Reed design helps historic firm expand
Published April 19, 2022
"We spent close to a year working with Dennis to design this facility to meet their needs, vision, and budget”
Frankoma Pottery, 171st Street and U.S. Highway 75, Glenpool, OK
Frankoma Pottery expects to complete construction on its new five-acre Glenpool, OK, headquarters by the end of this month.
This two-building campus at 171st Street and U.S. Highway 75, designed by Reed Architecture and Interiors of Sapulpa, will allow Frankoma to bring together and expand its operations, develop new products, and open its first brick-and-mortar store.
Frankoma currently offers more than 50 different pottery pieces and related items from its website, frankomapottery.com. It also provides custom options.
“Right now, our crews use their private studios to make our pottery, to trim and glaze our pottery, and even ship our pottery,” said Frankoma owner Dennis Glascock. “We will consolidate all of that work at this new facility. We also have a lot of equipment and molds we want to move out of storage and into the new facility.”
Besides its new retail shop, Frankoma’s 10,000-square-foot main building will house administrative offices accessed by a separate entrance, design and manufacturing space, other operations areas, and storage for inventory and molds. The kiln will operate in a separate 400-square foot building.
The new headquarters will allow Glascock to expand his product line by reviving older molds and creating new ones. This will include developing colors and glazes to augment existing and new lines.
“We bought a five-acre plot,” said Glascock. “There’s plenty of room for expansion.”
Contractor Builders Unlimited of Broken Arrow, OK, raised the two buildings. Angel Ornamental Iron Works of Tulsa is finishing work on the fence and entryways.
“We have awnings over those,” Glascock said of the entryways. “On each side, they’re going to build in some ornamental vintage Frankoma pottery – made of metal, of course.”
Reed Architecture principal David Reed enjoyed the unique aspects of this project. “Frankoma has a lot of history and quite a following of fans,” he noted. “It was great to work with Dennis, hear his vision, and learn how they do what they do. We spent close to a year working with Dennis to design this facility to meet their needs, vision, and budget.”
Frankoma started in 1933, when University of Oklahoma ceramics professor John Frank launched the company in Norman, OK. Five years later he moved operations to Sapulpa. There Frankoma gained a reputation for producing collectible figurines and sculptures, trivets, vases, and dinnerware. Many designs came from John’s wife Grace Lee and daughter Joniece. Taking over management following John’s 1973 death, Joniece oversaw a decade of growth until Frankoma endured a crippling fire. The struggle to rebuild, all during Oklahoma’s extended 1980s recession, led to a 1991 bankruptcy filing. Frankoma’s strong legacy and loyal consumer base allowed the brand to survive a few failed jumpstarts over the next two decades. Glascock acquired the company molds and trademark in 2012.