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I’ve Made My Mark! Pottery Maker’s Marks

I’ve Made My Mark! Pottery Maker’s Marks

I’ve always had trouble with signing my pots.  Nothing seems to signify “Me”.

And, as you know from the Antiques Road Show, pottery’s makers’ marks are significant and through time tell a lot about a place, culture, styles of the time, and the financial situation of the time.  Potter’s marks also change and history follows that progression to learn about the sociology of that time and place.  Pottery can be such a significant legacy to leave behind!


When it said that we are making Future Relics, it’s true!  Check out the blog by that name – I love the name of the blog, “Future Relics” – so apropos!
In deciding what to do about a potters mark, I decided to look at some old pottery.  It is fascinating and the maker’s marks tell the story of the artist.  A good resource for researching potter’s marks is:  International Ceramics Directory
My mom started collecting a few Van Briggle pottery pieces and I have added to that collection a bit, so I’ll use their pottery markings as an example.  A website dedicated to the work of Clement Marot Hull, a Van Briggle potter, demonstrates the various types of markings on Van Briggle Pottery.

So it has become increasingly important for me to come up with a good pottery stamp or mark for my pots.
Previously, I have signed pots like this:

I don’t think that my mark was very professional and definitely didn’t add to the artistic nature of my work!  It was simply a conjoined MW for Marian Williams.
In an endeavour to correct this problem, I had a former student get a chop made for me while he was in China – Thanks Bruce!!!.  Unfortunately, it didn’t make a deep enough mark on the clay, but I loved the design!
Recently, I emailed Tools 4 Clay to see if they could make a stamp from the chop.  Joel Socwell worked out what I wanted in a stamp and made the chop.  I highly recommend their services if you are wanting a stamp!  They were great to work with and really did a great job!  Their website is


Here is the result!  I love it and I think that it will be more professional and more ME!!

Only one little problem…it is so small, I was afraid that I might lose it!  So I had my wonderful husband, Ron, drill a hole (sorry to!) and he added a copper wire to provide a handle for the stamp!  Brilliant!  I can hang it up and shouldn’t lose it!

Here is the mark made by the new stamp from Tools 4 Clay! I think it looks awesome!
Written by Marian Williams


  1. B. Rogers, Living in Black Mountain · January 20, 2013

    Great progression of the story, and I bet it looks great, the final pic is slightly out of focus. I’m sure you’ll have another one to let us see it again…and again and again! It is beautiful!

  2. Anna · January 21, 2013

    great design Marian. I am still considering my mark and whether to change to a stamp, nice to have the company name in case I go that way.

  3. bruingeek · January 21, 2013

    I’ll second your support for the people over at I needed a stamp done in a rush for a non-profit fund raiser and Joel Socwell made sure that the turnaround was quick, even over the Christmas holiday season. Of course, I have not made a firm decision on a stamp for myself…but I am getting there 🙂

  4. Marian Williams · January 21, 2013

    Thanks for the second to my motion!!! They are exceptional! Thanks for Joel’s name as well!!! I had a big email cleanup and couldn’t find his name on the website – now I can add his name to the post! Thanks! And thanks for reading and commenting!

  5. Lori Buff · January 22, 2013

    Hi, thanks for the complements, I’m so glad you like my blog. I like your design, it’s such a personal thing it’s really good to see how much thought and effort you put into it. I used Tools 4 Clay to make my stamp too, they are terrific.

  6. DelaneyJohn · August 14, 2013

    it looks great, the final pic is slightly out of focus. I’m sure you’ll have another one to let us see it again…and again and again! It is beautiful! realr i like
    pottery makers

  7. Sandra Gavin Davis · November 24, 2014

    I have a piece of pottery marked MW using the right line of the M and the left line of the W like you do with your script MW….but this is not’s printed block letters. Could this be one of your pieces?

    • Marian Williams · November 24, 2014

      Hi! Wow! It would be an old one if it is??? What does it look like? I haven’t done that in ages! Thanks for reading!

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