An organic art-pottery pillar vase designed by Heiner Balzar for STEULER KERAMIK. This remarkable specimen is part of Balzar’s acclaimed, twelve-part Objekt series and features an exquisite “magma” décor. With its matt finish and natural brown and tan hues, the glaze drips and flows over the vase’s irregular, columnar shape. The minimalist Objekt forms have a decidedly ’70s sensibility and were adorned with a wide range of earth-tone glaze variations. Each vase possesses the distinctiveness of a studio-crafted item. The STEULER trademark is stamped on the bottom.

HEINER BALZAR (b. 1937) was one of the most important ceramic artists of the second half of the previous century. Born in Höhr-Grenzhausen in the Westerwald district of Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany, he was the son of the master ceramicist Elfriede Balzar-Kopp (1904-1983). Balzar completed a pottery apprenticeship in her workshop from 1952 to 1954 before passing his journeyman’s exam.

After a break for study trips to Holland and Sweden, Balzar returned to Höhr-Grenzhausen to attend the State Ceramic Technical School from 1956 to 1958. There he was a master pupil of Hubert Griemert (1905-1990). Balzar began supplying molds to both the Dümler & Breiden and Jasba pottery works in nearby Ransbach-Baumbach while still a student. Following his master craftsman’s examination in 1958, he returned to collaborate with his mother in her studio.

In 1967 Balzar set up a workshop of his own in Höhr-Grenzhausen and dedicated himself to the manufacture of salt-glazed stoneware. In 1985, he designed the molds for his famous twelve-part Objekt series, which Steuler Keramik and others produced. This highly acclaimed collection was meant to embody the essence of artisanal studio pottery.

Balzar has actively participated in numerous exhibitions in Germany and abroad, earning accolades and honors for his exceptional craftsmanship. In 2017 he was awarded the esteemed German Ceramics Honorary Prize.

STEULER KERAMIK was founded by Georg Steuler in the town of Höhr-Grenzhausen, a center of the ceramic industry in the Rhineland’s Kannenbäckerland, in 1917. (The Kannenbäckerland—the “potters’ land”—is the site of the largest clay deposit in Europe.) From 1948 until 1982 STEULER was run by Theo Homrich, who is generally responsible for its success. He developed almost all of the firm’s glazes during the period and also supplied some shapes and décors. Vases from STEULER are generally of above-average quality. They are usually, but not always, marked with an “ST” monogram in molded relief on the base. STEULER reached its artistic zenith in the 1960s and ’70s and is best known today for the inspiring designs of Cari Zalloni. It closed in 1996.



Design Period/Year – 1970s


Production Period/Year – 1970s

Origin – ORIGIN

Styles/Movements – BRUTALIS; MODERN; OP ART

Materials – CERAMIC

Colors – TAN, BROWN

Condition – Excellent vintage condition. May exhibit minor traces of wear consistent with age and use.

Dimensions – 4" W × 3" D × 12 ¾" H

Quantity Available – 1