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Early Eric Hellman Swirl Pottery

no.033 2010-11-01 rev

We found a few Eric Hellman's swirl pots with incised "EH" marks. Two bottles were thrown with a light brown clay much like Lee described as "colored clay" (with Garden of the Gods ink stamps).

The top "EH" appears more deliberately even experimentally incised. It may be the earlier pot. The other looks "old hat".

Our next example is a Hellman swirl-painted vase with slightly browner clay and again with incised markings. For this large piece "Colorado Springs" has been replaced with "Garden of The Gods", the caps of most letters have a flourish and the space saving "EH" has been replaced with "Eric Hellman".

Our final vase shows a variation of Hellman's early swirl pottery with a redder and coarser clay body. Again it has an incised "Made in Garden of the Gods".

We know Eric Hellman made pottery at different locations in the Colorado Springs area: his primitive studio at Strausenback's Indian Trading Post in 1932 (link), Hassell Iron Works the next year and Broadmoor Art Pottery and Tile Company (link) at least through the 1935 tourist season. Like so many potters at the time Hellman also likely maintained a studio at home.

We believe this pottery was made mostly in the 1930s until the outbreak of the war.

Please contact us if you have insights on this or other topics. Thank you.