Featured Item – August 2011


Manufacturer: New Medalta Ceramics

Period: 1958

Description: Vase, New Medalta Ceramics, appears to be hand thrown, fired using stilts, a low vase with a bifurcate top with one side a bit higher than the other, the round plain base leads to concave sides that flare slightly outward at the rim on two sides, the other sides are pressed inward at the low spot of the S-shaped rim perhaps giving the vase a look of having two wide spouts, glazed finish, the larger half if is glazed in a dark green while the small or lower half is glazed in black, the black and green both edged with a yellow band & with a lighter yellow natural colour of the clay between the two & on the interior, ca. 13.5 cm. max. high on the one side x 12.4 cm. h. on the other side x 12.2 cm. max. l. x ca. 8.5 cm. max. w. x ca. 6.8 cm. dia. bottom,  stamped, dated 1958, excellent condition, weight as 348 grams.

History: Malcolm McArthur started with Medicine Hat Potteries and continued there when it became Hycroft China in 1955.  When ownership of the factory was taken over by Harry Veiner, McArthur went to work with Hop Yuill at Alberta Potteries in Redcliff,  Alberta, where he created the BBQ set (see Nov.2009 Archive).  When Hop left Alberta Potteries, “Mac” decided to open his own factory NEW MEDALTA CERAMICS on the old Medalta Potteries site in 1958.  After the disastrous fire six months later, he nonetheless managed to regroup and, with the backing of the Thrall family of Lethbridge, opened up Sunburst Ceramics in 1960.  With a parting of the ways in 1961, Mac decided to leave the pottery business.

His interest and enthusiasm about clay seems apparent from the many product designs he created in the various companies with which he was employed.  As well as designing the BBQ set, he had a hand in the design of the “Canadiana” plate series made by Medicine Hat Potteries and originated the shipping of ware in custom made cardboard boxes at that plant which had formerly used straw and crates.


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