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Kay Finch: Corona del Mar Artist

Paul Wormser, Library Director

Paul Wormser, Library Director

For more than twenty years, the ceramicist Kay Finch produced artful porcelain figurines in a studio near the corner of Coast Highway and Hazel Ave.  Kay, along with her staff, created whimsical figurines glazed in pastel colors.    She employed a meticulous, multiple-step process, which included multiple firings and hand decorating. She was best known for animal figures, especially dogs.

Kay and Braden Finch moved to Corona del Mar in 1939 to build a little ceramics studio just off  Hazel Avenue.   The outbreak of World War II and the ban of imported goods to the United States created high demand for Kay Finch’s ceramics.  In 1941, Kay, and her husband Braden purchased five adjoining lots on Coast Highway, the corner of Hazel from the city for $1,850 for a new expanded production facility.  By the end of the Second World War, Kay Finch Ceramics employed over sixty people—the majority of whom were wives of servicemen.  

 

Kay Finch ceramics eventually acquired a national representation, and exclusive stores such as Marshall Field’s, Neiman Marcus, and Saks Fifth Avenue sold her pieces. Due to their high quality and loyal customers, the company was able to survive the flood of post-war imports in 1946.

When Braden Finch died in 1963, Kay closed her studio and showroom.  Her ceramics are still popular with collectors.