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Posts from the ‘European Makers’ Category

Eva Zeisel “Ceylon”

It is not well known that Eva Zeisel (1906- 2011) – more known now as an iconic America designer, in her youth was an important emerging designer in West Germany.

The very striking design in this post by Eva is called “Ceylon” and was design by her at Schramberger, and later developed further at Carstens. It appears to be now very rare.

Eva Zeisel was born Eva Stricker into a Jewish family in Budapest, where she studied painting at the Royal Academy of Art from 1923 -24 and sold some of her pottery designs at open air markets.

Around 1925 she was employed by Schramberger Majolikafabrik as in the Black Forest, as their chief designer. Here she produced over 200 designs, many of which weren’t well documented. Many of them though stayed in production long after she left Schramberger. Some of them have been reissued by MoMA in New York, the Brooklyn Museum and others.

In 1930, she moved to Berlin, where she worked  briefly for Carstens Lübeck, then for about 18 months at Carstens-Hirschau and also as an independent designer.

Eva designed several coffee and tea sets including this Ceylon for Carstens-Hirschau.

The tea service “Ceylon” was released in 1933, and produced until about 1935 with at least 4 documented patterns. The design for “Ceylon” was obviously designed earlier by Eva though, as there are a number of pieces you can find with the Schramberger Ceylon stamp like the one in this post.

I love the sugar bowl in the first image below – it looks like something of a cross between Bauhaus, Cubism and Futurism.

The influential Bauhaus and the emerging Modernist movement must have been quite an influence on Eva at the time. You will notice some subtle differences between the larger plate design (above) and the smaller plate design (below).  I would love to see what the cups and tea/coffee pots from this service looked like – but havent been able to locate any images.

Carstens-Hirschau closed production in 1956, while the Schramberg facilities closed in the late 1980s.

Some of information above has been sourced from the informative Spritzdekor website here: 

Eva Zeisel "Ceylon", Schramberger

Eva Zeisel “Ceylon”, Schramberger

Eva Zeisel "Ceylon", Schramberger

Eva Zeisel “Ceylon”, Schramberger

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Auction Watch 2018.2 – Dorothy Hafner’s “Flash”

The amazing dinner setting in this post just popped up in my email and took my breath away. It is part of a large “Design from the 20th Century” auction at Lauritz.com starting on May 6th.

It is of course the now iconic Rosenthal design “Flash”.

“Flash” was designed by Dorothy Hafner for Rosenthal in 1982 (released 1984) and quickly became an 80’s iconic design…and seems to be currently attracting a whole new audience.

Dorothy Hafner is an American painter and sculptor who started her career in ceramics in 1973 after training as a painter and sculptor.  She designed a number of dinnerware designs for Rosenthal including “Tango”, “New Wave”, “Suomi Day and Night”  as well as the stunning “Chevron” design for Tiffany.

The influences cited on Dorothy’s website are:

“The poetry of the sea, the marvel of outer space and scientific imagery, and the love of music and dance are the inspirational springboards from which from Hafner has worked for over 30 years”

Like all dinnerware services, the visual power and presence of a service when seen together like this is so much more impressive, and gives us an insight into the design process and creativity of its creator.

The estimated price for this dinner set is EUR 1300. It will be interesting to watch what it sells for.

Rosenthal "Flash" Dorothy Hafner

Rosenthal “Flash” Dorothy Hafner. Photo Lauritz.com

Rosenthal "Flash" Dorothy Hafner

Rosenthal “Flash” Dorothy Hafner. Photo Lauritz.com

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Tilgman’s Sweden

Tilgman’s Sweden

Tilgman’s ceramics was a pottery just outside the city of Gothenburg Sweden, operating from c1948-1975.  In its heyday it employed about 80 staff.

It was started by Paul Harald Tilgmann (1904-1974) and in its early years was known for animal figurines, but today it is the style developed by artistic director at Tilgmans, Marian Zawadzki (1912-1978), which has come to define the “look” of Tilgman’s output. Most of this work is from the 1950s, and appears soon after Marian started with Tilgman’s in 1953 as a Polish refugee.

Marian developed a technique using a sgrafitto – of carving fine lines into the background of a design through a light coloured glaze, down to a dark grey clay slip. This created a unique textured ground which has become a style associated with Tilgman’s. The decorative elements also appear to outlined with a carved line, and then hand painted with overglazes. Birds, Fish, Flowers, Butterflies and other animals were a common theme.

This style and technique proved to be so popular it was also used by other Swedish potteries for a time – including Alingsås Ceramics and Nila Ceramics (in the town of Alingsas)

Tilgmans Sweden Bowl

Tilgmans Sweden Bowl, via PotsAndLamps Etsy

Tilgmans Sweden Bowl

Tilgmans Sweden Bowl photo via BotanyBoutique Etsy

Tilgmans Sweden

Tilgmans Sweden – Photo via 20thCenturyStudio Etsy

Tilgmans Sweden Bow

Tilgmans Sweden Bowl Photo via FrostyVintage Etsy

Tilgmans Lamp Base

Tilgmans Lamp Base photo via Timeless Ceramics eBay

At the end of the 1960s and early 1970s, the pottery style produced at Tilgman’s was a darker and more rustic style, popular at the time in Scandinavia. The 1960s works by Marian Zawadzki from Tilgmans in this era often have bold, abstract designs – and although very different from his earlier, more delicate work, are equally as striking.  Read more