Think Face Pottery Is a Millennial Thing? Meet the Artist Who’s Been Doing It Since the ’70s

When Jill and I posted pictures of our favorite books on Instagram last week, mine featured one of my favorite objects in my living room, shown above: A pot, used by me as a planter, that features two hand-painted, color-blocked pastel faces. I bought it on eBay for $10 a year and a half ago. I don’t remember how I found it. I had no idea, at the time, who the maker was, only that her name was Victoria Crowell and I assumed she was an obscure local artisan who made the pot in the ’80s. I was mostly correct.

After doing a bit of research on Crowell, I admit I didn’t find much — she set up her studio in 1977 in upstate New York, and retired from making pottery at the end of last year. Her repertoire included plates, bowls, and pots that featured faces, but also black and white geometric patterns and botanical motifs, seen here. So I can’t really telI if my pot in particular was made in the ’80s, or 20 years later. And Crowell didn’t respond to my emails trying to get in touch. All I know is that she was probably doing it before our favorite ceramicists were, and that I’m glad I got to snag such a nice example of her work before I wrote this article and busted the market wide open. Happy hunting!

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