One of my favourite makers of West German Pottery is Carstens. This has evolved over the past few years as our collection has (not literally) exploded, allowing us to make groups of similar forms, glazes, colours and factories. Carstens is a company that I consistently find myself wanting to collect and keep. From gorgeous, delicate glazes, through to dramatic colours and original, space-age influenced shapes: Carstens is the company that shows diversity, originality and sometimes, just plain fun.
These pots are all about sophistication. Huge thanks to Aidan for taking pictures for me!
These pots were bought on the last Germany Roadtrip, by Aidan. I’m especially pleased with the little dish. If I was so inclined, I’d keep bon-bons in it, or rings perhaps. As I’m too worried about bashing it, it’s on the shelf now with the others.
From left to right: 7507-27, 652-13, 663-18, 1245-25, 638 (no size given), 1701 (dish), 693-35.
I can’t remember if I’ve posted up this one before, but just in case:
The blue Ankara glaze is not the only Carstens collection we have. Alright, it’s me, mostly. I’m not convinced Aidan likes them as much as me but he’s willing to go along with it to keep me happy. Which is good enough for me!
From left to right: 1520-25, little one is unmarked or extremely difficult to read, 598-23.
These black ones – which we also refer to as Ankara, but I’m sure they probably have a different name – seem to even less common than the blue variety. I love the drama of the colour – the focus is on the contrast of textures within the glaze, with a cheeky peek of turquoise inside.
As a complete departure from these delicate, dramatic glazes comes one of the most famous Carstens glazes. Made famous by its inclusion in Mark Hill’s Fat Lava book, is the 7090-50. Ours comes with a little friend:
Both of us adore these pots and their glaze. The colours, the design, the shape, the size – everything about the 7090 is bombastic and fun. The plant pot is now a brilliant added extra.
I think these pots from Carstens show the immense diversity within the West German Pottery field; it’s that which keeps us collectors collecting. There is so much more to WGP than the ‘Fat Lava’ term which is gaining recognition more and more. These delicate, delightful and downright daring glazes are proof if you need it.
- 60s Spage Age West German Pottery (littleowlski.wordpress.com)
I’ve just been looking at our vast collection of pots and thinking about how varied the glazes can be. Now, these pots are not necessarily my favourites (though some of them definitely are!) – it was more a case of what was close to hand!
Like I said, not all of these are favourites but they do show the variety and breadth of glazes that can be created. I’m no expert, but some of these look incredibly tricky to produce. Many people in the West German Pottery world can mock Scheurich, but some of the most striking glazes here were produced by that particular factory.
We’ve finally booked our holiday this evening – we’re leaving on Sunday! – so I’m a bit excited by that. If I get time tomorrow, I’m going to scour my Woman’s Own magazines for holiday related pictures, articles and adverts. That depends on if I can get packed in time though. Wish me luck!
My favourite colour ever! Yet for some reason, many people don’t like it; particularly in their retro pottery. I love it. So this is a Green Feast of West German pottery, just for me:
I had many grand plans of what I was going to accomplish this evening. Driving lesson went relatively well. It’s my third one so far (not counting the two I had two years ago…); today I managed hill starts, emergency stops, drove to Buxton, parallel parking, turning, up to fourth gear and back down again. However, I was feeling quite tired and stalled a few times which made me cross. I kept forgetting to put it back into first when I’d come to a stop. Anyway, the short story is: I’m tired. So the run and marking of year 7 assessments is not going to happen. What will now happen is a bath and some Heroes in bed. Ah, but first I have to actually make the bed… I know it’s early and I really don’t care! Night all…
Now the regulars of the WGP world who frequent my blog will probably think, “Finally!” when they read that heading. I asked aeons ago if anybody had any fantastic Steuler pieces that I could share via this site, as I wanted to do a post to show off the fantastic variety of pieces that Steuler created. In my mind, I’m always thinking about those people who, like me a few years ago, didn’t really know anything about West German Pottery; where to start, what to collect, who made good quality pieces and so on. So, as much as anything, I think if anybody does stumble upon my blog, it would be good to share information where I can.
Enough babble: onto the pots! Some of these are mine and Aidan; but many are from other collectors who have very kindly allowed me to use their photographs.
Thanks to Kevin Graham at the Pottery and Glass forum for the following information about Steuler. Kevin is in the process of researching and writing a biography about one of Steuler’s most prominent designers, Cari Zalloni.
Steuler was founded in 1917 and closed in 1996. Steuler produced with a reddish clay up until the early 1960s, using one mark, the switched to a new mark,and white clay for their production from the 60s onwards, possibly as they geared up for mass production techniques. (Pottery and Glass forum)
One way to really tell the Zalloni designed pieces is to look out for strong, clean lines and a striking design; bright, vibrant colours and unusual curves. They are very much in keeping with the ‘Space Age’ era to my eye:
Incidentally, Richard has a gorgeous set of photographs over at his Flickr site, featuring not just his beautiful Steuler pictures, but a whole range of West German Pottery. Make sure you take a visit.
Micha Kempf, Claudia, Frank Geesink and Julian Shimmin also sent me some photos, which you can find in the Gallery above. I think they beautifully show the range of glazes and designs you can find by Steuler.
Perhaps my favourite though, is this little fellow sent to me by Claudia:
Thanks again to the gorgeous pictures from everyone who sent me them.
More information about Steuler can be found:
No, you haven’t accidentally gone to the wrong blog. Nor have I had a religious experience. But it did occur to me this morning that many of the more unusual retro items we have appear to have an animal theme. So, here are some of the beasty bits and bobs lying around our house:
I’d like to know who’s idea the Pig Jar was!
We’ve also got this fella:
Just what I’ve always wanted – a West German pottery camel! He and the donkey are rivals. I thought they might be friends, but it’s not worked out.
Now, I’m writing this in advance, so it might very well not be sunny by the time it’s published. I don’t care. At this moment in time, I’m feeling much happier so it’s all about colours to reflect that mood.
Teacher’s strike aside, I’ve got two devolved INSET days… in Basic English, this means I’ve got a five day weekend starting this morning. First stop: Manchester to get some accessories to go with my ‘thrifted’ (to pinch the Aussie/American parlance) Monsoon dress ready for the wedding we’re going to this weekend. I also need new makeup, shoes and a weekend bag. Then, later today I’m signed up to a knitting course at the Smithy Studios in Glossop. Friday morning… don’t talk to me about Friday morning… Oh, O.K… I’ve got a driving lesson. I’m a bit scared. The less said the better. Weekend = posh wedding at Lumley Castle (good luck Sarah and Matt!). Monday – day tripping somewhere with the Holtster.
So yeah, all in all, I’m quite happy.
I miss my blog. The computer is completely messed up so I’m writing this with it working in safe mode. Whoever the horrendous idiot is who created the Windows Vista Recovery virus: shame on you. Why release something like that? Until the PC is fixed, we’re not uploading any pictures to it; nor are we connecting any USBs or anything like that… which means I can’t share pictures of latest finds unless I can sweet talk the ICT people at work to unblock wordpress for me…
Until then, it’s old pictures to ogle. These are pieces that I never posted up – mainly because of time. All blue to fit in with my mood…
You can’t really stay too blue after looking at all of those, can you?
- Glass: Blue and Green Must Never Be Seen… (littleowlski.wordpress.com)
Third (more like twenty-third) time lucky for this post today. I appear to be experiencing technical difficulties with WordPress today. If you hear a high-pitched yelp followed by a loud crunching noise in approximately ten minutes’ time, that’s the sound of me booting my computer out of the window in a rage!
Ahem… after that small digression… bring on the pottery! You can imagine Anton de Beke saying that in a ‘Bring on the Wall’ stylee if you like. Please don’t attempt to jump through this lot of pots as they happen to be two of my favourites:
Whilst the smaller one had already been unpacked, Aidan popped the big one out of Wanda the SuperBeastVanCar at about half ten at night; after we’d spend the entire day unpacking and identifying pottery from his latest trip. Needless to say, I was a bit excited by this one (I’m easily pleased) and it revived our flagging spirits no end.
I love the glaze on these. The blue colour where the green and white meet is exquisite. They’re so big too. Dümler & Breiden make some of the most ostentatious vases, in my opinion. Some of our craziest pieces of West German pottery are by them. Whilst the glazes may not be as ‘Fat Lava’ as many new collectors would like, they’re both such striking pieces of pottery.
This one is currently living on the hearth in front of the fire. It can’t really stay there, but there’s nowhere else for it to go. The house is bursting at the seams at the moment and Aidan heads off again on Tuesday to Germany for another pot-buying expedition. It’s madness!
On Thursday evening, my parents and my nan came to visit us in Glossop. Fortunately they seemed to bring the glorious weather with them. They stayed at the beautiful Allman’s Heath Cottage, where they stay every time they come to visit. My mum and Julie, the owner, can natter away about growing their own veg and baking cakes whilst my dad takes pictures of the flowers in the garden. He’s very manly like that.
Anyway, since we started buying and selling West German Pottery on a more business like basis, my mum has bought a couple of pots from us each time they’ve been to visit. This time, both she and my nan bought some. Makes it seem like a real business, if even your family will buy them from us!
Here’s what they bought:
That one came with some free stickers…
I can pretty much predict my mum’s taste now – anything orange and floral tends to be popular with her. Dad sent me these pictures last night:
I think they were quite happy with them!
Thankfully, the beautiful weather they brought with them has continued into today. I think there may be some sunbathing and cider-drinking in order later… Enjoy the sunshine, everyone!
What can I say? I like them, alright?
With these new additions, it takes me up to 33 different glazes. The brown one on the right was my first ever internet freebie! Sent by an extremely kind buyer on Ebay – Aidan’s done them a swap for a different Scheurich they’re after. The red and blue ones Aidan found on his solo Germany trip.
Now that I’ve got so many glazes, I can put some pretty combinations together. This one is primary colours inspired:
I just need an all yellow one now to complete the set.
I was going to post the next one up as a ‘Big Pot, Little Pot’ post, but I’m too excited to wait another day…
We’ve wanted a 279 for so long! Aidan was very sneaky with this one – he didn’t tell me he’d bought this while he was away and eventually pulled it out of the car at about half ten on Monday evening. He then set up this display for me… it looks a little bit like a mother hen with its chicks; probably needs a rejig at some point!
Not only is this one of my favourite forms, this is a stunning glaze. We’ve seen only one of these before in a retro shop in London, but it was a fairly dull glaze. Even then, we were fairly tempted to buy it. I’m so glad we didn’t and waited for this one – it was worth it.
So it seems the 414 collection is expanding ever more – both outwards and upwards! I’ll have to get Aidan to put even more shelves up to cope with them all… that’ll be another evening of laughs, but that’s a story for another day.
- Glazes Galore… It’s the Scheurich 414 (littleowlski.wordpress.com)
- Some Scheurich Stunners (littleowlski.wordpress.com)
- Daily Pottery Pic: Scheurich (littleowlski.wordpress.com)