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Ruth Rippon

Biography to Display: 

1927 Born


1945-1947 AA Sacramento Junior College

1947-1949 BA  California College of Arts and Crafts (California College of the Arts), Oakland, California

1950-1951 MFA College of Arts and Crafts (California College of the Arts), Oakland, California


1956-1987 Professor, California State University (CSU), Sacramento, California


 Ruth Rippon is known for making functional pieces. She was equally comfortable when throwing, coiling or slab building her forms. 

Nature was a major influence on her work throughout her career. Rippon was known for making pieces in a full range of sizes from domestic scale to major floor pieces. She was known for her carved surfaces which perhaps lead to the contribution for which she is best known, the development of "sgraffito-through-engobe," drawing or scratching designs into raw clay body through the engobe (a slip-like substance made with clays containing kaolin or calcined kaolin instead of ball clay (used in slips) and a fritted material). Rippon gained considerable public recognition after completing a commission for her “lollies”, short for ‘little old ladies on display’ at the Pavilions Mall in Sacramento, California.

While at California State University, Sacramento, Rippon helped found the University’s ceramic arts program. Rippon was an influential teacher who worked to establish the  department’s reputation.

Rippon studied with Antonio Prieto at the California College of Arts and Crafts.

Public Collections

Public Collections to Display: 

California College of Arts and Crafts, Oakland, California

Chico State College, Chico, California

Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, California

Everson Museum of Art, Syracuse, New York

Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York

Memorial Museum, Rochester, New York

Mills College Art Museum, Antonio Prieto Memorial Collection, Oakland, California

Pavilions Mall in Sacramento, California                                     

San Francisco Art Commission, San Francisco, California


Bibliography to Display: 

Clisby, Roger D. Ruth Rippon: Recent work. Sacramento, CA: Crocker Art Museum Gallery, 1983.

Daniels, Diana. and Martha Drexler Lynn. The Vase and Beyond: The Signey Swidler Collection of the Contemporary Vessel. Sacramento, CA: Crocker Art Museum, 2010

Holland, Ruth A. Ruth Rippon. Sacramento, CA: E. B. Crocker Art Gallery, 1971.

Lynn, Martha Drexler. American Studio Ceramics: Innovation and Identity, 1940 to 1979. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2015.

Perry, Barbara. American Ceramics: The Collection of Everson Museum of Art. New York, NY: Rizzoli International Publishers, 1989.

Pilar, Jacquelin. Ruth Rippon: Ceramic Sculpture. Fresno, CA: Fresno Art Museum, 2002.

"Ruth Rippon Retrospective Exhibition." Ceramics Monthly 19, no.3 (March 1971).

Servis, Nancy M. "Ruth Rippon Her Story." Studio Potter 45, no.1 (Winter/Spring 2017).

Untracht, Oppi. "Sgraffito Through Glaze---Ruth Rippon Decorates a Pot." Ceramics Monthly 5, no.9 (September 1957).


CV or Resume: Click Here to Download
Source: Forrest L. Merrill Collection, Dane Cloutier Archives


Typical Marks
ca 1953
ca 1970
Date: ca 1953
Materials: Stoneware
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze, Incised, Wax Resist
The Forrest L. Merrill Collection
The Forrest L. Merrill Collection
Date: ca 1970
Materials: Stoneware
Method: Thrown
Surface Technique: Glaze, Incised
E. John Bullard Collection
E. John Bullard Collection
"Lollies", little old ladies on display
Form: Sculpture
Method: Hand-Built
Surface Technique: Glaze, Slip
Pavilions Mall, Sacramento, California.
Pavilions Mall, Sacramento, California.

Citation: "The Marks Project." Last modified July 22, 2023.