Linna Vogel Irelan

Written By: Ed Shears

Linna Vogel von Fogelstein Irelan (1846 – 1914) was an American potter and author who was born in Germany. She was the first woman in California to work in ceramics and use purely California clays …

Linna Vogel von Fogelstein Irelan (1846 – 1914) was an American potter and author who was born in Germany. She was the first woman in California to work in ceramics and use purely California clays and materials. She founded the first art pottery west of Ohio and won numerous gold medals under the name of Robin Art Pottery. Her ancestors were the founders of the Royal Meissen China Works.

Linna Vogel Irelan’s Career

Linna Vogel von Fogelstein was born in 1846 in the town of Linna. A descendant of Colonel Guido Alexander Vogel von Fogelstein and a great-niece of Otto von Bismarck, she was born in the town of Fogelstein. Her forebears were among the original members of the University of Leipzig, which was established in the year 1550. Otto Heino (April 20, 1915 – July 16, 2009) and Vivika Heino (June 27, 1910 – September 1, 1995) were artists working in ceramics.

The wedding took place on November 14, 1870, in Leipzig, Germany, where she married William Irelan, Jr., a mining engineer, and consultant. Oscar was the couple’s only child.

Following that, they relocated to California, where William’s parents had relocated while he was away, and William began working in mining and scientific research while in California which work occupies his time and attention at the present time. He also taught mining chemistry, metallurgy, and other related subjects at a school he founded.

She worked the clays of California and founded the first art pottery studio in the state, producing the first products of its sort west of the Ohio River (North America). Roblin Art Pottery was her business name, and she won gold medals in shows under that name. She had a thorough understanding of pottery wares and manufacturing.

Irelan’s inherited taste and talent for pottery lines stemmed from her understanding that her ancestors were the creators of the Royal Meissen China Works of Saxony, which she learned about through family tradition.

The subject of her articles included a book on the use of clays and the creation of pottery in California, and she contributed to many of the leading periodicals on the subject of pottery, which was her area of expertise. She was widely regarded as a pioneer in the field of industrial art in the American West, and she was right.

Her publications were not limited to pottery alone; they also included papers on a variety of scientific topics, such as the World’s Geological Society and the Society of Natural and Applied Sciences of Europe.

Linna Vogel Irelan’s Style

Linna Vogel von Fogelstein Irelan's work has previously been displayed at the Hearst Art Gallery at Saint Mary's College. The "vase with clover" was the first piece created by the artist to be sold at auction, which took place at Rago Arts and Auction Center in 2020 - Artabys
Linna Vogel von Fogelstein Irelan’s work has previously been displayed at the Hearst Art Gallery at Saint Mary’s College. The “vase with clover” was the first piece created by the artist to be sold at auction, which took place at Rago Arts and Auction Center in 2020.

She was known mainly for her landscape paintings and pottery. One of my favorite pieces of her artwork is her green pottery vase with clover. This is also a favorite of many other folks as well. It’s earthenware, glazed vase in which she imprinted and signed cloverleaves.

In the years following her marriage to Wm J. Irelan, she lived at 1415 Geary Street and kept a studio at 3244 20th Street on the corner of Treat, where she created hand-painted Roblin Art Pottery for sale. As far as she could tell, she was the first white lady in California to engage in pottery-making.

Her oil and water colors (paintings of flower) still life, portraits, and landscapes were among her favorites. A large number of her rare works, many of which were destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and fire, are accurately represented in the style of the English School.

Linna Vogel Irelan’s Legacy

During her career as an oil and watercolor artist, she achieved distinction, obtaining the highest accolades at the California State, American Museum, San Francisco, Los Angeles and other state exhibits for her still-life paintings, contemporary art, ceramic art among other honors. She was also the first to introduce the leather plastique, often known as molded leather, which became popular in European capitals as well as the United States after her death. In 1935, Linna Vogel Irelan passed away.

My Favorite Studio Potters

A studio potter is a contemporary artist or artisan who either works alone or in a small group to create one-of-a-kind pieces of pottery in small quantities, with the majority of the work being completed by the potter themselves at every stage of the process.

Ceramics made in the studio can be used for both useful items like tableware and cookware and non-functional items like sculpture. Artists who work in the studio with clay are referred to as ceramicists, ceramists, or ceramicists, or they might simply be referred to as potters.

Beatrice Wood
Betty Woodman
Jane Hamlyn
Bernard Leach
David Leach
Janet Leach
Bruce Chivers
Bruce Winn
John Parker
Richard Parker
Edwin Scheier
Mary Scheier
Adelaide Alsop Robineau
Frederick Hurten Rhead
Patricia Charlotte Perrin
Billy AI Bengston
Erica Deichmann Gregg
Marianne de Trey
Dora De Larios
Gwyn Hanssen Pigott
Muere Hisae Yanase
Georges Jouve
Kjeld Deichmann
Peter Voulkos
Vivika Heino
Warrick Palmateer
Adrian Saxe
George E. Ohr
Robert C. Turner

Doreen Blumhardt
Gabriele Koch
Merric Boyd
Ralph Bacerra
Rose Cabat
Seth Cardew
Agnete Hoy
Wayne Higby
Barry Brickell
Edith Heath
Elizabeth Fritsch
Katherine Pleydell-Bouverie
Magdalene Odundo
Marguerite Wildenhain
Chris Dagradi
Melvino Garretti
Richard Slee
Colin Pearson
Stephen Jepson
Gladys Reynel
Helen Mason
Joanna Constantinidis
Judith Trim
Lisa Hammond
Lucie Rie
Marilyn Levine
Michelle Erickson
Gladys Reynell

Vanessa Hogge
Don Reitz
Paul Soldner
Real Estate
Dora Billington
Kirsten Abrahamson
Nola Barron
Feminizing Permanence
Jeannie Mah
John Maltby
Peter Stichbury
Richard Notkin
Rupert Deese
Gordon Baldwin
Kenneth Clark
Michael Casson
Peter Lange
Hans Coper
Svend Bayer
Walter Keeler
Margit Kovács
Rupert Spira
Sorcha Boru
Toshiko Takaezu
Pippin Drysdale
Tankut Öktem
Adelaïde Alsop Robineau
Billy Al Bengston

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