creative hand and inspirational spark
Painters traditionally sign their names on their canvases and potters, too, sign their work with initials, a mark or recognizable stamp imprinted on the base of their pieces.
Founder David Gil created the Bennington Potters signature back stamp early in his career by combining two stylized elements to form a single whole. Gil believed that his work was the result of a creative hand guided by the spark of inspiration and the back stamp he designed was a visual representation of this belief.
Sometimes mistaken for the outline of a fork, the vertical element of the Bennington Potters back stamp is actually the shape of a hand and lower arm. Look carefully and you can see the wrist, thumb and four fingers. The smaller symbol, a six petaled burst, represents the inspirational "spark" that is expressed through the hand’s actions.
To save space, only the spark is stamped on most pottery pieces.
In addition to this mark, Bennington Potters pieces usually carry a number. This number is NOT a date as is sometimes thought, but a product style designation that allows each piece to be easily identified. Over the last half-century hundreds of shapes have been produced. Assigning each a shape number allows for clear communication when additional pieces are being made, purchased or described by customers. As you can see in the photo below, the back stamp treatment varies with each shape.