Thursday, August 2, 2012

Meet: Waylande Gregory

So,before I carry on with my topic today, I was talking to my mom the other day and casually asked her if she was reading my blog.  She replied, "oh.,.you know?  I haven't read it in about two or three weeks...whatcha been talking about?"   Uh...So now, we're going to do a little test for this lil' mama-o-mine.  Mom, if you're reading, the next time you speak to me, I want you to give me this code word:  "Pumper Nickel Pickle." That will prove that you're reading this blog that I spend every night working on until midnight...

Courtesy The Now Stylebook
Sorry ya'll had to witness that shakedown.  Now, onto my latest love...

My latest obsession is with Waylande Gregory.  He is considered to have defined American Style.  Think of an uber ceramicist before Jonathan Adler's time.   Born in the early 1900's, Waylande helped shape the art decor era with his innovative ceramics.  His talent was apparent at an early age when he won first prize at the Kansas State Fair.  By the time he was eighteen, he was managing thirty craftsmen in the elaborate interior design of the famous Roosevelt Hotel.  He went on to design at Cowen Pottery in Cleveland and became the resident artist at the Cranbrook Academy.  He moved to NYC where he focused on his terra cotta sculptures. 
Courtesy of Gumps
The Capital File

Courtesy of Luxe Object's Facebook

The Curved Leopard Box at Zhush

Blue and Gold Greek Key Tray at Zhush

Waylande Gregory's later years became controversial when he met a well-to-do couple, The Farmers, who desired to financially support an art center in honor of Waylande Gregory located in Middlefield, Massachusetts. Tragically, Mr. Farmer murdered his wife before the project completed and Waylande was tarnished by the association (and years of controversy and law suits). In later years before his death in 1971, he sort of tucked himself away and out of the spotlight. 
Courtesy of Luxe Object Facebook
Large Giraffe Box at

After the discovery of an immense treasure trove of work in the basement of the Gregory Estates Philanthropic Foundation, Waylande Gregory Studios was founded by Gregory's great-grand nephew Bryan Downey and fashion entrepreneur Mickey Rosarin.   His ceramics can be found at fine stores such as Bergdorf Goodman and Nieman Marcus.

Salt and Pepper Shakers, Courtesy of

I happened to first spot the treasures in the shop of one of my favorite bloggers, Sue from The Zhush.    Her shop is not only loaded with fantastic Waylande Gregory pieces, it has an assortment of unique decor accessories.  Definitely worth the visit (and no, I'm not paid to endorse Zhush in any way, I just know a great find when I spot it). 

You'll love what we have on Pinterest


Tiffany @ {Living Savvy} said...

Thank you so much for the info... I love all of the pieces you showed! I will be keeping my eye out for his work... or pieces I could copy cat! Love them!

Anonymous said...


Jessie said...

Thanks for the introduction. Some of the pieces look familiar but I have no idea who made them. The giraffe box, the greek key tray, grid bowl and the circle bowl are some of my favorites! It's so unfortunate that this talented man was associated with such a tragic situation and got his name tarnished.

Anyway, I love reading about his background. Good post, Heather. Enjoy the rest of your day!


Unknown said...

Hi! You are so cute.. your comment totally made me smile :) It's so nice to meet you! x Sarah

Unknown said...

Thanks for the lovely mention!:)