Russel Wright Dinnerware

August 13, 2009

Greetings decor8 readers! I’m Heather Spriggs Thompson and Holly has graciously asked me to present Hunting and Gathering, my weekly post over on Gathering Spriggs, which features vintage collectibles in modern spaces. It is such an honor to share some of my finds with you today. Without further ado, allow me to introduce the fabulous Modern era designer, Russel Wright.

Although I adore his warm pastel color palette and sculptural lines, what I love the most about Wright, is his concept of bringing vogue design into everyday living of the 1940’s-60’s. Although some of his melmac (melamine resin) pieces are quite affordable he also created high-end designs for the serious collector. You may not have much luck finding Russel Wright wares at thrift stores anymore, but you can purchase recreations of his famed American Modern collection at Bauer Pottery.

Here are some pieces that I found online that I adore…

Russel Wright Dinnerware

left top: Modern Nest, top right: Karapegg, bottom left: Back Home Again Vintage, bottom right: Artnet.

Russel Wright Dinnerware

Bauer Pottery.

Russel Wright Dinnerware

Back Home Again Vintage

Russel Wright Dinnerware

More Ways to Waste Time

Russel Wright Dinnerware

Ooh Food

Russel Wright Dinnerware


Russel Wright Dinnerware

Antique Helper

I’m craving one of his curvilinear pink pitchers or teal tea pots!  They are retro cool yet still refined and sophisticated. I think I will design my new kitchen around his American Modern collection.

How about you? What are your favorite RW pieces? Do you collect RW? Heather

(images linked to their source above)


  • Reply Erica Cottrill August 13, 2009 at 8:26 am

    Reminds me of Fiesta, but has much more fluid lines. Gorgeous pastels!

  • Reply Sam August 13, 2009 at 8:26 am

    I’ve been craving a set of his coffee cups/saucers in dark gray. Need to start searching for those again!
    .-= Sam´s last blog ..Midweek Inspirations: Pretty Porcelain =-.

  • Reply Tricia McKellar August 13, 2009 at 8:30 am

    Heather, these are lovely! I love the tones. I just don’t have room to collect a lot of dishes, so I have a plain white set and try to mix it up with a few pieces of something different. The pitchers are my favs! :)
    .-= Tricia McKellar´s last blog ..SALE. Set of Four 5×5 Photographs, You Choose Any 4 Square Photographs, Fine Art Photographs by Tricia McKellar =-.

  • Reply Victoria Klein August 13, 2009 at 8:50 am

    Wow – so very beautiful! I don’t collect RW pieces, but I can easily see why someone would. Their shades on the new collection are just ethereal :)

  • Reply City Chic - Jamie August 13, 2009 at 8:55 am

    I adore these color combinations. I especially like the white shelves holding all of the dishes with the gorgeous wall color behind it. So pretty!
    .-= City Chic – Jamie´s last blog ..Day Trip to Chicago =-.

  • Reply Tricia - Avolli August 13, 2009 at 9:26 am

    The pieces in the last image are my FAVORITE. While I don’t collect them I would certainly start if given the opportunity….SO beautiful. The colors, subtle shapes, etc are perfection.

    Tricia – Avolli
    .-= Tricia – Avolli´s last blog ..The Pursuit of the Perfect Purse =-.

  • Reply leslie August 13, 2009 at 9:59 am

    Such a colorful post Heather!!! I love the teal pieces and that photograph of all the dished next to the aqua wall is gorgeous!!! I will check out the link to Bauer now -Thank you!
    .-= leslie´s last blog ..Jumping at The Getty =-.

  • Reply michele August 13, 2009 at 10:14 am

    gorgeous shapes, and colours, how I would love to design a tea cosy for the buttery yellow teapot, maybe a swan, or a beautiful bird design.
    .-= michele´s last blog .. =-.

  • Reply Vintage Aurora August 13, 2009 at 10:26 am

    I love it!!!
    .-= Vintage Aurora´s last blog .. =-.

  • Reply claire August 13, 2009 at 11:00 am

    Such pretty colors!
    .-= claire´s last blog ..Cool Cuff =-.

  • Reply Kim August 13, 2009 at 11:13 am

    I adore all of these! If I had enough space in my kitchen I would buy them all! The colors are just fab!
    .-= Kim´s last blog ..She Couldn’t Resist the Urge to Cha-Cha =-.

  • Reply simply hue August 13, 2009 at 11:41 am

    Wow, beautiful selections, Heather! Such a gorgeous post. :)
    .-= simply hue´s last blog ..Spotlight on Photographers, Day 8 =-.

  • Reply Haley August 13, 2009 at 11:57 am

    ohhhh I just found this awesome Bauer tea set in this prop warehouse in LA. The man sold it to me for $25. I had no idea what it was, then the next day I went to the Rose Bowl flea market and a man specializing in Bauer pottery said that it could be worth over $350. It was such a lucky find!

    You can see a small photo of it on my blog here:

    and here’s a direct link to the photo:
    .-= Haley´s last blog ..What do you do with the mad that you feel? =-.

  • Reply Lydia August 13, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    I had some of this as a kid, I played with it in my sandbox! *shudder*

  • Reply MichelleP August 13, 2009 at 12:49 pm

    OH man, this is not helping with my pitcher addiction! Now I may have to add creamers & teapots -those sassy curves are too gorgeous.
    .-= MichelleP´s last blog ..Photography Bug =-.

  • Reply Nicole August 13, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Bauer Pottery is such a great find! It’s new to me…I hope they get an online gift registry going soon, so I can share it with my brides. I think it would be so helpful as nesters try to find something a bit outside of the Pottery Barn norm.
    .-= Nicole´s last blog ..Locale Lovelies: Virginia, Part Two =-.

  • Reply Heather- Gathering Spriggs August 13, 2009 at 3:18 pm

    wow. i love reading your comments! thanks for the kind words. Haley, omg. I can’t believe you found such a treasure . thanks for the pic! so fun to hear your stories of Russell Wright . Lydia, I can’t believe RW pottery was in your sandbox! So funny!! lol.
    .-= Heather- Gathering Spriggs´s last blog ..Autumnal Inspirations =-.

  • Reply Tara August 13, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    I collect pink and white from the Iroquis line. They are amazing looking and hold up well for everyday (microwave/dishwasher) use. Old stuff is always better than new!

  • Reply Jennifer August 13, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    I’ve always loved Russel Wright! The blue dishes that were made are my favorite!
    .-= Jennifer´s last blog ..O Lovelies =-.

  • Reply Petergaye Kisielewicz/yahgie August 13, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    My favorite dishware is from Modern Nest. RW pottery are like works of art. Love it! Love it!
    .-= Petergaye Kisielewicz/yahgie´s last blog ..Lazy Friday-sleep, relax and be calm =-.

  • Reply puglypixel August 14, 2009 at 2:17 am

    You know, this is the first I’ve heard of RW. Lovin it! All my dishes are mis-matched and though I’m okay with it, I’d love any of these. The pastel colors are just lovely!

  • Reply Magdalena August 14, 2009 at 3:44 am

    Gorgeous pottery, simple look and lovely colours.
    .-= Magdalena´s last blog ..Vintage cameras =-.

  • Reply Sophie @ Century Finds August 14, 2009 at 9:48 am

    I love Russel Wright. The colors, the fluid shapes…
    They make seriously amazing looking collections. You have put together such a lovely set of photos to showcase this!
    .-= Sophie @ Century Finds´s last blog ..Fantastical Creatures =-.

  • Reply Penny Patten August 16, 2009 at 10:16 am

    Pretty, pretty, pretty, love the colors.
    .-= Penny Patten´s last blog ..Name My Birds,(Chickens that is…) Contest =-.

  • Reply Rachel August 16, 2009 at 8:57 pm

    i LOVE the curves!!! the tea sets, pitchers and dish with covers are my favorites but i don’t mind collecting every possible piece:) i love the whites and beiges.
    .-= Rachel´s last blog ..Shop of the Week: Whimsical Works =-.

  • Reply Jamie August 17, 2009 at 1:43 am

    It’s like the new Fiestaware. Gorgeous!
    .-= Jamie´s last blog ..weekend party time =-.

  • Reply Amy August 17, 2009 at 2:40 am

    I’ve been collection RW for a few years and it’s so difficult to find but I found an online auction and bid on 2 huge lots and mistakenly won both! Luckily for me, I have a very understanding husband.

    I love the American Modern line and have a set my mom bought for my wedding shower and now I have many, many, many pieces in grey. I figure it’s the perfect neutral to my other set.

  • Reply Mandi Johnson August 17, 2009 at 8:45 am

    Oh man!! I just put a pair of light grey cups and saucers in my Etsy shop, but I am seriously considering just keeping them and starting a collection. The forms are just to die for.
    .-= Mandi Johnson´s last blog ..The Second Enstalment of Wedding Photos =-.

  • Reply yael September 7, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    I have been collection Russel Wright’s Iroquois collection for a few years and have amassed close to a full set.

    The ice blue color is my favorite.
    .-= yael´s last blog ..Obsession: Elizabeth Cole Jewelry =-.

  • Reply Marj September 13, 2009 at 9:50 pm


    After many years of being stored we unpacked a set of Russell Wright dishes.

    To our disappointment there is a very strange odor coming from most of the pieces. We have dishwashed,hand washed, used Comet, used bleach, used being in the sun trying to eleminate this odor.

    The odor kind of smells like a musty smell with other smells. It is hard to describe.

    Any ideas on what to do to rid the dishes of the odor?

    Thanks so much

  • Reply Deborah Schrodt October 31, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    Many thanks for the fantastic photo’s of this collection of RW dishes. I have collected these for a few years now and i love it when i see more of this on
    the web.


  • Reply Fran November 15, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    Great post. A couple of questions for the experts:

    1. How can I tell the new Bauer pieces from the vintage ones?

    2. Can the vintage RW pottery be used in the microwave?


  • Reply Leana November 16, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    I’ve been collecting for years and it’s addictive. I now have over 500 pieces. My set is American Modern in the Black Chutney color. I still buy Russel Wright items in any style or color when I find it at a GOOD price. I currently have a grey set of the American Modern — close to 100 pieces including most serving pieces for sale if any one is interested or if you just need a particular piece you can contact me.

  • Reply Blue Willow China January 18, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Wow I just adore this set of dinnerware! Reminds me of the Fiestaware my step mom loved to use when I was a teenager.

  • Reply myrava February 21, 2010 at 11:09 am

    I have inherited a set of RW dinnerware……love it ! gorgeous. I see no reason to not be able to use in the microwave or dishwasher. Am I correct ? (Anxiously awaiting.

  • Reply Gail Shochet July 21, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    I seem to be coming across a lot of RW; I have a bunch of Iroquois in my Etsy shop and just bought a big lot of American Modern at an auction. It is such a pleasure to handle and so easy on the eyes. I was hooked the day I found a Granite Gray American Modern bowl in the thrift store, and the RW in my house seems to be multiplying week by week!!

  • Reply Erin Matlack October 29, 2010 at 2:00 am

    Hi guys,

    I have long been a Fiestaware enthusiast, so that type of pottery with its vivid colors and shiny lacquer definitely appeals to me.

    Recently I was at a yard sale and came across the most interesting looking pitcher. It was obviously well-made, “seafoam green” in color, and 1950s looking in design. I had never heard of Russel Wright before but found his imprint on the bottom. I knew I had “Something” I just didn’t know what!! I bought the pitcher for $2. I definitely have the Steubenville not the modern Oneida.

    For sale!!
    I love it, just need the money more than the pitcher. Some day when I am financially able I will be a collector. Until then, must forego it in pursuit of the almighty dollar.

    Anyone have a suggestion as to what I might sell it for? And, is anyone interested?

    Thanks guys!! PS Lovely photos, the collection is stunning.

  • Reply Janie Walsh December 9, 2010 at 10:44 am

    Hey, I appreciated your nice comments. I love blue and white. It is so fresh and clean looking. You have done a great job. Looks elegant…

  • Reply Steve Burkett January 17, 2011 at 12:58 am

    My family owns the remaining inventory of Steubenville pottery mainly Russel Wright. My grandfather was a foreman at the pottery and purchased the remaining inventory when in closed in 1959. We are currently searching for a buyer to purchase all of the remaining inventory. If interested please contact me.

    • Reply Valerie Shearer August 9, 2016 at 3:23 am

      Ok. Five years later . . I am very interested in Russel Wright dinnerware – if there is any available.
      But I am very very interested in your story , , mI am a historian writing a history of pottery production, politics and people in Ohio in th e19th century . I would love to hear about your family and Steubenville.
      Anytime that you are available.

      Valerie Shearer, Ph.D.
      Athens, Ohio

      • Reply Jeanette weber October 16, 2016 at 11:49 am

        I have quite a bit of RW dinnerware. My grandmother used to work at the Iroquois China factory in Solvay NY where much was made. If you are interested in buying any of it, please let me know.

  • Reply Floyd Lorenz December 3, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    A couple of the pieces at Bauer Pottery have similar ribbing to Fiesta Ware.
    How are they marked ? I’ve not found those anywhere yet. RW isn’t very
    plentiful in our area antique stores. Pretty many at various on line sites though.

  • Reply Kelley January 31, 2014 at 3:54 am

    I love the Russel Wright style and I was thrilled to find this on my weekly stop at my neighborhood thrift store. I’m sure it’s new owner will love it too!

  • Reply carrie January 9, 2015 at 5:14 pm

    I’ve been collecting ra for 15 years. I have mostly American modern. Also a few Iroquois casual. My prized pieces are a set of original hull pinch flatware.

    Also I have several plaid tablecloths. Mostly collect seafoam; but have bean brown; chartreuse; grey and coral.

  • Reply Carole July 31, 2016 at 11:49 pm

    I have quite a few pieces in gray and green that I inherited. Does color matter? Mine must be from Steubenville because I remember them from the 1950s.

  • Reply NANCY W BOUTWELL August 13, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    Can anyone say if it is safe to put the Steubenville Modern America dinnerware in the dishwasher? I can’t find a definitive answer anywhere! I just got an amazing deal at an estate sale on a large set of seafoam green and chartreuse dishes and serving pieces. I would love to sell some of it. Any suggestions on where and how to determine fair prices?

  • Reply LoyAnn McLendon January 9, 2017 at 4:42 am

    I just found a set of marked Russel Wright Steubenville pottery, but I can’t find any info on it anywhere. It is definitely ‘modern’ in appearance, but it has a rabbit motif on each piece. The background is gray. Any help would be appreciated.

  • Reply Paige Cameron March 22, 2017 at 10:28 pm

    I just acquired a nice size set of this pottery full place settings and serving pieces. It is a brown color(ripe apricot) I think. I don’t know anything about it. It was my grandmothers. Would love to find out more.

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