Tile Kiln

Tile Kiln

Books and Ebooks by the Author

A Highly unusual folk art concrete Jug made by S. P. Dinsmoor Outsider Artist

Not Sewer Pipe Pottery, but a folk art jug made by the outsider artist S. P. Dinsmoor.  File under some kind of related! 

Anyone who has studied American Folk / Outsider art environments is familiar with Steven Dinsmoor and his Garden of Eden.  This appears to be a less common period image. Apparently, Dinsmoor kept this handmade object at the foot of the concrete coffin he made...in case he had to grab some water. That is if he was going down instead of up.  It's hot down there.  See HERE and elsewhere for more pictures.  Let me know if you find a picture of the jug in place?  You might also enjoy the book / ebook In Situ: American Folk Art in Place by Jim Lindeman.  Available for purchase HERE on Blurb.  
Real Photo Postcard c. 1920 Collection Jim Linderman

Folk Art Bank Sewer Pipe Sewer Tile "End of the Day" sculpture pottery

A small handmade bank of sewer tile.  Rough, etched "bark" and applied clay grape clusters.  Slot for coins, but no way to remove them.  Circa 1930.  Collection Jim Linderman

Sewer Pipe Pottery Planter Built on Broken Pipe Sections

Sewer Pipe Pottery Planter Built on Broken Pipe Sections.  Waste not, want not.  A primitive planter made of sewer pipe clay filled around several broken pipe sections.  A fine, if unshapely example of "make-do" end of the day creation.  Likely Ohio.  Circa 1900.  Collection Jim Linderman

Animals in American Folk Art on Sewer Pipe Folk Art Pottery

Clearly, the end-of-day sewer pipe sculptures made by factory workers from the 19th and 20th centuries in the Midwest are one of the last (and least) recognized and appreciated folk art forms in the US.  While only one major book was produced on the topic (Jack Adamson's Illustrated Handbook of Ohio Sewer Pipe Folk Art in 1973) there are a few sources which brought the objects into light.  A perceptive chapter appears in Wendy Lavitt's Animals in American Folk Art from 1990: 

"Workers created these end of the day pieces for themselves, to give as presents or sell for extra income.  They modeled the leftover moist clay that if not used would have hardened into unusable lumps...As people discovered sewer-tile sculpture, the stoneware potteries themselves began using molds to re-create the most popular items such as the lion on a base.  However, most forms remained to sewer tile plants, with workers teaching their fellow workers, handing down "recipes" from the time that the first lion was made (probably about 1900) until well into the 1940s."  Both books are out of print, but often available from used book sources.

Reclining Dog Chewing on a Shoe. While handmade and signed on base "B.J." this was likely a "well-used" mold.  Lack of detail evident.   Collection Jim Linderman

Sewer Tile Pottery Carved Sculpture of African-American Brown Bomber Joe Louis

Joe Louis, the Brown Bomber was active in the late 1930's to the late 1940's.  Born in Alabama and moved to Detroit at age ten... after being visited by a gang of the Klan. Let's not let that happen again.  Best known for his professional record, but also for standing up for civil rights all his life.  In 1934, Louis won his first professional title (for which he earned $59.00) and went on to win all 12 of his fights in 1934, ten by knockouts.  
Fine brown clay with skilled hands, Titled by hand but note on base is illegible.


Joe Lewis clay sculpture Circa 1940  Collection Jim Linderman