July 11, 2011

Mom Shop Monday: Anderson Studio

About Anderson Studio:
Andersen Studio was established in the mid-century. by Weston Neil Andersen and his wife Brenda. In the decades since, Andersen Studio has developed comprehensive lines of contemporary functional ceramic forms and nature art.. Andersen Studio's original glazes are made from raw materials sourced in the United States.

In the 1940’s, Weston Neil Andersen studied industrial design at Pratt Institute, where he took a landmark course on production ceramics taught by Eva Zeisel. World War II interrupted Weston’s education and he found himself in London where he met Brenda, who was attending art school and working as a photographer's assistant

In the mid century, Weston and Brenda Andersen were part of the mid-century young urban designers movement. The husband and wife team started Ceramics by Andersen in Akron Ohio in 1951. They began working in their small house but soon needed a larger space. The Andersen’s found the Boothbay Region in Maine to have enough of a cosmopolitan influence to provide a viable market, as well as affordable rent in which to start a ceramic production. They opened their first gallery in a two hundred year old barn on the hill of a country road on Southport Island, Maine Their mission was to create hand-made objects affordable to the middle classes.

Weston’s first ceramic designs were cosmopolitan and contemporary vases, bowls, platters, mugs and steins. Brenda added her artistic decorative touch and spontaneous drawing skills into such themes as Adam and Eve, See No Evil Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil, and portraits of her children, surroundings and nature

Andersen Stoneware’s elegant functional forms became instant grass roots collectible. They created unique glazes and gently flowing ceramic decorating colors, giving the Andersen line a distinct identity. The natural surroundings of the Maine Coast soon inspired the Andersen collection of wild life sculptures, which were immediately successful, possessing an appeal that has sustained for over half a century.

The beauty of a ceramic slip-casting production with such a classical design appeal is that the line of forms can grow from one generation to the next and that every form can be transformed into an original and unique work of art through the decoration and glazes that bring the work to completion. The second generation of Andersen’s have a long term goal of transforming what their parents started before them into an art process and business that can be carried on by future generations with a team beyond the immediate family. A challenging goal indeed.

The business is carried on today by daughters Elise Andersen and Susan Mackenzie Andersen, and Christine Andersen Tupper, who have contributed their own designs, glazes and unique decorations and participate in all aspects of the production process which begins with mixing our glazes and slips from raw materials. Mackenzie is the website designer and marketer .Elise handles wholesale accounts.Over the years All have
contributed to the graphic designs used to market our line. We have Mike in our office and Connie as an outside consultant working on office related functions.Weston Andersen continues to participate in the business that he founded despite suffering a brain injury in 2010 and confounding the medical profession with is continuing ability to recover.

Andersen Studio is not what is commonly referred to as a "collective'. We are a ceramic enterprise which functions through the team work participation in a singular artistic process which incorporates individualistic expression as an inseparable function of the whole. A "collective" is a group of separate artistic identities that unite for mutual benefit but do not manifest as a singular artistic expression inseparable from the whole. The philosophical basis of a collective and the private enterprise such is Andersen Studio are separate and distinct.

Andersen Studio has made a distinct mark on a tradition of American hand made objects and continues to work in close connection with nature’s hand and the raw materials of the earth.

My Thoughts:

I love the heritage that Anderson Studio shows. I love their animals and know they would make a perfect addition to any collection. What a great legacy to pass down to your children. 

You can visit Anderson Studio HERE to see their whole collection.

*Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post in any way.

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