Hugh C. Robertson

Hugh C. Robertson

Hugh C. Robertson, (1845–1908), was an American studio potter who is the first recognized potter to have worked with nonrepresentational ceramic decoration glazes.[1] Robertson apprenticed at the Jersey City Potter in 1860. In 1868, he started work in his father's shop that opened in 1866 in Chelsea, Massachusetts.[2] In 1872 the factory was incorporated into the Chelsea Keramic Art Works (CKAW). The company became known for their antique Grecian terra cotta and Pompeian bronzes. In 1877, Robertson developed the Chelsea faience, underglazed opaque earthenware, which lead the development of other American faience.[3] There in 1884, Robertson worked on discovering the secret Chinese glaze, Sang-de-Boeuf. In 1888, he finally discovered the recipe for the glaze and produced three hundred pieces of what he dubbed, Sang de Chelses.

The Arts and Crafts, and the Art Pottery Movement owes much to Hugh Robertson - After years of experimentation, and eventual artistic success, Hugh Robertson exhausted the finances of the Chelsea Keramic Art Works and the studio closed in 1889. He did not return to the pottery world until July 17, 1891 when he established Chelsea Pottery, US in Dedham, Massachusetts[3] Robertson later went on to success in 1895, with the Dedham Pottery Company, in good part based on his glaze success’ at the Chelsea Keramic Art Works.


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