Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Molten Magic/ West German Lava Pottery

Atwater Pottery

Left: Kreutz Keramik, Right: Nicolas Trembley's collection, Check out article on capitalnewyork.com

Left: Atwater Pottery, Right: Collaboration with Heath Ceramics

Left: Es Kermaik, Right: Collection Mousse Magazine

Yellow glazed examples

Photography: Le Grenier.com

Left: Nicolas Trembley's collection, Check out article on capitalnewyork.com, Right: Triangle bowl 

Photography: designsdelight.com

Left: Detail of glaze, Right: Examples by Jopeko Keramik

Left: Example, Right: Nicolas Trembley's collection, Check out article on capitalnewyork.com

Left: Common markings on bottom of vase, Right: Collection

Left: Jopeko Keramik, Right: Collection of German Lava Ceramics

Photography: fantascticsupermaket.com

I remember when I first started to collect ceramics I was drawn to The West German Pottery of the 1970’s, It seemed to be readily available and cheap in Thrift stores but as time has worn on, West German studio pottery has become extremely collectible with its distinctive patterns, textures and shapes. It was produced from the 1950s to 1970s when innovation and production was at its height. Garish coloring, bizarre patterning, contrasting forms is what gives Lava glazed pottery it’s distinct look, love it or hate it. Lately I have been seeing a resurgence of it or similar pottery, Particularly in San Francisco where I am currently.

Largely anonymously designed, Lava pottery was produced by many companies such as Scheurich Lora, Bay, Ceramano, Karlsruche, Hutschenreuther, Rosenthal, Jopeko, Roth, Spara, Ü-Keramik, They are often hard to totally I.D with many not clearly labeled.

With a contemporary twist and influenced by German Pottery, two notable names in California pottery: Heath Ceramics and potter Adam Silverman from Atwater Pottery have come together to design a collection, If you check out Atwater also you can see further examples of Adams work.

A great catalog/book by Mark Hill, titled Fat Lava is a great resource; you can find it at http://markhillpublishing.co.uk

Other sites worth checking out are www.retrofatlava.com and www.fat-lava.com.

I personally love its texture, passion and brashness to think outside the box. I love fine china also but the Lava series is at polar opposites and I feel opposites should always be embraced. 


  1. It's the constant variety of WG that lures me in, my collection is slowly building but I would take on any of the above, great images!

  2. Thanks Pippa, I agree for me they represent such a capsule in time, Happy Collecting! Best, Marcus

  3. Hey, i see my picture....nice that you like it!

  4. Hi Silvia, Which one is yours?, I tried to credit as much as possible, Would love to credit your pic! Best, Marcus.