Bauer Pottery items await shipment in February at the Highland factory. Dinnerware made by J.A. Bauer Pottery Co. of Los Angeles during the Depression and World War II years had become a darling of collectors because of its colors and retro designs. Unfortunately, you couldn't own a Bauer plate and safely eat off it too -- at least according to modern science. And the original Bauer company was out of business long before lead standards were tightened. But the firm now manufactures a line of nearly unleaded items. Bauer Pottery Co. of Los Angeles, which turns out 85 Bauer items that are sold in shops nationwide and online, has 23 employees and last year had sales of $2.7 million. In October, the firm bought the 40,000-square-foot factory near San Bernardino where the pottery is made.
Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times