The Roseville Pottery introduced the Wincraft line in 1948, a period of great uncertainty for nearly all American potteries. Home decorating styles were changing, and cheap imports from the orient were flooding the markets. Sales were plummeting, and management was willing to experiment with more contemporary designs. It was this environment that Robert Windisch asked the lead designer, Frank Ferrell, to create the line. Frank Ferrell borrowed many of the themes and designs from previous lines, such as pinecone and teasel, which was highly unusual. Rather than one pattern repeating across all of the forms as usual, each piece displayed it’s own distinct design. Roseville Pottery produced no line with such variety since the Futura line of 1928, 20 years earlier.
Aside from the designs depicted on the pieces, another major departure was the transition to mid-century modern shapes. Dramatic swoops, curves, and fluid shapes abound in the Wincraft line. It is difficult to find a straight line anywhere in the Wincraft line.
One of the most striking differences introduced by the Wincraft line was the glaze. Rather than the semi-matte glazes used for decades, the Wincraft line used deep and rich high glossy finishes. Sometimes referred to as cased-glass glaze, and anyone who sees it immediately understands why. Additionally, the shading and mottling of the colors themselves have no peer among other lines. The richness and contrast of the colors only heighten the cased-glass glaze. The three colors offered were called Apricot, Azure Blue, and Chartreuse.
There are several pieces in the wincraft line that have no correlation to any other line. These include the Panther vase #290-11 and the Cactus basket #210-12.
The Wincraft line was not commercially successful, in fact the Roseville Pottery would close forever in 1954.