Wisteria Glazed Vase
The company that became Fulper Pottery was begun in 1814 in Flemington, New Jersey. Founded by Samuel Hill and known as the Hill Pottery it used the local red earthenware clay to produce utilitarian objects such as drain pipes, storage crocks and jars.
When Samuel Hill died in 1858, pottery worker Abram Fulper purchased the pottery and by 1860 it was known as the Fulper Pottery still producing utilitarian wares. Abram Fulper's sons continued the pottery after his death and in 1899 it was incorporated as Fulper Pottery Co. still producing household items such as storage jars and Fire-Proof Cookware.
William H. Fulper II, grandson of Abram, was the moving force behind Fulper Pottery's production of art pottery. He possessed a gift for marketing and aware of current trends, saw profit potential for the Pottery in the field of art ware. In about 1909 he contracted with Dr. Cullen Parmelee, head of the ceramics department at Rutgers University, to develop Chinese-inspired art glazes which became highly popular, although achieving consistency of glaze was difficult.
During 1910, many of Dr. Parmelee's difficult and costly glazes were reformulated or discontinued and that same year Fulper hired engineer Martin Stangl to develop new glazes and shapes. While the original Parmelee line featured Oriental inspired shapes and glazes, Martin Stangl's shapes were Arts & Crafts styled and his glazes earthy and organic.
Fulper Pottery frequently participated in prominent exhibits of contemporary art and won several awards, including the Gold Medal of Honor at the Panama Pacific International Exposition at San Francisco in 1915. During the 1920s and early 1930s, Fulper Pottery Art ware was designed in Classical, Art Deco and Primitive styles. The pottery stopped producing art ware in 1935.