I recently purchased a piece of Catalina Pottery. Part of the enjoyment of owning vintage pieces is knowing the history and craftsmanship behind the piece. Here is a little lesson on Catalina Pottery.
In 1927, William Wrigley, Jr. built a tile and brick pottery on a beach located near Avalon, Santa Catalina Island. The new pottery became Catalina Clay Products. The pottery used local clays from the Island.
In 1930, Wrigley brought artisans to the Island to design decorative and functional pottery products including souvenirs, vases, bookends and figurines. Red clays found on the Island were used for pottery until 1931. After 1931 white clay from the United States mainland was combined with the red clay until finally only white clay was used. Glazes were made with local minerals mined on the Island. The company sold its ware as Catalina Pottery and Catalina Tile. The pottery opened free standing stores to sell their wares in Avalon, Santa Catalina Island, Hollywood, Olvera Street in Los Angeles, and in the Arizona Biltmore Hotel, Phoenix. Dinnerware and art ware was sold through department and jewelry stores. The pottery's tile was used for the interiors and exteriors of buildings on the Island. Tile products were used throughout the United States. The Arizona Biltmore Hotel's swimming pool was built using Catalina tile.
In 1937, Catalina Clay Products, including all equipment, stock, molds, and trademarks, were sold to Gladding, McBean & Co. Gladding, McBean continued to produce Catalina art ware and dinnerware shapes for their Catalina Pottery art ware lines until 1942. Gladding, McBean & Co.'s Catalina Pottery art ware was marked Catalina Pottery, made in USA, with an ink stamp. All tile products were discontinued.