The black/brownish color palette was
completed with random olive green
accents that were created by spots
and blotches of thin, transparent and
sometimes runny black pigment over
the ochre grounds.
In the late spring of 1929, Stoin
and his family moved to Monmouth,
Illinois, where he expected to expand
the art pottery division of the Western
Stoneware Company, a conglomerate
of seven potteries. However, a factory
fire and economic problems imperiled
the enterprise. Though a few pieces of Stoin pottery were issued for the 1929
Monmouth pottery line, he returned to Ohio before year’s end.
In 1931, Stoin accepted an invitation from Arkansas entrepreneur Charles Dean
Hyten to diversify production at the Niloak Pottery in Benton. His first collection,
Hywood Art Pottery, included sixty-two wood-fired shapes decorated with nine
unique, secret glazes. The collection was a stunning success, but a disagreement
between Stoin and Hyten sullied future collaborations. Later, Hywood by Niloak,
a substitute line with less-complicated glazes, was designed by Howard S. Lewis.
Niloak technicians could not replicate Stoin’s glazes.
After Stoin’s return to Ohio in March 1932, somber-colored variations of
sponged glazes dominated his wares for the Burley & Winter Pottery Company
in Crooksville. Though Stoin was capable of producing expertly carved surface
decorations, he preferred simple forms covered with migrating stains, dripping hues
and complex gestalt configurations to convey lyrical abstractions of emotions. His
interest in dynamic equilibrium, kinetic energy, and other kinds of motion — in
many ways reminiscent of Leonardo da Vinci’s studies of moving water and waves
— was sustained by daily interaction with dervish-like movements of spinning clay
and the forms pulled from them.
By the mid-1930s, Stoin was working as a production specialist with investor
J. Burgess Lynhart, part owner and developer of the National Pottery Company in
Roseville, Ohio. In addition to plates and other useful items, the pottery produced
a well-known line distributed by the Robinson Ransbottom Pottery Company
that included vases, jugs, and other containers decorated with green spill glazes
over blackish, brown, or orchid-colored grounds. Those wares may have been
Stoin’s last efforts with art pottery, but they were not his last projects with