Donations to the Royal Ontario Museum November 14, 2004 (excerpts from the club newsletter)
Members of the BMPCC met in Toronto on November 14, 2004 to give a collection of 17 pieces to the Royal Ontario Museum. The donation project was adopted by the club after their second annual convention in Collingwood in July. Members were asked to contribute examples from their collections that were representative of the vast range of shapes and glazes produced by Blue Mountain Pottery during it’s half century of production.
Members attending the meeting left to right Back row: Brian Musselwhite, Laurie and Grace Wetherelt, Todd Milks, Bruce Dyer, Conrad Biernacki. Front: Mike and Doreen Heenan, Eric Nagler, Heather Dyer.Although some club members were unable to attend, they still sent in their pieces from as far away as Florida.
The pieces were presented by Club President Bruce Dyer and accepted on behalf of the ROM by Canadiana registrar Tricia Walker who thanked the club for it’s generosity. Prior to the donation, the museum holdings of BMP consisted of two small green glazed pieces in the Canadiana collection and six Native Artists’ Collection pieces (plus two additional undecorated examples from this series) in the Anthropology Collection.
The clubs donation comprised functional, commemorative souvenir and decorative items ranging from vases to jugs to plates and animal figurines. Glaze colours included green as well as red, cobalt, plum, granite, Apollo and harvest gold. Although there has been no promise that the Club’s donation will be put on display, it is hoped that this might be possible. But if not, it is still important that these pieces are now held in Canada’s largest museum as a record of our material history, and for research and future exhibition. The ROM’s desire to have them reflects the important role BMP played in the ceramic history of Canada.
The ROM event also included a lively “show and tell” session highlighted by an amazing circa 1970 unmarked, wheel thrown, mocha Studio Line vase and an elaborately modeled, blue glazed Renaissance-style vase made by Dominic Stanzione that was signed and dated 1978 (Stanzione left BMP to open his own studio in 1977). (it has since been discovered that he left BMP earlier than 1977.)
The door prize, a BMP 1976 Christmas Plate, was won by Laurie Wetherelt. “Christmas plates were designed in house with the assistance of sales staff, major customers, and of course, our mould room staff” explained Mr. Blair in an email. Bruce Dyer pointed out that this plate was also issued the following year, but without the date. “Sales were not sufficient to sustain production” explained Blair “since quantities were limited this should be one of the premier examples of Blue Mountain Pottery”. Doreen and Mike Heenan brought three other Christmas pieces made by BMP: a green angel candle holder, green 1979 Avon Christmas plate, and sleigh with a rich pewter glaze (the sleigh was also made in green, red and blue). Altogether it is believed that BMP made five different Christmas pieces during it’s history.
BMPCC Donations Nov.14, 2004 Total of 17 Pottery Items
Harvest Gold vase #188, c 1974-85, BMP/CANADA mark. Given by Diana Buckley.
Apollo Collection vase with handle (brown, orange & white glazes) #855, c 1977-80, Vase and Waves mark (with colour photocopy of catalogue page). Given by Pat Pitcher.
Green Romar Collection “Surfers,” #747 (first model in first series) Jan.1994-Nov.1996, no makers mark, circular Vase & Waves label and rectangular string tag, Given by Bruce Dyer.
Green “Amherst N.S.” souvenir plate, #235, early 1970s, Three Trees mark. Given by Bruce Dyer
Green “Man and His World” ashtray, 1967, BMP/CANADA mark (with Muskoka M), circular J. Weider signature label. Given by Bruce Dyer
Plum tulip vase, #76, 1960s, BMP/CANADA mark (with descenders on M slightly curved). Given by Howard Winfrow.
Red 6” single-tier candy dish with central metal handle, #67, c1976, Three Trees mark. Given by Doreen and Mike Heenan.
Granite (also called cobalt) bowl, c 1977-85, BMP/CANADA. Given by Doreen and Mike Heenan.
Cobalt Romar Collection “Free Spirit” (two flying Canadian geese), #751 (fifth model in second series), Jan. 1997-June 2000, two circular Vase & Waves labels and rectangular string tag (with certificate No. 218). Given by Dr. Don and Sandra Cross.
Green walking bear, #218, c1970-2004, no maker’s mark. Given by Don M. Cross.
Green Swan, #5, 1950s-2002 (second longest piece ever made, a smaller swan was in production until 2004, no maker’s mark, 3 stilt marks. Given by Sandra Benallick-Cross.
Green “Centennial” mug, 1967, BMP/CANADA (with Muskoka M). Given by Lorna Sommers.
Green signature jug, #23C, 1970s, Three Trees mark. Given by Conrad Biernacki.
Granite (also called cobalt) vase, 6-¼ inches, 1970s, Three Trees mark. Given by Conrad Biernacki.
Green spherical vase with upturned rim (called “Pac-man” vase by collectors), 6 inches, late 1950s-c1969, no makers mark. Given by Conrad Biernacki.
Cobalt 2004 Blue Mountain Pottery Collectors Club triangular commemorative, #900, BMP mark, circular Vase & Waves label and rectangular string tag (only 40 made, with letter from Blue Mountain Pottery owner Robert Blair). Given by Conrad Biernacki.
Contemporary Green Splash Collection vase, #188, 2004, circular Vase & Waves label and rectangular string tag, original price sticker (with letter from Blue Mountain Pottery owner Robert Blair stating that this piece came from the factory’s last green glazed firing, and a copy of the “Complete Listing Blue Mountain Pottery Artware 2003” catalog which illustrates the vase). Given by Conrad Biernacki.