This large art pottery wall platter was handmade and hand painted with a willet, a shorebird native to Michigan where the platter was found. The clay used is a heavy speckled stoneware, glazed with a glossy, misty pale grey. The front of the platter is painted with a light blue ground, greenish brown plant fronds and a small blue body of water in the foreground. The star, of course, is the willet, sitting with wings folded and neck extended, its body markings expertly painted.
The oval body of the platter sits on a 1 inch high recessed foot and has an irregularly shaped thick edge that frames the artwork. The foot rim is unglazed; the bottom of the piece has the impressed signatures "Sam and Fair/Lair/Jair (?)." It's 14 inches long, 10 inches wide and 2 inches deep. It weighs a substantial 3 pounds, 6 ounces and has a strong hanging wire twisted into 2 of the 5 holes cut into the upper edge of the foot. Created probably in the 1980s, it's in like new condition and looks wonderful alone or grouped with other decorative items. The soft neutral shades fit in naturally with so many color schemes.