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William Manker

Biography to Display: 

1902 Born

1997 Died

EDUCATION

Chouinard Art Institute, Los Angeles, California

PRIMARY WORK EXPERIENCE

1926—Ernest Batchelder Tile Company, Pasadena, California

1932—Established William Manker Ceramics, Pasadena, California

1935-1947 Director ceramics department, Scripps College, Claremont, California

 

William Manker was known for hand built, cast and, later in his career thrown, low fired earthenware work.  He established and worked at William Manker Ceramics (1932-1950s) a small studio he established in 1932 to produce his designs of mid-century modern cast line. Manker’s work is characterized by their distinctive glazes. Often Manker would begin with a base color over which a contrasting color was applied to give the effect of blending. His fascination with Oriental ceramics let him to develop a series of copper red reduction glazes. Manker moved to Padua Hills north of Claremont in 1935 to establish the ceramics department at Scripps College.

Manker began to throw pots after taking classes with Gertrud Natzler who immigrated to the USA in 1938 bringing her flywheel potter’s wheel.  This throwing technology, which allowed the potter to sit while throwing, revolutionized many ceramics programs in the USA. Manker introduced throwing pots on an adaptation of Natzler’s wheel to students at Scripps.

First employed by Ernest Batchelder Tile Company as a designer, Manker’s career spans more than 20 years and was an important bridge between handmade work and the production work of studio potters of the time. Perhaps his most important contribution to the ceramic field is the Scripps Invitational that he initiated in 1945.

Public Collections

Public Collections to Display: 

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York

Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Bibliography

Bibliography to Display: 

Clark, Garth. American Ceramics: 1876 to the Present. New York, NY: Abbeville Press Publishers, 1987.

Koplos, Janet and Bruce Metcalf. Makers: A History of American Studio Craft. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 2010.

Levin, Elaine. The History of American Ceramics: From Pipkins and Bean Pots to Contemporary Forms, 1607 to the Present. New York, NY: Harry N. Abrams, 1988.

Lynn, Martha Drexler. Studio Ceramics: Innovation and Identity 1940 to 1979. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2015.

 

 

Typical Marks
1950-1960
ca 1950
ca 1950
ca 1950
Bowl
Date: 1950-1960
Materials: Porcelain
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze
The Forrest L. Merrill Collection
The Forrest L. Merrill Collection
Covered Potpourri Urn
Date: ca 1950
Materials: Earthenware
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze
E. John Bullard Collection
E. John Bullard Collection
Footed Console Bowl
Date: ca 1950
Materials: Earthenware
Method: Slip Cast
Surface Technique: Glaze
E. John Bullard Collection
E. John Bullard Collection
Covered Box
Date: ca 1950
Materials: Earthenware
Method: Slip Cast
Surface Technique: Glaze
E. John Bullard Collection
E. John Bullard Collection

Citation: "The Marks Project." Last modified May 20, 2019. http://www.themarksproject.org:443/marks/manker