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Victor Schreckengost
American designer

Jazz Bowl, 1931The American designer Viktor Schreckengost was born into a potting family in Ohio in 1906 and first learnt ceramics at his father’s pottery. He then studied at the Cleveland School of Art (now the Cleveland Institute of Art) and in 1929 trained in Vienna with Michael Powolny. He returned to the USA in 1930 and took up a teaching position at his former institute. He also worked for Reginald Guy Cowen at the Cowen Pottery Studio, designing modern, Jazz-influenced bowls, one of which was bought by Eleanor Roosevelt. The Jazz Bowl (pictured) was decorated with a bright blue slip and black glaze, which was scratched back sgraffito style, creating the now famous Jazz imagery. In 1935 he also designed the mass-produced dinnerware ‘Americana’ for American Limoges.

Schreckengost is a multitalented designer. He not only designed ceramics, but also toys, cars, bicycles and even a radar system for the US Army. It is estimated that every adult alive in the United States today has handled objects designed by Viktor Schreckengost or one of his students.

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