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Ellen Paul Denker

(b Middletown, CT, April 9, 1865; d Syracuse, NY, Feb 18, 1929).

American potter, teacher and publisher. She first pursued a career in painting but was attracted to decorating ceramics, from which she earned a livelihood as an independent decorator and teacher (see fig.). In 1899 she married Samuel Edouard Robineau (b 1856), and together with George H. Clark they established the monthly journal Keramic Studio (later Design), which she edited until her death. At the turn of the century she became interested in making art porcelain. Her early work was influenced by the French ceramic artist, Taxile Doat (1851–1938) whose treatise ‘Grand Feu Ceramics’ she first published in English in Keramic Studio as a series of articles in 1904. In 1910–11 she was associated with Doat in the University City Pottery near St Louis, MO. During her tenure there she created some of her most ambitious works, including the ‘Scarab’ vase (Syracuse, NY, Everson Mus. A.), which required more than 1000 hours to carve and glaze, and the ‘Pastoral’ vase (Washington, DC, N. Mus. Amer. Hist.), covered with an overall pattern of daisies and satyrs’ masks. In ...