases, ashtrays, and luncheon sets. Pastel colors were used.

And Block Pottery is yet another of many examples of similar California Pottery that may be the maker of some of the items I found at an estate sale awhile back.  Again, no marking, so it’s hard to tell.

Screen Shot 2014-02-20 at 8.59.29 AM

California Block Pottery1

California Block Pottery2

California Block Pottery3

I assume I will always gravitate toward the sweet vintage pieces whenever I find them and continue my search for who made what.  If anyone has any further knowledge of specific makers and what to look for, please comment below!


Posted by on February 24, 2014 in Bargain-Hunting


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

4 responses to “California Pottery: Cleminson, DeLee, Kay Finch, Block, etc…

  1. Terrie

    March 31, 2014 at 8:07 pm

    I have a cooking is an art wall vase with the wooden fork spoon and spatula? Was wondering what it’s worth

  2. MissBargainHuntress

    August 11, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Try Googling “Cooking is an art vase” or similar words and click on “Images” at top toolbar to see if you find similar pieces. Click on the images for more info. Hope that helps!

  3. Donna

    November 13, 2017 at 11:58 am

    I have a set of California Cleminsons pottery that I would like to sell as a set. I have 7 dinner plates, 8 dessert bowls, creamer, sugar, butter dish, pitcher, serving bowl, and salt and pepper shakers. Can you tell me the best place to place these for sell and your opinion of their worth? There are no cracks, chips and are all in perfect condition.

  4. MissBargainHuntress

    November 15, 2017 at 7:15 am

    I would sell on Etsy for around $100+, shipping around $20.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get Adobe Flash player
AWSOM Powered