There is a definite chill in the air now and that lovely October feeling is starting to steal over me. I adore this time of year: Hallowe’en, Bonfire Night, leaves falling from the trees, woolly scarves and hats, mulled wine. Although we’re still decorating like mad – which means I can’t create my usual Autumn display with West German Pottery, conkers, twigs and pumpkins – I can still select and show off some of the more seasonally-coloured pottery we’ve collected over the years.
We’re hoping to get the majority of the decorating done this week; finishing just before we go off on holiday for a week. Perhaps when we come back I can create some kind of display for Hallowe’n. It’d be lovely to get some of these pieces of pottery out and use them. I feel like they’ve been boxed away for so long!
Suggestions for West German Pottery decorative uses:
- Go for a long walk and collect twigs of varying lengths and crooked shapes. Place inside tall, thin pots as they are or spray paint gold or black for a more Hallowe’en-like effect.
- WGP dishes can hold conkers, both shells and the nuts; dried orange peel and cloves
- Select pumpkin shaped pots to make a display on a sideboard – Scheurich balloon vases are good for this. Intersperse with real pumpkins and squashes.
- For a Hallowe’en party, choose dark coloured pots and cover them with fake cobwebs.
- Use your rumtopf or D&B Saturn punch bowl to hold mulled wine – you never know when you’ll need a cupful!
Please leave any further suggestions for Autumnal decorative ideas in the comments – how are you going to use your pottery this season?
Our display from a couple of years ago… Our friend, Dan, is trying to light his first ever carved pumpkin. Cobwebbed and be-twigged pottery provide the background to his sex-pumpkin!
Aidan’s been getting more elaborate with his West German Pottery displays over the last two weeks, thinking up more unusual ways to show off the items for sale on his Ebay listings:
From top to bottom then L-R: Carstens plant pot, unknown black and red plant pot, unknown ‘drippy’ plant pot, Winterling bamboo porcelain vase, Jopeko vase/plant pot, unknown red and brown plant pot, Scheurich 238-18, Schlossberg 270-15, Schlossberg 259-11, Carstens, Scheurich 284 ‘Balloon’ vase, ES Keramik, Italian Pottery Studio piece.
There are some particularly stunning glazes and designs on the latest batch, showing off once again the scope and diversity of West German pottery. None of these would fit into the so-called ‘Fat Lava’ style, but there are many stunning shapes, colours, forms and glazes to be seen here.
The latest batch will be ending tomorrow night. I say this every time, but there really are some gems amongst this lot. See if you can spot what they are:
One of my favourites ending tomorrow night is this unusual Roth pot:
Despite what it says in the listing ( I did it…) it is actually quite a rare form; we’ve not seen one of these before. I used Aidan’s previous listing to help me write it and kept ‘a well collected form’, thinking it was a piece of his sales patter… apparently, it’s quite unknown so a more accurate description might be ‘a well searched for’ form. Oh well… the collectors will know their stuff well enough to appreciate it! The glaze is amazing: vibrant, bold and striking. Roth are a company who produced such a plethora of different forms, glazes and colours. Usually, I’m not such a fan, but I do find this one quite appealing.
Just to show my erratic taste, I also love the colours of the glaze on this Scheurich 238:
Look at the turquoise and silver against the pale grey of that Scheurich pot! We’re in the process of doing up our house, and we’ve got a few old decorating books from the 1950s to use as inspiration. In one of them, it advocates using unusual things to inspire your colour schemes, such as flowers or favourite pictures. This pot would be a brilliant colour palette for a room! Or nails! I might have to paint my nails in something resembling this pattern tomorrow. I should explain that I’m a little bit obsessed with nail varnish, so I should have the colours to create this somehow.
One of the most exciting pieces we’ve put up for sale for a long time is this Otto Keramik piece:
Now, for quite a while I was adamant that we couldn’t possibly sell this one. The shape! The colours! The ridiculously drippy, metallic red glaze! But, as all obsessive collectors know, eventually you have to make choices about what to keep and what to sell. Sadly, it has been usurped by other pretenders to the West German crown. At least the beauty of Ebay – and the field we are working and collecting within – is that you know that when it does sell it will be going to someone who will love it, cherish it and hopefully give it pride of place in their homes. Otto are a pretty stupendous company, with pieces brimming with originality and individuality and this one is certainly no exception. The founder of the company, Otto Gerharz, was very interested in the technical development of glazes and I think you can see this in the complexities of the glaze here.
So, those are my picks of the pottery bunch – which ones do you rate? Or even, which do you hate? WGP is an exciting field that divides opinion and can spark an extreme reaction one way or another. What does it provoke in you?
Items Ending Wednesday 15th August:
Items Ending Wednesday 22nd August:
Just in case you missed the links scattered throughout, you can view the entire collection for sale here.
New pieces of West German Pottery are listed every Sunday evening between 7 and 8pm to end 10 days later.
The new season has prompted me to get blogging again. As many experienced bloggers probably now, once you’ve had a break, it can sometimes be difficult to get back into it again. Add dark nights to make taking pictures difficult, long working hours and a lack of inspiration and the problem is just compounded.
Yesterday was a particularly lovely day and fortunately, thanks to my lovely boyfriend, I’ve got some pretty pictures of pottery in spring colours for you to ogle:
The majority of these have come from the last trip to Deutschland. We still can’t quite believe just how much we brought back this time. Every time someone comes to visit, they get hauled out into the garage like it’s a prize pig… prize pottery at least.
Aidan’s posed the green selection in front of a massive pile of logs that he’s built in our back garden:
This wood was compiled by my dad when he found out we were getting a wood-burning stove… he started about three weeks ago. I received several phone calls from my Mum about this, that went a bit like this:
“Can you hurry up and get your stove fitted, please Emma?”
“Because your Dad has bought himself a chainsaw to cut up logs with and has destroyed both the back garden and the front one with logs, trees and sawdust.”
He’d tidied up a bit when we went round at the weekend, but there was still a huuuuge pile of logs and wood to be sorted out. Not that we minded at all: we’ve now got enough wood to keep us going until this time next year, I’m sure of it. And he’s sent me a picture today of yet some more he’s got for us. Amazing.
I’m not usually a big fan of yellow pottery, but mingled in with the greens – and, to be honest, not being particularly yellow yellow – these look quite lovely. I also like the contrast of the purple flowers on the bush behind with these colours.
It’s probably a good job that Aidan has found another use for the pile of logs. If this warm weather continues, we’re unlikely to actually use the new stove much once it’s installed. At least that job will be done and should give us the impetus to start other renovations and decorations.
Which is your favourite pot from the ones in the pictures? Mine’s the green and black, 1950s style Carstens in the green selection, and the fairly neon U-Keramik piece at the front of the yellow picture.
- Pots and Pots (littleowlski.wordpress.com)
- Driving round Deutschland in a Van-Car… (littleowlski.wordpress.com)
- West German Pottery Finds (littleowlski.wordpress.com)
I’m still not able to use the internet home, so it’s only thanks to my trusty phone that I can even post. It’s been a month! This is probably the longest I’ve gone without internet since I was 14! Anyway, I just wanted to share a few pottery pictures.
Now that we’ve got a massive garage, it means everything can go in there rather than taking over the house. This last trip, we bought over 280 pieces! It’s amazing how we can fit it all in.
We were thrilled with some of the finds from this trip. And yes, I know I say it every time, but they really were some of the best finds we’ve had so far.
At some point – once we’ve actually had chance to breathe or think about what we’re doing in the house – we’d like to have another big pottery sale. That’s likely to be a way off yet though.
Found this in my pocket yesterday evening:
So that makes 281 pieces in total.
If you’ve not visited it already, you need to get yourself over to Potsandpots.com. Aidan has spent many hours putting this together and the results are – not that I’m biased at all – a fantastic resource for the West German Pottery collector.
For each of the major West German Pottery manufacturers, he’s compiled a gallery of all of the pieces we have ever owned or sold and placed them into number order. As we find more and more, the galleries will be updated. This allows any collector to quickly skim through and identify a pot. It’s not as all-encompassing as the Pottery and Glass forum, for example, but it is an excellent reference point for the burgeoning collector. We both use it ourselves when trying to identify our own pottery!
Other features are tips and hints on how to identify the different factories; histories of the major factories; and a blog based around West German pottery price trends, where it’s been spotted and so on.
The blog covers the average price trends of WGP, which can be really useful if you’re deciding whether to keep or sell a piece!
If you need any help or information, visit Potsandpots.com and leave Aidan a comment. Alternatively, email him at: info (at) potsandpots.com.
We’re heading off to Germany again in a couple of weeks’ time, so expect an influx of pottery posts both on here and over there.
Each year we have a (fairly) strict timetable of who, where and when to visit over the Christmas period. We go to my parents the weekend before Christmas, spend the day itself in Glossop by ourselves, some friends come over on Boxing Day; after that, it’s a slow, day-to-day movement over to Barnsley then up north to Sedgfield. Although it can be fairly tiring, it does mean that Christmas feels like it’s stretched out.
This year, I had to go to my parents on my own, as Aidan was in Australia with work. I would call him a lucky so-and-so but not after seeing the state he’s been in since he got back! Anyway, this meant that I couldn’t physically carry all of my presents from my parents back home. So I brought just one:
Not only is this the cutest piece of owl paraphenalia that I’ve seen in a long time, it has another feature that just adds to the kitschy cuteness:
It’s a detachable, pottery, baby owl! So, not only is this a decorative item but, if you are that kind of person, you can take out the tiny baby owl and hold it for a bit. Or hide it in unexpected places. Not that I would do any of those things of course…
Our house is fairly Christmassed up this year. We do have a stack of stuff that we roll out each year. My mum has been watching Kirsty’s Homemade Britain and made us one of these to add to the decorations:
My picture doesn’t really do it justice, but it does look lovely hanging in the window. Aidan has also made us a wreath for the door, I’ve made a strange Christmas tree shape from a magazine like this, and I’ve half made some bird baubles like this. However, I’ve forgotten to take pictures of those. I do have a picture of the tree though:
We did our usual trick of getting it cheap from the German market in Manchester and just hoping for the best. Last year, we had a double-trunker (or a Siamese Tree); this year it’s just a very, very odd, tall, sparse, thick-then-thin shape. We’ve still bunged on all of the baubles though. Hang on, when I say we, what I actually mean is Aidan. I was out on work Christmas do. Less said the better…
We’ve also put the West German pottery to good use:
The stars came from a window display when I worked at Monsoon in Manchester (boo, hiss!); they were being thrown away so I ‘rescued’ them. You can see a few of our cards here too. We’ve had so many this year! Mainly because I now have a Year Seven form so received lots of misspelled cards from them. The best one was from a little lad who had stuck one of his old primary school photos on the inside of it (“I had to cut D— and L—- out so it would fit just me!”).
Last but definitely not least on the handmade front… Aidan made me an advent calendar for the second year running. Once again it featured one of the fantastic Christmas images from the Galaxy magazines:
Today, I’ve got plans to: wrap Aidan’s presents, make his card, plan the veggie Christmas dinner, make a friendship bracelet as a present for someone, go to the gym, meet one friend for coffee, meet another for a hot toddy, meet Aidan for a pint once he’s finished work… It’s not all going to happen is it?
What can I say? It’s as good an excuse as any to show off pictures of West German Pottery…
If you’re interested in finding out more about West German Pottery, my partner, Aidan, has been working very hard on a website called Potsandpots.com. It’s definitely worth having a look. I know I’m biased, but I do think it’s rather good!
- Cue Carstens (littleowlski.wordpress.com)
- Autumnal Pottery (littleowlski.wordpress.com)
- Sunshine and Lightness Here… Really (littleowlski.wordpress.com)
As it’s now the (and I hate saying this) run-up to Christmas, we’re having a big push on Aidan’s Ebay, selling lots of West German Pottery. There are all kinds of pots for sale:
As with all of his Ebay listings, Aidan takes a lot of time to ensure that the pictures are truly representative of the colours, designs and proportions of the pots. Listings always include a detailed description of the items – any tiny blemish is described, and he does have eagle eyes! He spots things that I cannot see, even when he’s pointed them out to me. So you can be sure that if you buy something from us, what you see is most definitely what you get.
Some of my particular favourites from this week and next are these:
Just look at the glaze on that! It’s an amazing texture; crusty, thick and bursting with colour. ‘Fat Lava’ could not be a more appropriate way to describe it.
Remember ‘nu rave’? No, me neither, but the neon/rave scene will always have a place in popular culture. Why not pay homage to it with this:
N3221120 Jasba for sale
Those designers really did take their inspiration from anywhere, didn’t they?
If ever there were a ‘man’ vase, this one would be it:
“You Jane, Me Great Big Man Vase…” There’s definitely something very masculine and tribal about it. It looks like it should be dug up out of a pit, storing the brains of some long dead pharaoh or emperor. Maybe that’s just my imaginative interpretation of it!
I’ll be honest; I’m not sure how Aidan persuaded me to part with that punch bowl! I love it. Imagine having your mulled wine out of that this Christmas? Would certainly be a talking point amongst your relatives and a fantastic way to initiate them into the West German pottery fold.
I’ll give a pound to anyone who can get the British Sea Power reference in my caption…
I’m worried that beautiful Scheurich will get overshadowed by its more gaudy cousins. The glaze on this is beautiful: subtle, swirled green covered in a silver, metallic oil. It was difficult to capture truly on pictures, but I think Aidan did a good job of getting it just right.
So, those are my favourites that are up for sale over the next two weeks. If you fancy having a look (and even having a bid), click here.
It is officially half term, and for the first time in over a year, we’re actually not going to Germany. Indeed, it does feel a little odd to not now be rummaging through mountains of tat on our first port of call in some German town. Instead I am ensconced in a rather beautiful barn conversion in the middle of the countryside, about two miles away from Totnes. After one evening, I already smell like a log fire and I’m typing this looking out onto a beautiful courtyard; the sun casting speckled, mottled shadows through autumnal leaves.
We woke up yesterday bright and early, ready for our long drive down South. Several stop-offs had been planned, and more were added over the course of the day. After finally getting the rest of the luggage packed (honestly, you’d think we were moving, not just holidaying for a week), our first stop was the Post Office depot to pick up a parcel. After then realising the engine oil was low, we returned home where I discovered two things: firstly, my gorgeous Monsoon dress I’d bought from Ebay was new with its tags and it also had a small bug nesting in the package, causing me to get covered in brown bug juice and necessitating a trip indoors to wash my hands. This then prompted the second discovery: that we’d left the lights on, so it’s a good job we went back.
Our second stop was in Stoke to deliver this:
Nestled amidst the detritus of our holiday-making, this Scheurich was destined for an estate in Stoke. After delivering the pot to its new owners, we then called at the local Post Office to post the last batch of parcels from Wednesday’s Ebay sales. The Post Office (and the town itself) felt a little bit like the Land That Time Forgot. The Post Office even had its old sign still painted above the new one:
We had a little wander around the small high street, visited a couple of charity shops and a church sale. Despite the retroness of the area, pickings were slim in the charity shops. There were a couple of very retro dresses and jumpsuits in one, which as Aidan pointed out, were so retro they looked like fancy dress. The only things we bought were a pair of 1950s reindeer Christmas decorations and two homemade cakes from the church sale, costing the grand total of 50p.
On the motorway, we passed a very boring looking Vauxhall Corsa at one point that contained three elderly gentlemen inside it, all wearing different hats. One had a baseball cap, the other a flat cap and the third a trilby. Honestly, he looked just like Little Richard, same ‘tache and everything. We were convinced that they should have been in a Cadillac or something: not just a bog-standard car. Every time we caught up with them again, we were peering in and making up stories of what they could have been doing. Another stop off at my parents’ house in Stafford, admired the house and my mum’s beautifully displayed West German pottery, a drive past Walsall and a mental wave to Vintage Vix in Walsall, then we continued on to Gloucester Antiques Centre at the Historic Docks.
We’d been there previously, but a few years ago. What a change! All newly regenerated and the Antiques Centre seemingly much reduced in size:
The ground floor appeared to be filled with over-priced jewellery, but the other two floors were much more interesting. I found two ‘Glamour’ magazines from the late 1950s and, more excitingly, there were some amazing displays of West German pottery. Before being told that I wasn’t allowed to take any pictures, I managed to sneak in a few shots of the units.
They also had some fantastic glass and other retro pieces alongside the WGP:
Around the corner from this unit was an even larger and more stunning display. Unfortunately I only managed to get one photograph before I got told off for taking pictures…
Eventually we found a card for the proprietor, identifying it as Green Haze Retro. My pictures do not do the displays justice: they really were extremely well merchandised. And… we spotted stuff of ours. Literally ours! We began to recognise a couple of pieces that Aidan had sold in the last few months via Ebay, dismissed it as ‘they’re mass-produced so there’s bound to be some the same’ then Aidan spotted a metal dish and it had the same sticker on the bottom as the one he’d sold. Hey presto! Identified and uber-excited by this development. If you happen to spot this post, Mr Green Haze Retro, get in touch. We’d love to do some more business and help spread the West German Pottery world even further. You can visit the Gloucester Antiques Centre here and actually buy a few pieces online. Definitely worth a look as there were some gorgeous one: a giant Steuler and U-Keramik, vibrant, bright yellow Kreutz and a whole myriad of very high-quality pieces.
This was a separate unit. Green Haze Retro had very cleverly divided their goods into two decades: Fifties and Sixties. Apart from the gorgeousness of the displays, what also pleased me was the number of people who were lingering on these displays. I had to do some patient waiting around this one to get a picture without other people in shot. I was very tempted by the Dallas Simpson print you can just see on the floor here, but Aidan wasn’t too keen. I’ll just have to wait until we’re in our new house, then I can begin my own Montage of Misery wall.
After this very successful and enjoyable stop, our next stop was – finally – the cottage. It’s a beautiful place. Located behind some kind of stately home that’s been converted into flats, it has its own private courtyard, a large open living and dining space with the obligatory log fire. Since our last visit here, the kitchen, bathroom and bedrooms have been renovated and now it’s a beautiful space. Many pieces of quirky yet somehow country artwork and prints adorn the walls, and even dangle from the ceilings. It’s lovely. And I plan to spend a much time in front of the fire as is humanly possible…