Wisecarver worked as both a potter and painter, with his depictions of American Indians on vases often the most sought-after pieces today. Although he is best-known for his art pottery, cookie jars featuring the above-mentioned black memorabilia and fairy tale themes were also a popular subject.
It was a family affair for Wisecarver, who started working in the field at the relatively young age of 20 (1970). He worked with his family and did not actually do all the painting on his jars. Aunt Flo, as well as Mom, helped with the painting.
View a sampling of Wisecarver Cookie Jars.
More on Wisecarver:
According to Mike Schneider's The Complete Cookie Jar Book, there were copies made of the artist's first five jars done by a pottery which used his original molds. Those jars include: Mixing Bowl Mammy, Cookie Jar Mammy, Churn Mammy, Covered Bridge and Pig. Schneider says those jars can be identified by a lack of signature, as all his originals are artist-signed on the back of the jar. Apparently Cook Stove Mammy is the exception to this rule, as his originals of that jar are not artist-signed.
After Wisecarver's death, his other cookie jar molds were sold and have been further reproduced. One knowledgeable Wisecarver collector said one clue in figuring out if a piece is reproduced is to study authentic pieces to get a feel for his works. The ways the eyes are painted in reproduction jars eyes are a giveaway.
Confused? Best bets when looking for an authentic Wisecarver jar, buy from a reputable dealers or collector, who will give you a money-back guarantee if jar is not authentic. Also ask before you buy or bid! The forums are an excellent place to ask questions.
*Note: Rick's uncle, Bud Hoadley also created jars and used the mark "CHRISSHAUN ARTS" Roseville, OH on his work.