This collection contains catalogs, price lists,
designs, photographs, and ceramic objects documenting the history of Decora
Ceramics, and its predecessor, Ylyne Studio, makers of Smithware and Florencita,
circa 1947-1953. The firms were founded and co-owned by Smith Russell (1895-1979),
Pomona College class of 1917, and his son Bill.
Smith Russell (1895-1979) was born in Lincoln, Illinois, the son of a faculty member
at Lincoln University. In 1904, the family settled in Claremont, where Smith's
father, William Polk Russell, had taken a position as instructor in mathematics at
Pomona College. Smith graduated from Pomona College in 1917. He began his career in
ceramics in 1946 by purchasing Yylyne Studio in Los Angeles, whose assets at that
time consisted of a single employee, a small electric kiln, a small mixer for making
slip, a paint booth, glazes and some molds. Smith began develioping proprietary
glazes and designed new articles which were painted, glazed and fired essentially
one item at a time.
3 boxes (19 folders and 7 ceramic objects).
For permission to publish or to reproduce, please contact Honnold/Mudd Library,
Special Collections staff.