Some of the most popular pottery makers are Rookwood, Roseville, Frankoma, Weller, Hull, McCoy, Charles Volkmar, Chelsea Keramic, Lonhuda, George Ohr, Newcomb College, Grueby Faience, Adelaide Alsop Robineau, Artus Van Briggle and the Saturday Evening Girls. The art pottery movement began in American and Britain during the 1870s.
The art pottery movement began at about the same time that the arts and crafts movement began in earnest. Art pottery was considered more elaborate, intricate and aesthetically focused than utilitarian pottery or decorative figurines. In the early 1870s, when the movement began, the art pottery pieces were often hand decorated and produced in limited quantities. They were also usually hand signed by the artist.
Several of the popular and noteworthy companies listed above, such as Rookwood, Roseville, Frankoma and Weller, were founded in the American Midwest throughout the 1880s and 1890s. These companies were popular because of their ornamental designs. Although they used local deposits of clay and minerals for their art pottery materials, these Midwest companies were inspired by Asian and Art Nouveau designs. The pieces created were not only gorgeous and inspiring, but also practical in their functionality. They created pieces, such as bowls, vases, wall sconces and decorative tiles that could be purchased for display purposes or functional use.