Metlox, Designs for All Tastes
One of the most well-known California potteries was Metlox, which started in Manhattan Beach in 1927 by T.C. and Willis Prouty. The name Metlox comes from a combination of the words metal and oxide, a reference to the early glazing process. Metlox continued under a number of owners until its doors were shut in 1988, and the factory transformed into the Shaw Hotel and other businesses.
The great thing about Metlox is the wide variety of designs, colors, and styles. Everyone can find something appealing, from the roosters of the California Provincial line, the hand painted fruit of Sculpted Grape, and the many figurines and vases made under the Metlox name. Like other American companies, Metlox flourished during the mid-century after the war devastated European production of dinnerware and ceramics. Some of the most beautiful pieces come from this era, thanks in part to designer Mel Shaw, who had once worked for Disney and had taken part in the production of Bambi and Fantasia.
My personal favorite is California Provincial. The bright and happy red and green rooster always makes me smile. I snap up pieces for my own collection whenever I can, but other Metlox designs can always be found in my Etsy shop!