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"w" signature
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QUESTION: I have just found two vases that I believe are Jorge Wilmot's--they both to have what seems to be a "W" on them. I unfortunately cannot find any pictures online of them to be able to confirm if they are in fact his. They have square bases and are about 6.5 inches tall and as they get taller the square gets smaller. They both have a blue butterfly on one side. If you could help me out by identifying them and potentially pricing them I would really appreciate it!

ANSWER: Dear Alicia,

Thank you for your recent question. Yes, you do hold two Jorge Wilmot vases. The value of the vases in excellent condition, i.e., no chips, cracks or discoloration would be between $15 and $25 dollars for the set. I have listed a link to a like set of glasses with a similar pattern for reference. You will want to view the fourth photo from the left entitled "Tolana Mexican Ceramic Butterfly".

http://www.etsy.com/listing/258833840/jorge-wilmot-ceramic-tonala-modernist

I hope this helped you. If you have further questions, please feel free to contact me any time in the future. I am always at your service. Please rate my service to you. Thank you kindly.

Sincerely,
Ms Ti Phillips
Earth Stoke 'N Fire Pottery Studio and Artist Retreat
www.earthstokenfire.com

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi! Thank you so much for responding! I wasn't able to find any other information on the internet. I did have another person respond saying that the vases were worth upwards of 500$. I'm not sure why they would price it so high. Is any of Wilmot's work that expensive? If so, what makes it so?

Answer
Dear Alicia,

Thank you for your follow up question. Pottery valuation depends of many different factors. Probably the most primary factor is the artist themselves and the time period in which the pottery was made. As for this artist, he was considered an exceptional artist because of his introduction of stoneware pottery into the Mexican community. Mexican pottery was and still is primarily made from earthenware. His work is of the 20th century, which in itself causes much artistic devaluation as there are few collectors of true artwork as there were in the 18th and 19th century. People today have been brought up in the world of plastic and throw away crafts and do not see the arts as something to appreciate. And as most collectors and artists are aware, art is usually not popular until the artist has long passed away. Take for instance Van Gogh who struggled all of his life to make a living with his art only to die and then become famous.

The next valuation is the popularity of the medium. In this case, pottery. As for Mexican pottery, the most popular and most collectible are the Pueblo potters such as Marie Martinez who worked in black pottery and became popular because of her smooth surfaces called burnishing, a method in which a stone is used to smooth the clay surface. Her works was recognized nationally when she was invited to the White House to see the president.

Finally, style is part of the valuation. When the work is made, the artist is usually working off of the current style or form that is popular for the time frame. Much like clothing styles, i.e., bell bottoms and tank tops. Once the style runs its course, it is no longer popular and thus no longer desired. It then becomes a matter of taste for those few collectors who enjoy collecting from a particular artist or from a particular time frame or for a particular style.

The sad part about valuation today is that there are so many formats in which artistic items can be sold such as EBay, Itsy, Amazon and so on. Each seller places a price on their item usually based on another sellers item. And usually they price their item higher to get a better price, thus, as more sellers sell like items, the price continues to rise, overpricing the items worth. Although your first quote may have been in the $500 range, this may have been the highest price this person found, giving you an inflated valuation.

I find it highly unlikely that your vases would be in this price range due to several reasons. The first is primarily the pricing of a majority of his pieces. Even the most sought after pieces bring no more than a few hundred dollars, but entail multiple stoneware pieces, detailed hand building of the clay object and exceptional glaze work. Your vases are simple slab pieces with quick glaze brush work flower and butterfly design.

Next, there are several pieces listed on several sites with the same glaze work coloring and brush work that are ranging in price under $150, but are much larger pieces and have more detail brush work.

Now with this said, you are welcome to have your pieces appraised. However, the cost of appraisal will far outweigh the value of the pieces. But if you choose this route, please select a reputable appraiser. One that appraises Mexican art.

My suggestion to you is if you are a collector, hold onto the pieces and display them. Pass them to your children and to their children. The will be worth more as the years grow as Wilmot is a known artist and is known for a particular introduction, stoneware to Mexico. This will keep his name in the art sector.

If you choose to sell them. Begin with a listing of $50 to start. Then work down if you do not sell after a few tries. But I would not let them go for anything less than $25 if they are in excellent condition.

I hope this information enlightens you about the valuation of pottery art. Please let me know if I can be of further assistance to you. Have a wonderful day and please rate my service to you.

Sincerely,
Ms Ti Phillips
Earth Stoke 'N Fire Pottery Studio and Artist Retreat
www.earthstokenfire.com  

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Ti Phillips

Expertise

Will answer any questions on hand building, wheel, glaze, firing. Speciality questions to include those in glaze calculation and development, firing techniques. Please do not send questions on identifying pottery. Although I would love to add this to my question topics, I have a retreat to run as well as the studio and volunteering on AllExperts, and therefore do not have the available time to research indentification and marks. Thank you for understanding.

Experience

Experience includes 30 years in pottery design and education. Have taught online and studio classes worldwide for the last 20 years. Own a pottery retreat specializing in firing techniques. Have 12 years solid experience in glaze calculation and formulation as well as problem solving in glaze chemistry. I am the first potter in the United States to have developed a complete package of pottery equipment blueprints for a studio. The blueprints include wheels, kilns, studio furniture, wedgeboards, raku kilns, slab rollers, ball mills and studio tools.

Organizations
Alliance of Pottery Artists Worldwide Association

Publications
Ceramic Industry - PPP Wyndstryder Press - Pottery Journal

Education/Credentials
University of Sciences and Art's of Oklahoma, studied under Professor Jaymes Dudding.

Awards and Honors
Potter of the year with APAWA, various awards for showmanship and design.

Past/Present Clients
Available upon request.

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