Gainey Ceramics, the La Verne company known for its glazed planters, urns and decorative pottery, confirmed Thursday that after more than 60 years, it is suspending its ceramics manufacturing Jan. 31 and ending one of the last operations of its kind in Southern California.
Chief Executive Steve Gainey declined to be interviewed, but in a letter to customers dated Wednesday, he cited personal reasons for wanting to retire. Though ceramics production will stop, a spokeswoman said, the company will continue to manufacture lightweight containers made of fiberglass.
In a 2009 interview with The Times, Gainey noted the difficulties of making ceramics domestically. He said cheap imports and the cost of doing business in America had chased away local operations.
“There used to be dozens and dozens of manufacturers here in Los Angeles,” he said. “But almost everyone has fled.”
Among Gainey's clients was the Atwater Village garden store Potted, which had sought out a local company to produce its original designs.