Tamac Collection

Various pieces from my large Tamac Pottery collection. This masterpiece line of mid century modern pottery. Tamac is still relatively obscure yet can be found in the collections of the Indianapolis Museum of Art, The Vance Kirkland Musuem, The Brooklyn Museum and Boston Museum of Fine Art to name a few. Because Tamac pottery did not have much distrubution on the coasts, it's been overlooked by collectors who simply just don't know about it or its charms.

Tamac Pottery from Perry, OK.

Pronounced Tah-Mac, according to a daughter of theTates, one of the founding couples.

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One of the great design features of this decantur is that the top of the cork stopper is hollow and serves as a shot glass.

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Seldom seen 22 inch centerpiece
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One of the things that makes Tamac really stand out from other mid-century modern tableware is its heavy, solid and handmade feel. Most other designs andpatterns from the period feel light and to me cheap like the lowest end dishes from a discount store. They seem like something you would use for breakfast or to serve children on, despite their wonderful shapes and colors. Patterns by Ben Siebel, Russel Wright or Eva Zeisel look appealing but have that cheap production feel of the material that really turns me off. Thosedesigns are wonderful, but the pieces themselves don't have the heft of Tamac or other companies I like such as Fiesta or some Franciscan. Tamac looks and feels substantial. The glazes are generous, thick and heavy and each piece is unique. Although it is called Tamac Pottery, it is really china and quite durable.

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BBQ plates were made in all colors except perhaps raspberry. I have avocado, butterscotch, frosty pine and frosty fudge. I've seen honey.

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Most common, 2 ring tumbler in frosty pine. You can see the variation in glazes and size. Even more so with avocado.

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Large, early 3 ring tumblers, I have one in butterscotch too. They are hand signed, not stamped.

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One of my butterscotch BBC cups is incized with an 's' and signed St. Clair 1947. It is thought by Tamac experts to have been made by Native American Oklahoma artist St. Clair Homer. The other cup is both hand signed Tamac and stamped

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Different clay bodies on avocado cereal bowls, red clay and whte porcelin. Avocado is prone to light crazing. Easy and safe to clean up the crazing by soaking in hydrogen peroxide overnight and drying in the sun. Never use bleach, it will make the piece unstable.

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Tamac looks really neat with its biomorphic shapes, but it is best appreciated in person. The pieces fit so well in your hand, once you hold it, you'll wonder why all dishes are not made that way. It is really shocking to discover. I remember the first time I used a Tamac bowl, how easy and natural it was to hold. But then when I went to drink the remaining portion and found that the shape formed a spout to guide the last drops right perfectly to the lips I realized it was not just visual but wonderfully ergonomic in its design. Something you have to try to fully understand.

 

Unlike the pictures posted here, I rarely set an all Tamac table, I prefer to mix with different pieces. Tamac and Fiestaware make a stunning combination.

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Honey and Avacado glazes. Honey was the last glaze to be introduced. Note the salad plates have a bubbly variation of the glaze that is quite rare. Also pictured are the teacup, a frosty fudge demi tasse, an early small cream pitcher in avocado and some raspberry rim sitters (birds). Avocado and Honey combine to make a nice salt and pepper set.

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Not generally a fan on Mid Century Design, I needed some dishes to match a few sets of 50's silverware I had. Didn't find anything I really liked until Tamac, but the funny thing is, I end up using silverware from different eras with it after all.

Oh well.

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5 plates: chop platter, platter (under casserole dish), dinner plate, breakfast plate, salad plate.

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Pictures of the early days of Tamac shared with me and permision granted to publish online here by the Tate's daughers. I was thrilled to hear from them and see these images. Many articles about them and the founding of Tamac can be found on other sites online.

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Tamac Display at the NEW Vance Kirkland Museum in Colorado.

Heaps more from other collectors on Page 2!

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