We didn’t set off until this afternoon, after a very late night and mad morning of decorating. We have a finished study and spare bedroom now though. Our journey to Southwold has also been delayed by a stop off at Elsecar Heritage Centre.
Run by the same people as Bygone Times, we were a little late today to look around all of the traders in the courtyard. However, we did manage a good look around the main antiques centre.
There were quite a few pieces of West German pottery on the various stalls. Also, lots of fantastic mid century glass: Whitefriars, Sklo etc.
We even found a Scheurich 414 in a glaze I don’t have. But I’m not supposed to know about that until Christmas… I also bought a piece of purple Sklo glass to give to my mum for Christmas. We’re very good at buying presents in advance in this household!
After a quick wander round, we’re now back on the road. We’ve got about three hours to go, but after our epic journeys to Germany, it doesn’t feel like such a long trip. We’re very much looking forward to sitting in front of the log fire once we get there.
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!
One of my favourite Scheurich forms is the 549. It is simple yet stylish; seemingly perfect for showing off a variety of glazes – something which Scheurich certainly didn’t hold back on.
We’ve had quite a few of this form over the years and I always delight in seeing how the many varied glazes and patterns play out over the simple, mid century design of this shape:
This isn’t the only version of the Scheurich 549: there are two more variations to the form. I would guess, judging by the colour combinations on this variation, in comparison to some of the others that this version is a slightly later one.
For example, this version is much more muted in colour:
And strikes me that it could come from an early period. There’s something not as appealing about this version of the form; I don’t like the rim on the top in combination with the slightly sloped sides.
However, this 18cm version of the 549 is actually quite appealing:
Dating this version is a little more tricky. That example would suggest 1950s, whereas this following one would suggest later, perhaps the ’60s:
Once again, when you place many of the same form together, it shows off the variety that Scheurich had in their glazes. Although they may not demonstrate the technical intricacies of other manufacturers such as Otto or Ceramano, there’s no denying the scope of the imaginations of the designers at Scheurich.
- The Allure of the Scheurich Lora (littleowlski.wordpress.com)
- Fatlava.net – some beautiful examples of glaze on the 549
- Scheurich @ Potsandpots.com
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.
If you combine a garage full of West German pottery with the London Olympics, and a free afternoon… what do you get?
And the finished article:
Aidan was taking the pictures so I got the posing duty. I won’t go into detail, but suffice it to say, that my plan of just lying the pieces of pottery into circles was quickly vetoed by Aidan. Before I knew it, he’d got his bamboo cane and string out to measure out the circles properly.
Team GB seem to be picking up the pace – and the medals – in the Olympics in the last couple of days. Yesterday, although I was gutted for Victoria Pendleton and Jess Varnish, I was very pleased for the Men’s team. Not just a gold medal but another World Record?! Brilliant!
We’re off to watch British Sea Power at the Ruby Lounge tonight, then off to Southport for another wedding tomorrow; so not so much Olympics watching for me for the next couple of days.
- Cycling Ceramics (littleowlski.wordpress.com)
This will have to be a very quick post as we’re about to head off down to London to watch the Olympic Cycling at Box Hill. We’ve got a car full of tents, food – but no liquids in greater quantities of 100ml; camping stools and five and a half people to squeeze into Wanda the Kangoo.
A few days ago, we spent the afternoon playing with our pottery (not a euphemism) and have come up with a few Olympics themed ideas. Due to time constraints, you’ll have to wait until after the weekend to see our other efforts. For now, please enjoy some cycling themed pictures of West German pottery…
Good luck to Cav, Wiggins and Froome for Saturday, hopefully we’ll see you whizzing past on one of the nine laps around Box Hill.
There are some stunners amongst the latest batch of West German Pottery for sale on Aidan’s Ebay (if I do say so myself!). Scheurich glazes, even the most simple ones, deserve some appreciation. Last week I looked at the Scheurich Lora glaze; there’s one for sale here which is a particularly striking piece. I also like the bold orange and black of the 401-20.
Even just this small selection of West German pottery shows the variety available: form, colour, glaze; all can vary drastically from one piece to the next, between one factory and another.
If you’re interested in any of the pots you see in the slideshow, have a look at Aidan’s ebay page here.
- The Allure of the Scheurich Lora (littleowlski.wordpress.com)
The Scheurich ‘Lora’ is one of the most recognisable glazes in the company’s range. There are a few variations, but the basic theme is a shiny red base overlaid with thick, crusty black and white glaze that has been cut away to reveal the red underneath.
The ‘Lora’ glaze is one of consistently best sellers of West German Pottery. There’s just something about the colours and the pattern that seems to attract many buyers. I wonder how many ‘serious’ collectors dismiss the glaze as being too common, too mainstream as a Scheurich best-seller? However, there is no denying there is a certain allure to it.
The pot in the top left of the picture above is a perfect example of a stereotypical piece of the Scheurich ‘Lora’ glaze: classic colours and design. There are variations though as can be seen from the other pieces; changes in colour, length and width of the incisions down the sides, one layer of ‘cuts’ or two, a more yellowy or grey tinge to the base and so on. There is a slight imposter on the bottom row, however, the second in from the left that I’ve included in my montage, but I believe this one had a slightly different glaze construction to the others. It seems to stem from the same root though in terms of design.
One of my favourite variations here is the gigantic 279 piece with the two-level orange incisions, middle row, last pot above. The 279 is the daddy piece to my beloved Scheurich 414s and I love the orange version of the glaze here. I have never seen anything other than red, green or orange on the ‘Lora’ glaze; a purple or blue could have worked fantastically against the cooler, whiter-tinged glaze variations.
So, what is the charm of this glaze? The contrast? The range that can be collected in the glaze? I’m not sure… but what I am sure about is that this Scheurich glaze is one that will remain popular within the West German Pottery market for a while yet. Prices for these pieces remain steady, and as the market for mid century ceramics continues to expand, it is striking and collectable pieces of Scheurich such as these that will help to bring WGP further into the mainstream design aesthetic.
The beauty of collecting West German Pottery is that you can always tailor it to fit into any design, colour or style that you want. The current trend for all things Union Jack, London and British is all very well and good, but what do you do with your stuff next year or the year after?
As we’re in the process of doing our house up, colour schemes and so on are a constant topic of conversation (or at least thought when you can’t be bothered to trawl through Wallpaper Direct again). I think this year, my nod to the patriotic theme of 2012 will be to dot a few red, white and blue pieces of West German pottery around the house. Maybe stick a few of the free flags we got in Ashton a few weeks ago in some of the pots.
I wonder if someone could design/manufacture some pottery inspired bunting?