- Collectible Ceramics designed and handcrafted in Maine USA since 1952

Andersen History

Our Founders and Inspiration:

Weston Neil Andersen and his wife Brenda in 1951 holding th e their first slip cast ceramic designs,

Weston Neil Andersen and his wife Brenda around 1951 in Akron , Ohio, holding the first of their functional form designs that became and extensive line of function forms and wild life sculptures in their innovative line of American ceramic designed, slip cast in the USA

Products

Handcrafted Ceramic Art & Design Made in the USA
Market proven, collectible hand crafted wild life sculptures and classic contemporary functional forms
The Stoneware Screech Owl is an enigmatic bird of ancient lore, guiding the journey of the seeking soul from deep within the mysteries. "The Stoneware Seal arising from the sea, has a lovely dappled back creating with our flowing ceramic decorating colors. The Seal is a charming sculpture to place on a reflective surface and at a low angle so that it greets the viewer from below as is the way we most often see these sea life creatures. The Ceramic Seal Emerging from water is eight inches in diameter. "

 

Before the 1960’s when Andy Warhol turned production into an art form and sold it to the New York art world, Weston and Brenda Andersen used ceramic slip-casting production as an art form and sold it to the American middle class,  The Andersen’s founding philosophy, formulated in the context of the Age of Plastics, is to create handcrafted products affordable to the middle class. So was born an enduring line of classical functional forms and American wild life sculptures.

Slip-cast stoneware pitcher in organic brown glaze designed and handcrafted by Weston Neil Andersen

Weston and Brenda Andersen were originals of the mid-century young urban designer’s movement before they took a path of their own which led to the coast of Maine and establishing a ceramic slip casting production in the designer- craftsmen tradition.
When the mainstream of the Western ceramic industry moved production to global low-cost labor markets, Andersen Design remained in America and was competitive in an import-flooded market attracted by the quality and individuality of the Andersen Design product.
 Andersen Design is its own paradigm.
Andersen Design has over 200 products, original art glazes and hand crafted decorating techniques
The Andersen line is known for its individualistic hand crafted decorating style and organic art glazes with interactive qualities not usually found in traditional commercial production glazes.
Andersen Design’s designer craftsmen origins carved out a unique historical territory in the era of midcentury design:
“If you’d like to know the next big thing in collecting twentieth century design, you might want to ask Sara Blumberg and James Oliveira……..
Italian glass is one of the fields that now consumes them, particularly the stunning shapes that have been produced for hundreds of years on the fabled isle of Murano in the Venetian Lagoon. They’ve also been buying American studio pottery from the 1950’s and the 1960’s especially the simple bowls and vases made by Weston and Brenda Andersen in East Bootbay, Maine. Not to mention twentieth century Scandinavian pottery.
What do these disparate fields have in common? Looking at the pottery shapes on display, you can see that the crosscurrents of design have flowed from Europe to America and back. But Sara has a more elemental reason: “It all comes down to form”. In relating why they love one group of Andersen pieces, she calls them “organic” …”Christine Churchill The Collector’s Eye
The Brand
  • Andersen Design is a historically established brand which has carved out a unique place in its field
  • Andersen is an American-made ceramic production company which has created an in-depth line of original, market tested designs, glazed in ceramic art glazes designed to interact with the kiln environment resulting in Andersen Design’s signature “organic” look.
  • Andersen has historically been a company which takes the road less travelled, carving new paths to be followed by others and offering an alternative to the main stream market. Our brand is quintessentially American in its individualist appeal.
The Opportunity
Andersen Design’s vision of an extraordinary creative enterprise based on our large and layered line of creative ceramic design with marketability established over sixty-five years. Our plan involves a community of slip casting productions and an interactive staff to energize and synergize the rise of the Andersen American Phoenix.

Public Benefits

Ceramic Training
Andersen Design will work with budding or established American slip-casting productions in a consulting and training capacity related to Andersen ceramic unique production processes and developing new products, glazes ad decorating techniques.
Economic Development
Andersen Design is an ideal business to locate in rural low income, high unemployment areas. The Andersen hand crafted art product involves a variety of skills suitable to be produced in a network of small slip casting productions in which each production can focus on perfecting the craft of a targeted selection of Andersen product designs.
The pricing strategy and operating parameters in our business plan can be used as date driven tools to chart the economic growth of slip casting production studio through applied analysis.
Rural Economic Revitalization
  • Ceramic slip casting production is compatible with existing rural culture and skills.
  • Ceramic slip casting adds to the diversity of the Maine job market
  • The start-up costs are relatively low.
  • Existing state programs offer low interest loans to help finance start-up costs.
  • Andersen Design can function as a training center for the skills needed to manage off shoot production studios.
  • A contractual arrangement with Andersen Design can provide a steady stream of income for new and established ceramic slip cast productions.
  • The arts have the capacity to re gentrify communities.
  • A ceramic production combined with a gallery creates destination shopping which attracts other retailers.
  • A handcrafted product in which no two are ever exactly alike provides a reason for shoppers to visit a neighborhood store to select the individual item personally as opposed to purchasing on line.
  • A network of associated ceramic production studios spread across an expanse of remote areas can become a destination trail connecting communities and creating business opportunities for bed and breakfasts, hotels and restaurants.
  • A successful ceramic production network creates a need for a supplier of industrial raw materials which in turn attracts other ceramic studios and crafts makers.

Marketing Services

The historically established Andersen brand can market other lines of American handcrafted products.

History

Andersen Design has a long rich history as a pioneer company in the Art Ceramic Field. Weston and Brenda Andersen started the design enterprise in 1952; this personal collaboration became a substantial production company in the sixties. Early marketing strategies included participation in the very first New York Gift Show at the Coliseum, and personal sales calls to the primary crafts galleries of the time. The product entered the market with a fresh perspective – functional and decorative ceramic artwork, made by hand. Weston and Brenda Andersen were among the early core of independent artist/craftsmen who created a national awareness for the appeal of handmade products in the marketplace.
The pioneer tradition has always been evident in the product development at Andersen Design. Early collaborative efforts earned national recognition for the functional tableware and innovative sculptures of indigenous wildlife, expressed in simple, elegant terms, developed long before the environmental movement had become a mainstream market.
In the eighties, Andersen Design setup shop in Portland, Maine with 5000 square feet of workspace, large elevator kilns and sophisticated pumping systems. The staff went as high as twenty people. Cost increases such as rent, staffing, and personal health issues contributed to the decision, in the early nineties, to move the production to Jefferson, Maine, as part of an enterprise for contracting to make the products as a separate business concern.
This production did not work out and after a few years, the production was moved back to the present East Boothbay location.
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