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Santa Barbara Ceramic Design

Established in 1976 by current director Raymond Markow following three years developing the decorative process, Santa Barbara Ceramic Design arose less auspiciously than the �Ohio� potteries - no financial backing and no machinery beyond that available to ancient potters: wheel, kiln, brushes and colorants.

The company produced intricate, colorful, hand-painted flora and fauna designs on traditional pottery forms, primarily vases and table lamps. Although artistically aligned with turn-of-the-century art potteries, the techniques used were unique and developed within the studio.

Vibrant glaze stains with wax emulsion were applied by brush over a graduated multicolor background, enhanced by elaborate sgrafitto detailing on petals and leaves. In the early 1980s, a white stoneware body was incorporated to further brighten the color palate and during later years, sgrafitto was replaced by detailing with a fine brush.

Early pieces were thrown. Mid-1980 saw a transition to casting, except for experimental or custom pieces. Artists were encouraged to be creative and on occasion given individual gallery exhibitions. Custom orders were welcomed and experimentation occurred regularly; the resulting pieces are the most rare and seldom appear for sale today. Limited production lines evolved, including the Collector Series that featured an elaborate ornamental border intended to complement the primary design. The Artist�s Collection was a numbered series of pieces by senior artists, usually combining flora and fauna homophonically, e.g. tiger + tiger lily. Decorators participated in periodic design competitions, voted on by peers and rewarded monetarily.

The company�s approach to bold colors in surface decoration influenced several contemporary potters and generated imitation in both pottery and glass during the craft renaissance of the 1970s and 1980s. Several employees made use of the studio�s designs and techniques after leaving. Authentic pieces bear the artist�s initials, date and �SBCD� marked in black stain and if thrown, the potter�s inscription.

At the height of the studio�s art-pottery period, Markow employed as many as three potters and twelve decorators at a given time. The ware was marketed through craft festivals and wholesale distribution to art and craft galleries nationwide. An estimated 100,000 art pottery pieces were made before a transition in the late 1980s to silk-screened household and garden items. One interesting foray was a 2005 series of coffee cups featuring black and white stills from 1930s-1950s and film noir movies in conjunction with Turner Classic Movies. The company has since expanded into many other media and �Ceramic� has been dropped from the new company name, Santa Barbara Design Studio.

Now 40 years since the company�s inception, the secondary market for Santa Barbara Ceramic Design's art pottery has seen thousands of pieces change hands. The work is often viewed as a bargain compared to its Rookwood and Weller Hudson counterparts.

For images and artist/potter marks see

When using text or information from this article for personal use, publication or sales, please first contact and Schroeder's Antiques Price Guide for permission as it is copyrighted. Our advisor is John Guthrie, listed in the Directory under South Carolina.

Content �

Email for 1976-89 artist/potter marks

Platter, Calla Lily, RB111, "Collector Series", 16", Laurie Linn Ball, c1985, $925.

Vase, Tiger Lily, 7116cs. �Collector Series�, 12x9�, Shannon Sargent, 1982, $1200.

recent sales:


Budvase, 6", eucalyptus, Gary Ba-Han 1983�������.�104

Budvase, 6", bearded iris, Margie Gilson 1983�������..200

Candle (single) #5116, 7", morning glory, Laurie Linn 1982��.106

Candle (single) #5116, 7", bearded iris, Itoko Takeuchi 1985��104

Goblet #C, 7�", dutch iris, Kat Corcoran 1979��������77

Goblet #C, 7�", poppy, Shannon Sargent 1979��������77

Lamp #5117, 9", iris, Itoko Takeuchi 1983 ��������� 325

Lamp #5117, 10�", bouquet, Laurie Linn-Ball 1987�����..400

Lamp #5118, 11", iris, Itoko Takeuchi 1984���������225

Lamp #5118, 11", iris, unsigned c1984..�����������195

Lamp #5119, 15�", bouquet, Itoko Takeuchi 1984�������592

Lamp #5119, 15�", iris/gladiola, Laurie Linn Ball 1982 ���� 495

Lamp #5119lg, 17", bouquet, Laurie Linn 1982��������495

Lamp #7101 (pair), 13", apple blossom, Gary Ba-Han 1984���650

Lamp #7105, 17", columbine, Margaret Gilson 1984������446

Lamp #7115, 16", fuchsia/bird, Dorie Knight-Hutchinson 1984��485

Lamp #7115, 16", tulip, Itoko Takeuchi 1986���������585

Lamp #7125, 18", calla lily, Itoko Takeuchi 1984�����.��375

Lamp #7125, 18", iris, Gary Ba-Han 1984 (1)���������375

Mug #5121, 5", tiger lily, William Pacini 1984�����.���82

Mug #5121, 5", daffodil, unsigned 1979�����������94

Mug #5121, 5", orchid, Barbara Rose c1978���������.44

Oil Lamp #1102, 6�", bird, Nancy Looker 1979������.�255

Oil Lamp #1102, 6�", design?, Shannon Sargent 1978���...�118

Oil Lamp #1102, 6�", unicorn, Kat Corcoran 1980�����.�146

Pitcher, #5106, 8", bird, Phil Krahn 1977���������.�835

Pitcher, #5106, 9", poppy, Dorie Knight 1979���������265

Pitcher, #5106, 9", poppy, Shannon Sargent 1979������..�918

Plate #5114, 7"dia., daylily, Margie Gilson 1981�������.147

Plate #5114, 7"dia., tulip, Eley�a Dhyansky 1980�������147

Plate #5114, 7"dia., sweetpea, Michelle Foster 1982������133

Platter #4118, 14�"dia., bearded iris, Margie Gilson 1983����.343

Platter #4118, 15"dia., oriental, Itoko Takeuchi 1984 ������ 243

Platter #4118cs, 15"dia., apple blossom, Shannon Sargent 1982��275

Platter #4118cs, 15"dia., columbine, Margie Gilson 1982���..�284

Teapot #5109, 8", lily, Anne Fitch 1982�����������427

Vase #5101, 6", daffodil, Dorie Knight 1979���������.204

Vase #5101, 6-7", bird, Laurie Cosca 1980���������..�343

Vase #5101, 6-7", duck, Anne Collinson 1979��������.�363

Vase #5101, 6-7", deer, Laurie Cosca 1979���������..�229

Vase #5101, 6-7", bearded iris, Mary Favero 19881�������204

Vase #5101, 6-7", bearded iris, Margie Gilson 1981�������210

Vase #5101, 6-7", bearded iris, Suzanne Tormey 1981������200

Vase #5101, 6-7", pegasus , Alvaro Suman 1979�������.�205

Vase #5101, 6-7", penguin , Alvaro Suman 1979�������.�200

Vase #5101, 6-7", unicorn, Kat Corcoran 1979���������248

Vase #5101r, 5�", poppy, Anne Fitch 1982���������..�175

Vase #5101r, 6", morning glory, Laurie Linn-Ball 1986����.�215

Vase #5101cs, 7", hibiscus, Shannon Sargent 1980�������.215

Vase #5101cs, 6", morning glory, Laurie Linn 1981�������175

Vase #5102, 9", bearded iris, Dorie Knight-Hutchinson 1981���412

Vase #5102, 9", bearded iris, Itoko Takeuchi 1983������.�310

Vase #5102, 9", japanese iris, Dorie Knight-Hutchinson 1982���357

Vase #5102, 9", poppy, Dorie Knight-Hutchinson 1981����..�504

Vase #5102, 9", toucan, Kat Corcoran 1978����������315

Vase #5103, 8", daylily, Mary Favero 1981���������.. 270

Vase #5103, 8�", orchid, Allison Atwill 1981��������..281

Vase #5103cs, 9", poppy, Laurie Cosca 1982 ��������� 250

Vase #5104cs, 14", poppy, Shannon Sargent 1983�������1,425

Vase #5115a, 8", rabbit, Shannon Sargent 1982���������391

Vase #5133, 20", iris, Shannon Sargent 1984 (1)��������1,500

Vase #5133, 20", iris, Shannon Sargent 1984 (2)��������1,500

Vase #6112, 10", fuchsia/bird, Dorie Knight-Hutchinson 1984��..425

Vase #7116, 12", hibiscus, Laurie Linn Ball 1985��������400

Vase #7116, 12", morning glory, unsigned 1984�������.�750

Vase #7116cs, 12", carnation, Michelle Foster 1982�������446

Vase #7116ss, 12", tiger/tiger lily, Shannon Sargent 1984 ���� 650

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