This is one of my favourite times of the year. Once half term is over, it’s the countdown to Christmas, Halloween and Bonfire Night. There’s something about the smell in the air at this time of year: crisp, leafy, smoky… it reminds me of walking to school as a teenager, wrapped up in my thick navy school-coat and school scarf. Actually, that doesn’t sound too different from what I’m still doing now – only the colour of the scarf has changed!
Last year, I really enjoyed making an autumn display with pottery in the appropriate colours, garnished with a few pumpkins, unusual-coloured squash, twigs and dried chestnut cases. Something about West German Pottery… it lends itself so easily to a themed display; a result of the multitude of colours and cacophony of glazes.
Tomorrow morning we’re off down to Devon for a week. I am fully intending to do not much more than walking, relaxing in front of a log fire whilst reading and drinking red wine. I’ve already got my stash of books prepared…
- The Fabulous Fifties in Pottery (littleowlski.wordpress.com)
- A Lot On My Plate (littleowlski.wordpress.com)
Not all West German pottery is gaudy and ostentatious. Some of it is subtle, muted even and, in many cases, all the more beautiful for it.
- West German Pottery Floor Vases (littleowlski.wordpress.com)
- Sunshine and Lightness Here… Really (littleowlski.wordpress.com)
- A Grey Day – The West German Pottery Way (littleowlski.wordpress.com)
Just perfect, popping colour…
With the promise of some chocolate brownies, I managed to get Aidan to take some pictures for me of our poppiest pottery:
There’s a mixture of Steuler, Jopeko, Carstens and Fohr here, but somehow they seem to work together. Many of these were found on the latest trip: the giant Steuler is one of our best finds yet! The little owl is also a particular favourite - Aidan didn’t know it was Steuler, but I did thanks to the lovely Claudia who emailed me a picture of her gorgeous green version a while ago.
Only a couple more days to go now until I’m back to work. This summer holiday has absolutely flown by! I’ve still got my Masters essay to finish and all of my planning to do for the new school term. However, today I have been thwarted by the ridiculous delivery system by ASOS – last week I was furious when I waited in all day, only for them to either not knock loudly enough or not at all… I received an email at 11.30 saying that they’d tried to deliver my parcel but no-one was home. Er, yes I was! Quite, quite cross to say the least. Anyway, it’d better turn up today as promised or I’ll be on the warpath. Well, as much of a warpath as you can be on when you can only contact the companies involved via webforms.
Is it too early to eat a chocolate brownie?
So, as you probably know by now, on Saturday 27th August, we are holding our first ever open house sale on the West German Pottery. We’ve not added up how many pots we’ve got, but it’s a lot. A hell of a lot. Last night, we spent a long, long time sorting through everything, identifying it, checking its condition and pricing it up. I’ve tried to vaguely sort the pottery out into groups. Have a look and see what you think:
As I said in previous posts, if you’re interested in popping along, please leave me a comment or get in touch via Twitter (LittleOwlSki). We’re in Glossop, in between Manchester and Sheffield.
Fingers crossed we actually sell something this weekend after all of this effort!
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…
These don’t really fit into the Big Pot, Little Pot idea that I’ve been exploring recently, but they are pretty gorgeous examples of Jopeko. Sometimes, Jopeko can seem a little dull, but these are anything but.
All three of these were found on German Road trips. Speaking of which, our next one is just under three weeks’ time and I can’t wait! We’re going for the same amount of time, but I’ll be in Easter holidays then. So I’ll have plenty of time to blog to my heart’s content!
Look at that glaze: it’s gorgeous! We don’t seem to find as many pots with such bright yellow glazes. I wonder why that is? Perhaps someone with a greater knowledge of pottery and glaze techniques could tell me?
Read all about our visit to the Jopeko factory here.
After Essen, we had to make our way South towards Worms and Speyer. Before we set off, we trundled around a few more Trödelmarkts, filling the car up even further. Once Tina was fit to bursting yet again, we began the next leg of our journey.
We spotted that our route was going to take us through Ransbach-Baumbach, a region where many WGP factories reside so decided to make a short stopover. We managed to spot a secondhand shop and bought a gorgeous German ceramic wallhanging, square with flowers which we’ve not yet identified. At four euros, it was probably a little more than we’ve already become accustomed to paying but we both felt it was worth it.
Ransbach itself is a small yet smart looking town, still home to Jasba and Jopeko factories as well as many studio potters. We had a peek inside one studio potter’s shop before heading into the town centre for an ice cream (Quark flavour!) and a sit down out of the sun.
However, the most interesting part of this journey came when we began to leave. We’d already driven past the Jasba factory when we spotted the Jopeko factory. This was more accessible from the road, so we went for what we thought would be a very quick, sneaky peek in the shop window. Luckily for us, it wasn’t as closed as we thought and we quickly found ourselves in conversation with the current owner of Jopeko.
Erika Korzilius is a very lovely woman and she very happily showed us the current things in the Jopeko showroom and told us a little about the company’s origins. Jopeko was started by Johann Peter Korzilius in 1849, the name coming from the first two letters of each of his names. At first, the factory created waterpipes, eventually moving onto Schnapps bottles. However, these went out of fashion as people began to prefer using glass containers for their spirits.
More recently, they’ve been asking artists into the factory to create pieces and some of the work was beautiful. Some ceramic stools were particularly fantastic; I’d have no hesitation buying one! Erika seemed impressed by some of the pots we’d bought and very suprised that the older Jopeko and other West German Ceramics were becoming popular in Britain. She joked that she should dust off the old moulds and start producing them again – a great idea, I think!
Onwards to Worms and Speyer and plenty more pots!