One of the most ancient crafts, the production of pottery, for both utilitarian use as well as artist expression, dates back thousands of years before Christ. While the pottery collection of Burbank residents Tim and Angie Meikle doesn’t include pieces from that far back, it does consist of items created during the late 1880s and throughout the 20th century. The couple, who have been collecting for more than 43 years, are currently sharing their impressive amassment at the Burbank Creative Arts Center in the gallery’s current show: “A Collection of Pottery 1880-1970.”
The opening of the show was celebrated with a reception that, along with the Meikles, included a full house of their friends, fellow collectors, artists and lovers of antique pottery this past Friday evening.
“While many of these pieces were purchased at antique shops and shows, there are also quite a few items in this collection that came directly from the artists who created them,” said Tim Meikle, who also creates elaborate beaded necklaces and was a negative cutter who worked on films and television shows such as “Titanic,” “Star Wars,” “Murder, She Wrote” and “Miami Vice” for Fox, Universal and Paramount Studios. “It’s a collection gone wild that I have been working on for half a lifetime,” he added with a laugh.
The collection, an assortment of pottery created by artists throughout the United States, includes the works of names well known and respected with pottery aficionados. One of the pieces that garnered attention with the knowledgeable attendees was a small tile sporting the image of two felines created by Polia Pillin in the 1950s. Pillin, a Polish-born ceramist who lived in Los Angeles from 1948 till her death in 1992, perfected the technique of painting on wet clay with colored clay. After decorating each piece, she would fire the pottery, cover it with a transparent glaze and then refire it. The end result gave the piece a luminous, glass-like finish that became her trademark.
As Burbank collector Lisa Aghassian perused the pieces at Friday’s reception, she was especially enamored by a charming creation, “Toot The Owl,” created sometime between the late 1930s and 1950s by renowned ceramist Kay Finch of Corona del Mar who died in 1993. Along with Christmas plates and tableware, animals were Finch’s specialty.
Among those in attendance at Friday’s reception were art instructors Michael Hirsh and Claude Hulce, Burbank Civic Pride Committee member Diane Vudmaska Carol and Burbank Fine Arts Federation President Carol Finkle. Others who enjoyed the show included Anita Verwaltz; Janice and Michel Pappadaki; Mindy and Michael Hickman; Leslie Strunk; Rose and Rick Johnston; Norma Sporn; Rod Rogers; Ron, Carol and Briana Cwik; Ann Hulce; Rich Ricciuti and George Liberato, the father of actress Liana Liberato, best known for her roles in the 2007 Fox Faith film “The Last Sin Eater,” directed by Michael Landon Jr., and in the 2010 David Schwimmer-directed film “Trust,” where she played a 14-year-old girl victimized by an online predator.
“A Collection of Pottery 1880-1970” will run through Sept. 29 at the Creative Arts Center Gallery in George Izay Park, 1100 West Clark Ave., Burbank. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.