(Part one of a two-part series)

Why not? Burley Clay pottery is American made. It is made in Ohio. It is hand made by talented artisans whose skills have been passed from generation to generation. Generations of families that have been born and raised in Eastern Ohio.

Some History
Eastern and Southeastern Ohio is rich in clay, and its pottery history dates to Native Americans, the original inhabitants of the Ohio Country.  From 1840 to about 1967, hundreds of great American potteries were producing wares in Ohio. Some of those being Weller, McCoy, Hull, and Roseville. In 1840, clay, particularly suited for making yellow ware, was discovered along the Ohio River banks by James Bennett, an Englishman.  Homer Laughlin introduced white ware to the American public in 1872. More than 50% of the ceramics produced in America between 1840 and 1930 were manufactured by Ohio potteries. The two most prominent areas being East Liverpool, often called the “Pottery Capital of the World,” and the areas around Roseville, Zanesville, and Crooksville. McCoy, Weller, and Roseville potteries in Eastern Ohio established themselves as successful businesses and the area eventually became known as the “Pottery Belt” and “Clay Corridor.”

east liverpool

In 1893, the Arts and Crafts Movement began to influence the pottery industry in Ohio. Many potteries began to create art pottery as well as their home use jugs and crocks. After the turn of the century, Ohio became a leader in art pottery production. However, after World War II, and the introduction of foreign competitor’s products, most of these Ohio companies closed their doors.

In 1923, Zane W. Burley and his brother, Dr. Samuel V. Burley founded the Burley Clay Products Company. Prior to that founding, several members of the Burley family were involved in the pottery business. Stoneware crocks and jugs for home use were the original items of manufacture. Since 1933, Burley Clay’s production began to focus on more decorative products for the garden such as bird baths and planters.

Burley Clay Products formed a marketing alliance with The Robinson Ransbottom Pottery Company in 1996. Under this special alliance, Burley produced nearly all the birdbaths and pedestals sold under the Robinson Ransbottom brand from 1996 until 2002. In 2003, the Burley name became forefront in the lawn and garden market with a new custom designed line of birdbaths and garden planters. Robinson Ransbottom ceased operations in 2005. Today, Burley Clay pottery is the only American made, handmade stoneware manufacturer of garden pottery operating in Southeastern Ohio.

Pottery has a long and rich history in the Eastern and Southeastern areas of Ohio. Sadly, with the influx of imported goods, many potteries have closed. Burley Clay pottery has remained strong by watching trends and changing as consumer’s tastes change. Today’s consumer knows that American-made means quality and value. Recently, the Burley Pottery team decided to ground themselves and refocus on their strength – the manufacture of unique, handmade, American made pottery.

That’s why Burley Clay Pots!


Burley Clay Products is proud to offer beautiful, American-made products. Currently our products are sold in lawn and garden stores, nurseries, specialty birding stores, and hardware stores across the United States and Canada. We also offer our products through our online store, Burley Pottery Online at burleyclaystore.com or our walk-in store, Burley Clay Pottery Store located at 455 Gordon Street Roseville, Ohio. Call us 740-697-0221.