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Blue Mountain Pottery

Blue Mountain Pottery was founded by Czech immigrant Josef Weider in around 1947. The pottery was based in Collingwood, Ontario, and was named after the neighbouring Blue Mountains.

The pottery initially began operations at the local ski resort where Josef Weider was an instructor. He decided to expand the resort to include a gift shop, from which they could sell their wares to tourists and skiers. Josef Weider employed fellow Czechs Dennis (Zdenek) Tupy and Mirek Hambálek, who were responsible for the development of moulds and glazes, respectively.

Items produced by this company feature a unique, trademarked glazing process known as “reflowing decorating”. Two different liquid glazes, one light and one dark in colour, were applied. During the firing process, the glazes would run, creating streaking patterns individual to each piece. The green variant of this glaze is said to be inspired by the surrounding spruce and pine trees. Other glazes were produced in blue and brown but the more desirable forms are ‘Harvest Gold’, ‘Autumn Mist’, ‘Cobalt Blue’, ‘Slate’ and ‘Mocha’.

The company increased production throughout the 1950s and by 1968 Josef Weider sold the company. After a few difficulties and a further sale, it was acquired by the International Silver Company of Canada in 1968 and would be run by Robert Blair from 1971. He would go on to buy the business in 1986 when the parent company went into receivership.

The company was very successful in Canada but also had a thriving export business. Over 60 per cent of the company’s production went abroad; two-thirds of this went to the USA, and the rest predominantly went to Europe and the UK.

Although the company was successful in the 1980s and 1990s, the lease came to an end, and with competition from Far Eastern makers, the company was forced to close to the public on 31st December 2004.

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