|Sebring Ohio Historical Society
126 North 15th Street
Sebring, Ohio 44672
|Art Grindley, Jr. has graciously allowed us use of the photos that follow. The photos
are copyrighted, and used with permission. If you would allow us to photograph or
would send us photos of your piece, we'd much appreciate it. We also accept tax
|The Grindley Artware Manufacturing Company made
figural pottery in Sebring, Ohio, from 1932 until 1952 on
East Maryland Avenue. It was founded by Arthur Grindley
Sr., an experienced potter who had worked for both French
China and Gem Clay. He had become bored with
dinnerware. Art Jr. joined him, and they created small
novelties and figurines for the mass market, firstly in the
father's basement, then a lot behind their house in a small
two story building with a small kiln from one of Sebring's
|Arthur K. Grindley
|Click here for a Gallery of
Arthur Grindley Personal
|Grindley and Ohio
Governor John Bricker
|Grindley hired two men and a woman trained in one of
England's largest potteries. One of the men was a designer who
had created many objects of art. His business rose steadily
until 1937, when it really took off due to Americans refusing to
buy Japanese products. They then built a sizeable pottery at the
cost of $20,000, and employed 175 people. He was quoted as
stating that 90% of pottery artware in the U.S. was made by his
plant. They manufactured 1,028 different articles, including
statues, busts, animals, comical figures, shoes, religious
objects, etc. Fire destroyed the plant to ashes February, 1947.
By December Arthur Jr. rebuilt the plant on the same site, with
employment peaking at 25, but faced heavy foreign competition.
They unionized in 1941 and had a strike in the same year. The
firm created dogs, cats, donkeys, oxen, bears, foxes, cows,
goats, elephants, birds, squirrels, skunks, camels and deer, but
is best known for an abundant production of horses. Many of the
figurines are Art Deco in form and sport creatively colored
glazes. The firm closed in September, 1952.
According to Grindley Pottery: A Menagerie by Mike Schneider,
there are several ways of identifying Grindley pieces.
1. Grindley made figurines, salt and peppers, planters, pitchers,
statues, busts, animals, comical figures, shoes, religious objects and
various other pieces.
2. The company employed an in-mold mark, Back stamp or paper label.
All but two include the work Grindley. Unfortunately paper labels were
used the most, which did not stand the test of time. However, many of the
paper labels were of unusual shape, and a mark might be left on the piece
still identifying it.
3. Many pieces were made in different colors, and those without a stamp
can be matched to others. Decoration might also be matched between
4. Glaze color follows certain trends within the pottery pieces. Also, a
gold line decorating a figurine was frequently employed.
5. A gold lock design was frequently used on pieces.
6. In the case of horses, gray hooves are the best identifier. Grindley
made more figurines of horses than any other subject.
7. Look for limited amounts of red paint brushed on with precise strokes.
It was used on the ears, eyes, nose and mouth of pieces. Tails were also
often painted red.
8. Paper labels and stamps could read: Grindley Ware, Grindley-ware,
Grindley, Grindley Art Mfg. Co., American Artware, Hand Painted
Made in the U.S.A.