Vol. 1 Issue 12
Frankoma Pottery was founded by
John Frank. He established the
Ceramics Department for the
University Of Oklahoma in 1927. While
he was still working there, he founded
Frank Potteries in Norman, Oklahoma
in 1933. He used the clay he found in
Ada, Oklahoma. The clay came from a
deposit in the Arbuckle Mountains near
Ada; hence the name Ada clay. It was
light tan and was easy to indentify.
In 1934, the name of Frank Potteries
was changed to Frankoma Potteries.
It was decided that a combination of
the founder's name, Frank, and
Oklahoma would be used, due to the
fact that it was the only commercial
pottery in Oklahoma.
John Frank resigned from the
University in 1936 and began to work
full time at the factory. In 1938,
Frankoma Potteries was moved to
Sapulpa and was again renamed to
Frankoma Pottery. The new factory
was built by Grace Lee Frank's
carpentar father. Grace Lee was the
wife of John Frank.
In 1953, a new red clay had been
found near Sugar Loaf Hill, near
Sepulpa. By 1954, the transition from
Ada clay to the new red clay was
completed. During the 1980's, an
additive was used to strengthen the
clay and caused it to have a pink tinge.
The company produced decorative
figurals and vases marked with a
leopard as the Frankoma mark from
1936-1938. It was known as the Pot
and Puma logo. Pieces with this mark
are highly sought after by collectors.
In 1938, the entire plant was
destroyed by fire, including most of the
master molds. Undaunted by the fire,
the Franks did rebuild even after many
obstacles that crossed their path.
The Southwestern dinnerware was
created and introduced in 1942. The
signature line being Wagon Wheel. In
1947, the Mayan-Aztec line was
introduced. Later, many other lines
were introduced, such as; Oklahoma
Plainsmen, Lazybones, and Westwind.
Colors were added to represent the
flavor of the Southwestern themes.
They were: Prairie Green, Desert
Gold, White Sand, and Onyx Black.
Later on, new colors were also added,
including Woodland Moss, Brown Satin,
Peach Glow, Coffee, Clay Blue, Red
Bud, Turquoise, Sunflower Yellow,
Robin Egg Blue, and many others.
In 1971, John Frank was honored with
the Outstanding Small Businessman in
Oklahoma and the Outstanding Small
Businessman in America awards.
These awards were an outgrowth of
his many humanitarian deeds by
donating his time by speaking to
thousands of young people and adults
and gifts to churches, service
organizations, people in need, and
assisting young people to finish their
John Frank died in 1973. His daughter,
Joniece became President and CEO of
Frankoma Pottery for eighteen years.
During the company's peak success, in
1983, Frankoma Pottery was again
destroyed by fire. It was rebuilt, but
never totally recovered financially. It
was sold in 1991 to a Maryland
investor. In doing so, it ended the
family-owned era of Frankoma
Pottery. In 1996, John Frank's wife,
Grace Lee Frank,died.
1930's---Blue Gray Jade, Cherokee
Red, Desert Gold, Dove Grey, Fawn
Brown, Gunmetal, Ivory, Jade Green,
Old Gold, Onyx Black, Osage Brown,
Pompeian Bronze, Prairie Green,
Royal Blue, Verde Green
1940's---Dusty Rose, Peacock Blue,
Red Bud, Sky Blue, Silver Sage, White
1950's---Brown Satin, Buckskin Tan,
Clay Blue, Saddle Brown, Sorghum
Brown, Terra Cotta Rose, Turquoise
1960's---Flame, Peach Glow,
1970's---Autumn Yellow, Blue, Coffee,
Flat Black, Freedom Red, Robin Egg
Blue, Rubbed Bisque
1980's---Country Blue Mountain Haze,
Navy, Olive Green, Peach, Terra Cotta,
1990's---Bone, Cabernet, Cobalt,
Forest, Mauve, Plum, Teal
For a more detailed description and
dates of the colors: Click Here!
As of 8/23/2000, a notice had been
made by Frankoma Pottery that
Prairie Green and Desert Gold was to
be discontinued. This is a small excerpt
from the notice:
"We regret to inform you that
Frankoma will no longer be producing
Prairie Green/Desert Gold glazes.
We are unable to obtain the raw
materials necessary to produce the
quality product you have come to
know as being synonymous with
Frankoma Pottery. Therefore, we
have elected to discontinue these
glazes at this time.........Kandy
Steeples Retail Operations Manager"
Most Frankoma pieces are marked and
are easy to identify.
1933-1935----Frankoma marked in
black ink; the letter "o" was a small
1936-1939----Marked with an incised
puma with Frankoma in capital letters,
along with the 1933-1935 mark.
1940's-------Incised with Frankoma
with an oblong "o".
1950's-------A larger Frankoma
marking was incised.
After the 1950's--Mold Markings were
The Frankoma Family Collectors
Association website is an excellent site
to visit in order to get values of your
Frankoma pieces, as well as history,
purchasing pieces, and links to other
excellent sites. See "References" for
the link to this excellent website.
Frankoma Family Collectors Association
Andale Community News
"Official Price Guide to Pottery and
Porcelain" - 8th Edition - Harvey Duke
"Schroeder's Antiques Price Guide"
Next month's subject will be on Brockway Glass!
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